Are you adopting a corn snake for the first time?
Then you must ensure you make room in your home for this fascinating new pet.
But how big do corn snakes get?
In this article, you’ll find out the average size of corn snakes and what you must do to keep yours growing healthily.
Most corn snakes measure between 61 and 182 cm (24 and 72 inches).
But if you do not care for your corn snake properly, he will not grow to his full potential.
What can you do to make sure your corn snake grows as big and healthy as he can?
Coming up in this article, we’ll discuss the ideal habitat and diet for your snake. Make sure you check it out!
Table of Contents
How Big Do Corn Snakes Get?
Baby corn snakes and hatchlings are super cute and tiny. But we all know that they won’t stay so miniature for long.
So, how big are adult corn snakes?
Take a look at the following growth chart that will show you how big your corn snake will be throughout each stage of his life.
|Corn snake stage
|20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 inches)
|51 to 76 cm (20 to 30 inches)
|89 to 102 cm (35 to 40 inches)
|61 to 182 cm (24 to 72 inches)
Female Corn Snakes
Most corn snakes measure between 61 and 182 cm (24 and 72 inches). But the size of a female and a male corn snake differ slightly.
Female corn snakes tend to be smaller than males. The female snake’s body averages 122 cm (40 inches).
The difference between the final weight of a male and female corn snake may not be too dissimilar. But they do grow at different rates.
A female corn snake will grow a lot during the first year of her life. But this growth spurt soon slows down.
Apart from when she is a young snake to when she is one year old, a female corn snake might also be bigger than a male in her productive season while she produces eggs.
Male Corn Snakes
As is also the case with other reptiles, male corn snakes tend to be larger than females.
How much bigger?
The adult size of the male corn snake averages 182 cm (72 inches) in length.
The growth pattern of a male corn snake differs slightly from the female growth pattern. The male tends to weigh less than the female while he is less than one year old.
After the male is one year old, it tends to get longer and heavier faster until it reaches full maturity at about 2 years old. By the time the male is a full-grown corn snake, it is usually bigger and heavier than the female.
A male corn snake might also be slightly smaller than the female while she is in her productive season producing eggs.
What Other Factors Affect Corn Snake Growth?
Corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus), otherwise known as the red rat snakes, are reptiles endemic to North America. The average body length of these red rat snakes is between 61 and 182 cm (24 and 72 inches).
If your corn snake is not growing properly, this could be a sign of poor husbandry.
What could be the issue?
Several factors can affect the growth of your corn snake. Here are some of them.
- The size of the tank
- The humidity levels
- The temperature
- What is in his habitat
- How often he eats his food
What can you do to ensure your corn snake grows as healthily as possible?
Check out the following tips to find out.
What Is the Right Tank Size For Most Corn Snakes?
You must house captive corn snakes in the right-sized tank. They need enough room to move around, stretch, hide, and strike like they would in the wild.
If your rat snake is not in a big enough tank, he will not grow properly.
So, how big should his enclosure be?
Young snakes will need at least a 10-gallon terrarium. Adult corn snakes will need at least a 40-gallon terrarium.
The bigger the size of the enclosure, the better it will be for your snake’s health. So, always choose the largest tank you have space for.
What Are the Ideal Humidity Levels?
The overall health of your corn snake and his growth rates are closely related. The better you look after him, the more consistent his growth patterns will be with the average rat snake.
How humid should a corn snake’s enclosure be?
The humidity levels inside the enclosure should be between 40 and 50%.
The right humidity is essential for a corn snake in captivity to grow properly. Here is what can happen to your pet if the humidity in his enclosure is too high.
- He develops respiratory problems
- He suffers from scale rot
Humidity levels that are too low are just as problematic. If the humidity levels in your corn snake’s enclosure are too low, here’s what could happen.
- He becomes dehydrated
- He has trouble shedding
What Temperature Is Best?
In the wild, a corn snake can move to warmer and cooler areas to regulate their body temperature. A corn snake in captivity will rely on the good operation of their enclosure to do that.
What temperatures are best for a corn snake enclosure?
- On the cool side, the enclosure must be between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 28 degrees Celsius)
- On the warm side, it must be between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (27 to 29 degrees Celsius)
- In the basking area, it must be between 88 and 92 degrees Fahrenheit (31 to 33 degrees Celsius)
If your snake’s enclosure does not meet the appropriate temperature requirements, he will not grow properly.
If the enclosure is too warm, he’ll overheat. If it is too cold, he won’t be able to digest his food properly and he may stop eating.
To ensure your terrarium is always at the right temperature, do the following.
- Install a thermostat on the side of the tank
- Change the bulb in your heat lamp every 6 months to 1 year
- Put the heat lamp on the inside of the terrarium
What Should His Habitat Be Like?
A corn snake in captivity needs access to hiding spots just like he would have in the wild. A corn snake will go into these hideouts when they feel afraid.
Your corn snake will need at least two hideouts. One must be on the cool side of his enclosure, and the other must be on the warm side.
As well as hiding when feeling threatened, your pet corn snake will tuck himself out of sight when he is sleeping during the day.
The right size tank is important for corn snakes to grow healthily in captivity. If the tank is too small and the hideouts are too big, he might spend more time retreating inside of them and less time stretching and moving about, which is essential for growth.
What Do Corn Snakes Eat?
In the wild, a corn snake will feed mainly on wild rodent pests like mice and rats. In this way, they help to control populations of small rodents that spread disease, damage crops, and eat harvested corn.
Because of the rodent species’ regular presence around harvested corn and grain stores, corn snakes are attracted to these areas and are often found there. They may also climb trees to look for unguarded bird eggs and other small prey to eat.
Odor cues are of primary importance to corn snakes when it comes to prey detection. This is why corn snakes are able to find their food in the dark and are crepuscular.
Visual cues are of secondary importance to corn snakes when it comes to prey detection. This makes it relatively easy to train a corn snake to eat rodents.
But corn snakes in captivity cannot go looking for the wild rodent pests they need to eat to grow into healthy adults. That’s where you come in.
What type of food should corn snakes eat?
Corn snakes must eat small rodents like mice and rats. They also eat other types of food like bird eggs, amphibians, and lizards, but their main meals should always be mice and rats.
If corn snakes do not eat enough small prey, they will not grow properly.
Here’s a guide to how much your snakes should eat.
- Hatchlings and babies eat small pinky mice every 5 to 7 days
- 6-month-old corn snakes eat medium size mice every 7 to 10 days
- Adult-size corn snakes eat larger, adult mice every 7 to 10 days
Facts About Corn Snakes
Are you as fascinated by corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) as we are?
Then check out the following list of mind-boggling corn snake facts that will help you learn more about this intriguing snake species.
- The average body length of a full-grown corn snake is between 61 and 182 cm (24 and 72 inches)
- At the Smithsonian’s national zoo, corn snakes eat mice and rats
- Odor cues are of primary importance to corn snakes, whereas visual cues are of secondary importance
- They become sexually mature at 16 to 18 months
- A corn snake can go a few weeks without eating. When they are in brumation, a corn snake might go 2 to 3 months without eating!
- Corn snakes are often found in forest openings and around grain stores
- Corn snakes help control populations of many species of pests that spread disease, damage crops, and eat harvested corn
- The oldest corn snake to ever live reached 32 years and 3 months!
- Corn snakes are often confused with the venomous copperhead snake. Because of their mistaken identity, they are often killed.
The Key to the Healthy Growth of Your Corn Snake
Corn snakes do not show deep emotions like other mammals. This can make it tricky for you to know whether your snake is happy or not.
If your corn snake is growing to a healthy adult size, this is a good indication that you are looking after him properly. This article has helped us to see that the full length of an adult corn snake is between 61 and 182 cm (24 and 72 inches).
Your corn snake should grow to this size as long as you put him in the right size enclosure where the temperature and humidity levels are perfect for him. You must also give him his food on time for him to grow properly.
Did you find the information in this article helpful?
At Oddly Cute Pets, we always strive to provide you with the best guides about corn snakes and other reptiles. For more tips on how to look after other species of snakes and animals, check out our website.
Thanks for reading!