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This site was created by students in the herpetology class at Towson University. Site last updated: 05/21/07.
Acknowledgements: Herb Harris - Range Maps; Mark Tegges - Photography; Dan Lapascha & Gigi Forester - TU Herpetology Logo
The corn snake is slender, smooth-scaled, and ranges from 24 and 48 inches in length. Dorsal coloration ranges from red to orange to brown, and the length of the dorsum is lined with reddish-brown blotches that are outlined in black. The venter has a checkerboard pattern of white and black patches. Two stripes meet on the head to form a spear-shaped blotch pointing anteriorly. The anal plate is divided, and there are 27 to 29 scale rows at mid-body.
Corn snakes are mostly nocturnal and spend their days under rocks or fallen tree bark, or in animal burrows. They inhabit upland forests, rocky hillsides, meadows, and abandoned buildings. Adult corn snakes eat small mammals, birds, and bird eggs, while young corn snakes mostly feed on lizards, frogs, small snakes.
Mating occurs in spring, and females lay a clutch of 10 to 30 eggs between May and July. Little is known about the reproductive behaviors of corn snakes. Eggs are laid in rotting stumps, rotting vegetation, or soil chambers. Hatchlings emerge about 60 to 70 days later and are 11 to 15 inches in length. Sexual maturity is reached in 1.5 – 3 years, when the females are approximately 27 inches long and males are slightly shorter.
Distribution in Maryland
Range map adapted from Harris, 1975.