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Natural History

Corn snakes are members of a group of snakes referred to as colubrids, which are found in every part of the world except Antarctica. Corn snakes, however, are only found in North America. In the United States, they can be found from New Jersey down to the Florida Keys and as far west as Illinois and the Mississippi River Valley. They vary in size and coloration, but the most common coloration is a dark orange-red color with crisp, black-edged dorsal saddles, a coloring that is found mostly on corn snakes in South Carolina.

Corn snakes are predatory and will prey upon any warm-blooded mammal. Mice, rats, chipmunks, moles, and rabbits are common prey. On rare occasions, corn snakes will eat lizards. To find their food, corn snakes have been known to search in a wide variety of places, including treetops, attics, and barn lofts.

Adult corn snakes generally grow to be between 30 inches and 70 inches long. Even at the high end of that range, these relatively small animals can easily coil up small enough to fit in their owner’s open palms. Corn snakes can live to be quite old. If one is purchased at an appropriate age (between 3 and 6 months) and is taken very good care of, he can live for 25 or 30 years.

For more information, read Corn & Rat Snakes (T.F.H. Publications, Inc.).

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