The black corn snake (anery corn snakes) is a recessive anerythristic mutation that lacks red pigmentation, so the snake appears black and white checkerboard pattern.

Black Corn Snakes are brightly colored and docile snakes that are enjoyable to watch and ideal for beginner snake keepers. They also make excellent companions due to their long lifespan and ease of handling and taming.

anery corn snake
Anery corn snake

Curious? Fortunately, this comprehensive guide will prepare you to be the best Black Corn Snake owner possible!

This guide will teach you various facts about the Black Corn Snake, what you need to care for, how to breed and care for your soon-to-be pet corn snake, and the many advantages of owning one!

Table of Contents

Taxonomy and Specimen of Black corn snake

Taxonomy classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Species: Elaphe guttata
Length: Approximately 14-16 inches (adult snake)
Lifespan: 15-20 years

Black Corn Snake Habitat

The pinelands, hardwood hammocks, swamps, lagoons, agricultural fields, and suburban areas are all home to black corn snakes. These non-venomous species are mainly active at night and are terrestrial burrowers and excellent climbers.

It is usually observed under rocks and logs, in trees under trunks, and within palm leaves in tropical regions.

Black Corn Snake Appearance

Black corn snake enjoying a substrate layer

The Black Devil’s Garden corn snake is another name for the Black morph. These snakes are ordinarily dark gray with charcoal dorsal blotches and black margins. Anerythristic species include black morphs with reddish blotches in some.

Anerythristic species have a recessive gene that is so ubiquitous that most corn snakes exhibit the characteristic or hold the recessive allele.

Baby black corn snakes resemble adult black corn snakes but with a few discrepancies in appearance and behavior. The baby black corn snake has a small, round head. And they will slowly develop the pretty features their adult counterparts are known for.

These non-venomous snakes’ personalities are still evolving as they develop. As a result, they are rather shy and a little too hostile during their childhood.

Black Corn Snakes Food Habits

In their natural habitat, hatchlings eat mostly small lizards and tree toads, while adults eat small rodents and birds and kill them by constriction. Baby black corn snakes can be fed pinkie mice (1-2 days old), quickly proceeding to fuzziest, crawlers, and small adult mice.

A live mouse should not be left unattended in the presence of a snake. Most corn snakes will eat defrosted frozen critters, preferable to prey alive animals. Juveniles should be nourished every 5-7 days, while you should feed adults every 7-10 days.

As a rule of thumb, feeding your nonvenomous snake after it has defecated is vital.

Black Corn Snake Genetics

Anery Motley morph

So, why is black corn snake genetics such an exciting subject for snake parents or would-be parents of these incredible reptiles?

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice that black corn snakes and the entire corn snake family are difficult to identify and distinguish. Some snakes, such as Amelanistic corn snakes, do not resemble the black corn snakes you and I are accustomed to seeing.

Pure species are scarce in the wild. Breeders are also constantly developing new morphs. If you want to be sure that the snake you are looking at is a black corn snake, you should look at its genetics and family tree.

Most snake breeders maintain records of the snake’s parents to ensure its genealogy. If that chart isn’t accessible, or if you are interacting with an untrustworthy uncertified breeder, you should look elsewhere.

Black Corn Snake Shedding

Like any other slithering creature, Black Corn snakes shed their skin regularly as they develop and mature. Adult corn snakes shed every three months or so, whereas hatchlings and juveniles shed every 4-6 weeks.

From the time you first see your snake until you can handle it again, the process typically takes 6-9 days. You will come across a few symptoms during this time.

  • Corn snakes’ skin will become highly dull as they prepare to shed. They will go through a blue cycle, in which their eyes will appear blue, or in the case of albino corns, their eyes will be a pale purple.
  • You may notice your corn snake brushing against boulders and other hard surfaces to help soften and remove the old skin.
  • They can’t see well during this time, so they may appear flustered and even disappear for a few days. This behavior is pretty standard.
  • They may refuse to eat. But don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal, and they will be ready to eat once they have gone through their shed.

Black Corn Snake Breeding

Breeding a black corn snake is more complex than it appears. Since they are most rowdy and ready for mating in the spring and fall, these are the best times to bring the right partners together. The female snake lays 10 to 30 eggs at a time after mating. Typically, this takes place between May and July.

You will need to give the mother supplies so she can build nests. Leaves and twigs make excellent nesting sites. The eggs are ready to hatch after two months. The mother will become overly possessive of the eggs during this time.

While it is relatively straightforward to breed these amelanistic snakes (provided the appropriate time and conditions!), it is challenging to incubate and care for the hatchlings, so it is best left to breeders with breeding experience.

Black Corn Snake Lifespan

Black corn snakes generally live 6 to 8 years in their natural habitat, but they can live much longer as pets in our houses. Although they typically live for about 10-15 years in captivity, they can live quite comfortably for up to 20 years with healthy nutrition and atmosphere.

Care sheet for Black Corn Snake

Baby black corn snake

If you are a first-time snake parent, remember that snakes don’t react to their owners as dogs and cats do. And yet, due to their non-venomous nature and ease of handling, black corn snakes make good first-time snakes.

If you want to keep a black corn snake, you should consider the following information.


Corn snakes are known as escape artists. They should be kept in a 20-gallon chamber with a tight-fitting lid. You should offer more room as the snake gets bigger. The enclosure’s length should be at least 2/3 as long as the snake’s body.


A basking zone of 88–90°F (27–32°C) should be sustained, with a temperature difference of 70–85°F (21–29°C). At night, however, the temperature can drop to the moderate band. If necessary, special heating pads for reptiles or incandescent light bulbs may be used to provide sufficient heat.


The average indoor humidity for black corn snakes (30–50%) is usually healthy, but if your snake has difficulty shedding, it might need additional humidity.


Use a medium that is simple to sweep and keep clean. Use a natural medium that won’t be harmful even if it gets accidentally swallowed. The best substrate is, therefore, newspaper, but other options include particular kinds of shavings (like aspen), soft dry leaves, or wood shavings.


It is critical to double-check this before buying a bulb because Black Corn Snakes require access to both UVA and UVB rays, which many so-called “full spectrum” reptile bulbs do not provide. A reptile needs UVB rays to yield Vitamin D, which is necessary for calcium absorption and utilization.

Common Health Issues In Black Corn Snakes

Getting acquainted with your snake’s natural appearance, movement, and behavior is critical to detect early illness indications.

Healthy Corn Snakes often do not display significant symptoms of the disease until they are severely ill, so keep an eye out for any shifts in appetite or feces timing, as well as alterations in weight, behavior, skin coloration, or breathing.

Other symptoms of ailments include discharges from the eyes, nose, or mouth, as well as shedding issues.

Conservation Status of Black Corn Snakes

Black corn snake lateral view

Fear-based killing and incidents are reportedly the most serious threat to black corn snakes, as their color causes people to misjudge them for the venomous copperhead. Because of habitat degradation and loss in the lower Florida Keys, they are classified as species of particular concern in Florida.

Gathering for the pet trade was once a concern, but captive breeding has helped to address this issue. Although black corn snakes are one of the most commonly bred species for the pet trade, keeping corn snakes as pets is criminal in Georgia, as is keeping any native reptile species as a pet.

Corn snakes are excellent for beginners, and a plethora of information is available to help you with your black corn snake care. If you choose to get a pet snake, black corn snakes will provide you with years of joyous, active togetherness if you take care of them properly. Click on links for more corn snake morphs information and a care sheet for albino corn snakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do Black Corn Snakes cost?

Corn snakes are among the cheapest snake species to buy from pet stores in the United States, with prices ranging from $20 to $50. Based on availability, baby corn snakes usually cost around $50-$60. Even the rare morphs cost no more than $200 at most.

Do Black Corn Snakes drink water?

Black Corn Snakes require water daily, but most people will never see their snake drink. So, please don’t assume that they can go on without H2O!

How does a healthy Black Corn Snake look?

A healthy Black Corn snake will be vibrant and alert, with open eyes, nostrils, and a clean vent. The outer skin should be uninjured and free of parasites, and shedding should occur regularly. Your snake should also be eager to eat and pass feces on a routine basis.

(Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Shradha Bhatta holds a Bachelors’s Degree in Social Work along with a Post-graduate degree in Project Management from Georgian College in Canada. Shradha enjoys writing on various topics and takes pleasure in discovering new ideas. Her life’s mission is to make the world a better place for all beings.