Corn Snake

If you’re looking for a fun and friendly pet, a Corn Snake is an excellent choice. Generally calm natured, they make great companions. And while other snake species can be fussy about their food, Corn Snakes are usually happy to tuck in, which means less stress for you! Their gorgeous bright colours also make them very attractive to look at and they are sure to be a talking point for visitors.

Corn Snake


  • Behaviour: Crepuscular (twilight)
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Ease of care: Intermediate
  • Handling: Intermediate
  • Humidity: 40% to 50%
  • Life span: 20+ years
  • Origin: North America
  • Potential adult size: 4-6ft (1.2-1.8m)
  • Scientific name: Pantherophis guttatus

 Top Tips

  • After you’ve fed your Corn Snake, let it digest for a couple of days before you handle it again.
  • Your Corn Snake may go off its food when it’s about to shed, so wait until it has its new skin before trying again.
  • If your Corn Snake goes off its food at any other time, try feeding it something smaller or larger.
  • If your snake hasn’t shed very well, some tweaks may be required to the environment it’s living in.
  • Corn Snakes can be very curious! To prevent them from slithering out and escaping, make sure the vents on your vivarium are facing inwards.


Corn Snakes are most active around twilight and will rely on you to provide heat and light levels to simulate the change from day to night. If you’re getting a baby Corn Snake, the HabiStat Hatchling Snake Starter Kit will give you everything you need to set up a comfortably heated home.

One end of your enclosure will need to be extra toasty (28-32℃) so that your cold-blooded snake can warm up. During the day you can do this by setting up a heat lamp with a dimming thermostat. The dimming thermostat will help you to control the temperature by lowering or raising the heat. The rest of the tank should sit at a comfortable 23-26℃. The HabiStat Accessory Kit will provide all the lighting and heating your snake will need for the daytime.

At night, the temperature will need to stay around 23-26℃. If you’re having trouble maintaining this, you can use the Arcadia Ceramic Heater Bulb, which will need to run through a HabiStat Pulse Thermostat to keep things nice and warm. To keep an eye on temperature and humidity, a dual thermometer and hygrometer will be useful. If the humidity needs to be increased, give the enclosure a spritz with some water.

To give your Corn Snake the right amount of UVB light, set up the Arcadia ShadeDweller 7% on the inside of the roof of the vivarium. You can also set up an Arcadia JungleDawn LED Bar to add more visible light, which will also give any live plants in the enclosure a boost.

Once you have all the lighting and heating set up, it’s time for the fun part – decorating! Line the bottom of the tank with some nice bedding, such as HabiStat Jungle Bio, Arcadia Earth Mix or HabiStat Orchid Bark. Adding in some HabiStat Sphagnum Moss in a little hideout will give your snake a nice damp place to hide in. Branches and live or artificial plants will also help your Corn Snake to feel cosy.

In the cool end of the enclosure, don’t forget to include a sturdy water bowl so that your Corn Snake can take a sip whenever it needs to.


To keep your lovely snake home clean, provide fresh water every day and give the enclosure a spot clean. Once a week, you’ll need to give the water bowl a good scrub with a reptile-safe disinfectant, shake-up the bedding and remove anything dirty. You should wipe down the glass and walls with a safe disinfectant too. To keep your Corn Snake’s home really scrubbed up, remove and replace all of the bedding every month and give the whole enclosure and its decorations a clean with safe disinfectant.

Remember: always wash your hands, surfaces and equipment with plenty of warm water and soap after handling or feeding your snake or cleaning its home or equipment.

Equipment Needed

  • HabiStat Hatchling Snake Starter Kit (for hatchlings)
  • HabiStat Vivarium 36 x 24 x 24 or 48 x 24 x 24 (for snakes 2ft+)
  • HabiStat Heat Bulb
  • Arcadia Pro Ceramic Lamp Holder & Bracket
  • HabiStat Dimming Thermostat
  • Arcadia Ceramic Heater Bulb
  • HabiStat Pulse Thermostat
  • Arcadia ShadeDweller 7% UV light
  • Arcadia JungleDawn LED bar
  • HabiStat Jungle Bio / Arcadia Earth Mix / HabiStat Orchid Bark
  • HabiStat Sphagnum Moss
  • HabiStat Forest Hideout
  • HabiStat Tea Tree Branches / HabiStat Grapevines / HabiStat Cork Branches
  • Artificial or live plants
  • HabiStat Sandstone Water Dish


A top-notch meal for a hungry Corn Snake will consist of a defrosted mouse or small rats. However, you won’t need to feed your snake every day, even when it is a baby. This is because it takes them a long time to digest their dinner. The size of their meal should also be tailored to match their size. If your snake is less than a year old it only need a small mouse every 5 to 7 days. Older snakes will need larger prey or more of them.

Your snake will also occasionally get thirsty, so provide some fresh water. The HabiStat Sandstone Water Dish will be perfect for giving your snake a drink.

Additional Information

When your Corn Snake is young, it will shed all of its skin every 3 to 6 weeks, but this will get less regular as your snake grows up. An older Corn Snake will only shed once every 2 to 6 months.

If you’re wondering whether your Corn Snake is about to shed, take a look at the colour of its skin and eyes. The colour of your snake will get dull just before a shedding and your snake’s eyes will start to look cloudy before turning a bluey-grey colour. Once your snake has shed all of its skin, it will return to looking just as bright and beautiful as before!

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