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Corn Snake
Elaphe guttata guttata

Corn snakes are medium-sized snakes, averaging around 3-4 feet for adults.  Their beautiful colors and pattern make them one of the most popular pet snakes.  Although becoming harder to find in some areas due to over-collecting and habitat lose, they are still somewhat common in many rural areas.  Habitat destruction and human encroachment have contributed to reduced populations in many areas.

They are VERY beneficial to humans in the form of rodent control.  In rural housing areas and farms, corn snakes, as well as other species, do a very good job at controlling the rodent population.  This helps us by cutting losses from damage caused by rodents.  It also lowers the potential for large-scale epidemics caused by rodent carried diseases. 

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Photo by Mike Monlezun  (snake from St. Johns County)

Corn snakes are excellent pets.  This is evidenced by the fact that countless numbers are kept in captivity.  They are excellent for both beginners and experts.  Over the years they have been invaluable in teaching us about genetics in a fun way.  Most of the patterns and colors are genetic traits that can be passed on.  Now there are too many “morphs,” or variations to count.  New ones are being made each year. 

Corn snakes require a steady supply of small to medium sized rodents in captivity.  They grow fast and reach sexual matuirty in 1 to 2 years, although waiting another year or so would benefit the snake, and it has been reported that waiting  and not breeding as often could extend the life of the snake.

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