Reptiles, Snakes

Corn snake (pantherophis guttatus)

Corn snake (pantherophis guttatus)

Have you been looking for a pet that’s a little out of the ordinary? Maybe you haven’t got the time that is required to keep a dog or a cat as a pet. Then a corn snake could be just what you’re looking for.


The corn snake is an excellent snake for beginners, originating from North American the corn snake is a constrictor that mainly feeds on small rodents. In the wild, they kill their prey using constriction as they are not venomous. the corn snake will also eat other reptiles, amphibians and even climb trees to eat unguarding birds eggs.


So why are they great pets?


Well, the corn snakes a renowned for their placid behaviour and reluctance to bite humans and even if they were to bite, (which if so usually occurs by accident during feeding) the damage done will be fairly minimal as they have very small teeth. They can be handled quite often and for an extended period of time without showing any sign of stress. A full-grown corn snake will be between 2-6ft in length, which means they don’t need a large amount of space for your setup.

What will you need for setup?


For a young corn snake, you don’t need a large vivarium so something like below will do.


However, as they grow in size you would need to increase the size.

If you do buy a vivarium with the glass sliding doors it is a good idea to get a rubber wedge.

This is because the snakes when strong enough can slide the doors open once they get the right technique. You may also want to look at getting a runner strip to go between where the two glass panels meet especially for your smaller snakes.

As the Corn snake is from a hotter climate you will need a heat mat so the snake can warm itself up.

However, you will only need to have the heat mat placed on one side of the vivarium so that the snake can regulate its temperature by moving to the colder side. The UV bulb will need to be on for 12 hours and then off for 12 hours on rotation.

For substrate you have a few options;

You have a few choices:

  • Newspaper
  • Aspen
  • Lignocel
  • Wood Chip
  • Sand
  • Sand/soil
  • Bio-active

However, for me, a wood chip substrate is a personal favourite.

In regards to accessories for inside the Vivarium, you need hiding spots a water bowl and preferably something for the snake to have a climb on.

You will also want to keep the humidity between 30 – 60% so the vivarium will need to be sprayed with water once or twice a week depending on the substrate you choose.

Before buying the full setup you need to also make sure that you can get a reliable source of food for the Snake so make sure that your local pet shop has a regular supply of frozen pinkies up to full-grown mice and even small rabbits for your larger corn snakes.

You can generally find most of the items you need in reputable pets shops and online on eBay and amazon see below:


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