If you are planning on purchasing a pet snake, consider the corn snake. Whether you are a long-time reptile lover or a first-time snake owner, a corn snake is a great choice. Pet corn snakes are highly popular, perhaps one of the most popular pet snakes of all. The name comes from the days when farmers stored corn in sheds, buildings, and wooden barrels. Rodents were always trying to get into the corn, so corn snakes used corn storage buildings as homes to eat the mice and rats. There are several good reasons why a corn snake is an excellent choice of snake.
Due to their popularity, corn snakes are often easy to find in general pet stores, reptile pet stores, exotic pet stores, and even online stores. Call a local pet store to ask if they have pet corn snakes for sale or if another location might have them. Note that corn snakes can be found in the wild in the southeastern United States, but you generally need a permit to capture and care for a wild snake. Instead, buy one from a proper pet store.
Corn snakes are absolutely beautiful. They are commonly orange-gold with wide bands of red-copper outlined in dark brown or black. If you turn them over and look at their bellies, they are usually whitish with patterns of black, brown, and/or rusty squares, like a checkered tablecloth. There are also special breeds of corn snake, such as the albino, which is pinkish-orange with bright red-orange bands outlined in white. Black corn snakes have patterns of striking gray, silver, and black. There is even a breed that has a pastel-lavender color.
A good source estimates that adult corn snakes grow to be four to five-and-a-half feet long. Snakes of this size are easy to handle even for a shorter, weaker person. Corn snakes are big enough to tolerate being handled without fear, but they are small enough not to intimidate visitors or children too much. Corn snakes are one of the easiest types of snake to handle. It is much more difficult to hold larger snakes such as pythons, boas, or even sometimes rat snakes.
In general, corn snakes are regarded as one of the more friendly and calm types of pet snakes. Reptile lovers like the writer of this blog include corn snakes among the four most docile pet snakes. The reason for their good temperament is probably the adaptability of the corn snake species. They can adapt to different settings, diets, and handlers, and they tolerate humans better than average because of their long history living alongside farmers.
There are differing estimations of corn snake lifespan, but one article makes it clear the lifespan is shorter than that of other popular snakes such as boas, pythons, and king snakes. According to this source, corn snakes live fifteen to twenty years. This may seem like a long time if you're unused to reptile pets, but compared to other popular snakes that live to thirty, it is a shorter lifespan. This is a positive thing if you are unsure of making a longer-term commitment to your pet. Please note that releasing pet corn snakes into the wild is illegal, so be sure you are prepared to care for your pet for ten to twenty years.