Are Corn Snakes Venomous? – Should You Be Concerned
If your reading this article then you are probably curious to know are corn snakes venomous? Keep reading to find out whether they’re venomous. As well as tips on identifying a corn snake and how you can avoid being bitten by a corn snake.
Are Corn Snakes Venomous? -Everything You Need to Know.
Well the short answer (to the question: are Corn Snakes venomous) is that-no, Corn Snakes are not venomous. In the following paragraphs we are going to go over some important aspects of the Corn Snake. Such as it’s way of eating it’s prey.
Corn snakes kill their prey in a different way to poisoning them with venom. Instead they use constriction. They wrap theirselves around mice, other small rodents, lizards, frogs, birds, eggs and anything else that they would like to eat for dinner. This will cause their prey to suffocate and then they will eat them.
However that does not mean that they will not bite humans. Not to worry though their bite is harmless, as of course the bite does not contain any venom. Corn snakes will bite on occasions although only when they feel threatened or frightened.
(Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to find ‘Other related articles you might like’, once you are done reading).
Venomous Copper-head or Not?
You want to make sure that you know what type of snake that you might be dealing with, because if it’s not a corn snake then it could well be a venomous species.
One of the most distinctive features of a corn snake is a spear-shaped blotch on their head and they also usually have dark vertical bars on the lips and their iris is usually orange or red sitting inside of a round pupil.
Other features of a corn snake is that they come in a few different varieties. Also known as morphs. Their colours vary through red-orange, orange-yellow and black, they are be brightly coloured with individual patterns and they will usually be reddish-orange or orange-brown.
A corn snakes back markings are dark-margined red or brown mid-dorsal blotches and smaller lateral blotches on a ground color of red, orange, brown or gray, they have white belly’s with a gloss and are boldly checkered with black which has been know to have orange tinge as well and they often have two black stripes under their tails.
Corn snakes come in many colour variations from different breeds, here are the main ones:
- Albino corn snake: bright red, orange, yellow and white with red, orange or pink eyes.
- Okeetee corn snake: deep-red saddles with jet-black borders.
- Snow corn snake: pink and yellow, with pink eyes with darker pink pupils.
- Black corn snake: gray and black.
- Lavender corn snake: dark grayish to bright pastel lavender.
How To Tell The Difference Between A Corn Snake And A Copper Head
One of the easiest mistakes to make when looking at a Corn Snake is to mistake it for the venomous Copper Head Snake, so here are some clear differences between them.
- Copper Head Snake’s (as the name suggests) have a very distinct copper colored head. Corn snakes have many different colored heads and are rarely copper in color.
- Copper Head Snake’s will try to trick you into thinking that it they are a rattle snake, by curling up into a ball and shaking their tail. Corn snakes do not exhibit this behaviour.
- Copper Head Snake’s will have what is known as “Hershey kisses” or half hour glass patterns down the sides of their body’s, this pattern will be more symmetrical in the middle of the body of the Copper Head Snake. Corn snakes do not have such unique patterns on their body’s.
How “Not” To Get Bitten By The Non-Venomous Corn Snake
The Corn Snakes bite is harmless as it contains no venom (although it may sting a little) but that does not mean that you should not take these easy steps to avoid being bitten.
When injured of threatened is the only time that a corn snake will bite . So with that in mind remember these other tips and you should be fine.
Whenever you are out in nature remember to wear high boots as this will help keep your skin protected on your feet and around your ankles.
Be mindful around tall grass piles of leaves and rocks as there may be snakes in these places that will be as surprised as you are from a chance encounter.
Make sure not to put your hands into grooves and crevices of rocks that you can not see inside of.
At night you need to avoid snake areas where there is known to be snakes, remember that snakes are nocturnal and will be more active in these areas at night.
Lastly, when handling a snake, even in captivity avoid any sudden or clumsy movements as this will startle the snake.
Bonus tip: if you do get bitten by any snake take a picture of it to help to help identify the snake to the emergency services as this will help with identifying the snake and any anti venom that may be needed.
Are Corn Snakes Friendly?
Their relaxed temper means they rarely bite. Which is what you want in any pet really. Obviously there are some species of snake that will bite under circumstance, due to their natural instincts and behaviours in the wild. This isn’t the case with corn snakes though, thus making them great pets, both with adults and children.
The occasional bite, yes. But this is very rare and only happens when agitated.
Corn snakes are still one of the favourites for experienced snake keepers due to their beautiful colours and patterns, and the relative ease for breeding. This is why the corn snake has be given the name of the ‘beginner snake’. So are corn snakes friendly. Yes.
So Are Corn Snakes Good Pets?
We hear this question a lot. And to be honest, if you like snakes the yes, they are great pets. However they don’t give you the same love a dog does, if that’s what you’re looking for. Corn snakes are commonly small in size which makes them a brilliant ‘beginner snake’ for someone who has never owned a snake before. Their habitats are commonly quite easy to replicate and barely need any up keep, which is great for first time owners of snakes. As long as you do your research, and ask for any tips from a reptile store, then you should be fine.
Corn Snakes Temper
In answer to the question, are corn snakes friendly, they are the least aggressive specie of snake. They aren’t known to bite for any other reason that being threatened or hungry. This means they are ideal if you have any other pets, children or common visitors as they will mostly always be at ease. Handling a snake will get them used to human interaction. They do have a very high sense of smell, so they will get used to your personal scent quickly, and will use this a feel comforted when being handled. Knowing they aren’t in any danger themselves.
A Corn Snakes Activeness
They are a relatively active snake, so you get to enjoy their graceful movements throughout the day. You are able to handle a corn snake a few times a week, as they do enjoy the human interaction, but only for 30-60 mins at a time. Any longer and they may start to become agitated. After all, we all start to miss home after a while, specially their hides.
Best of all though, they have the most amazing colour pattern. They are such a pretty snakes, so much that you can spend hours just watching them, and taking in their personalities. Every snake has different colours, so you can really appreciate your own snakes diverse spectrum and characteristics. Their many colour patterns mean that you can quite easily find the perfect coloured snake for your self.
What Do Friendly Corn Snakes Look Like?
The corn snake, or (Pantherophis guttatus) is a North American living species, which is sometimes referred to as the “Red rat snake”. This is due to their diet, which manly consists of rodents, and its close reaction to the rat snake. Corn snakes are commonly a variety of orange, browns and reds. A lighter based colour orange (the same colour as its head), with darker orange blotches, outlined with a dark brown which run down the snakes back. On their belly are rows of alternating white and black, which resembles a checkered pattern.
Through very selective breeding there have been a variety of corn snake morphs which have become very popular as well. These are the, Albino corn snake, Okeetees corn snake, Snow corn snake, Black corn snake and the Lavender corn snake.
Common Friendly Corn Snake Morphs
Albino corn snakes lack melanin, which is the black pigment. So these are bright orange, reds, yellows and white. You will not see the darker outline of their blotches.
Okeetees corn snakes have very dark, deep red blotches with jet black outlines, which were bred from corn snakes only caught in South Carolina.
Snow corn snakes are again melanistic snake, also lacking in black pigment. They are shades of pink and yellow. Their eyes are also pink, with slightly darker pupils.
Black corn snakes are an anerythristic snake. This means they lack the pigment erythrin, which produces the red and yellows commonly seen in corn snakes. These corn snakes are mostly black and grey, again following the blotchy pattern.
Lavender corn snakes are dark grey to pastel lavender in colour. It’s thought this is bred from a snow corn snake and a wild female corn.
Corn Snake, or Copperhead?
Corn snakes have very similar features to the venomous Copperhead snake, which almost looks identical. The only real difference being, is that the copperhead snake is slightly lighter in colour all over and its pattern or markings resemble hourglasses, rather than blotches. Whereas the corn snake is blight in colour, the copperhead is more earthy coloured. They are sadly being killed in the wild due to their similarities and people thinking they are dangerous. Copperheads also do not have the black and white checkered belly that the corn snake has, but unless you’re handling the snake, you won’t see. Which you wouldn’t be willing to confirm this in the wild would you.
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