Do Corn snakes make good pets?
Amel corn snake, Pantherophis guttatus are one of the most popular beginner snakes due to them being a manageable size and easy to tame. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of morphs available making the rarer variations popular with experienced hobbyists too. Although they are relatively calm snakes, they can become easily stressed when kept with other individuals so this species should always be kept alone. Despite naturally occurring in North America, all of our corn snakes are captive bred in the UK, greatly reducing the impact on the environment and the risk of diseases.
What size vivarium should I get for my Corn snake?
Corn snakes are terrestrial, arid snakes, meaning they spend most of their time on the ground and prefer a drier environment, although they will enjoy some low branches and perches to climb up and slither around.
At Swell Reptiles, we recommend a minimum enclosure size of 120 x 60 x 60cm (4 x 2 x 2ft) for a fully grown adult, although hatchlings and juveniles can be kept in smaller enclosures. Due to their arid nature, wooden vivariums, such as the VivExotic Repti-Home (AAL) Vivarium Medium Oak, work best, as they tend to hold heat a lot better than glass terrariums, and also tend to be sold in larger sizes. To simplify things, why not take a look at our range of Corn Snake Starter Kits, suitable for juveniles and adults.
How do I heat my Corn snake enclosure?
As Corn snakes, along with all reptiles, cannot control their own body temperature, they rely on their environment to warm or cool themselves as required. In captivity, this means we must provide them with a thermogradient from one end of the enclosure to the other. The ideal warm end temperature for Corn snakes is between 30-32°C (86-89°F), which is most easily achieved using an overhead heating system such as heat bulbs or a ceramic heat emitter.
In most instances, Corn snakes do not require any additional heating overnight unless your home drops below around 15°C (59°F). If you fall into this bracket, you may wish to add some low-level supplementary heating overnight in the form of a ceramic heat emitter or heat mat, but to avoid unnecessary stress this should not be a light-emitting heat source.
It is of utmost importance that any heating equipment is controlled by a compatible thermostat to avoid overheating, for basking lamps this would be a dimming thermostat, for ceramic heaters, a pulse thermostat is required, and for heat mats, you can either use a simple on/off thermostat, or a pulse thermostat. Corn snake heating equipment should also be covered by a heat guard, as they are likely to climb up and even wrap themselves around the fixture, so this will avoid unwanted accidents.