The Albino Corn Snake enjoys widespread popularity as a medium-sized snake, offering a diverse range of morphs and colors. This attractive reptile can be readily acquired for approximately $40 USD.
An excellent choice for pet owners of all experience levels, corn snakes exhibit a gentle temperament and readily adapt to human interaction once they are tamed and acclimated to captivity.
Requiring no specific dietary demands, this snake’s nutrition is straightforward, and it can comfortably reside in a 40-gallon glass vivarium.
If you’re interested in discovering what’s involved in welcoming an Albino Corn Snake into your family, continue reading to delve into their habitat, dietary needs, health prerequisites, and behavior.
Are Albino Corn Snakes Good Pets?
Corn snakes are typically encountered in the southeastern and central areas of the United States, and their name is attributed to two distinct factors:
- Their frequent presence on corn and grain farms, where they assist in controlling rodent populations searching for food.
- The corn-like pattern exhibited on their ventral scales.
Originally, they were bred from a naturally occurring amelanistic corn snake captured in the wild in 1953, and today, they stand as the most prevalent morph among captive corn snakes.
Their distinctive red eyes and striking red-orange patterns, combined with their gentle disposition, make them a beloved choice among reptile enthusiasts, particularly for beginners.
As hatchlings, these medium-sized snakes measure less than 15 inches, gradually growing to a length of 36 to 60 inches as adults.
Adults can be comfortably accommodated in a 30-40 gallon vivarium, equipped with under-tank heating pads or tape for warmth. Unlike some beginner snakes, they do not require special lighting, simplifying their care.
Albino Corn Snakes should be individually housed and provided with frozen-thawed rodents every few days to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.
|Common Names||Amelanistic corn snake and Amel corn snake|
|Scientific Name||Pantherophis guttatus guttatus|
|Adult Size||Three to five feet and 250 to 800 grams|
|Diet||Small to large sized mice (dead and thawed)|
|Tank Size||Minimum 40 gallon vivarium|
|Humidity & Temperature||Humid hide box with wet moss|
Cool temperature of 70-77°F and warm temperature of 80-85°F
|Popular Alternatives||Kingsnake, Milk Snake|
Care & Husbandry Guide
In their natural habitat, wild corn snakes dwell in grasslands and forests across the United States. These snakes are primarily terrestrial but may occasionally venture onto low tree branches or plants.
They remain active throughout the year, although during colder winter months, many breeders observe reduced activity as they seek shelter in burrows, tree hollows, or man-made structures like barns and abandoned buildings.
Creating an enclosure that mimics their natural environment is straightforward and low-maintenance. Below, you’ll find details on size, temperature, and substrate requirements.
Housing An Albino Corn Snake
To house a hatchling Albino Corn Snake, you can begin with a plastic container approximately the size of a shoebox. Outfit the container with a miniature log, cork tube for hiding, and some plant life. As your snake matures, you’ll need to upgrade their enclosure size accordingly.
A 10-gallon glass enclosure is appropriate for a juvenile snake aged between six months to a year.
As your pet continues to grow, consider transitioning to a larger glass enclosure. While 20 gallons is the minimum size, it’s often recommended to opt for a 30-40 gallon enclosure, depending on the eventual size of your snake.
To provide your snake with a limited space for vertical movement, consider adding inclined branches or driftwood, along with artificial plants and rocks. This setup will stimulate exploration, and it’s essential to provide at least two hiding spots, with one designated for shedding purposes. Cork bark hide boxes are highly effective for this purpose!
Hiding Spots and Humidity
Position one of the hide boxes on the cooler side of the tank and the other on the warmer side. Adding moist moss to the shedding hide will create a more humid environment, facilitating the shedding process. Your snake will naturally gravitate towards this hide when it’s ready to shed. In addition to a water bowl, include a spacious, shallow bowl specifically for soaking (more details below).
Heating and Lighting
Albino corn snakes don’t require specific lighting. Natural light cycles suffice, but it’s crucial to avoid placing enclosures directly next to windows, as you can’t control the sun’s position or heat intensity.
Snakes prefer heating from below, making heating pads or heating tape the preferred choices (ensure you don’t heat the entire enclosure):
- Maintain a cool side within the 70-77°F range.
- Maintain a warmer side ranging from 80-85°F.
- Optionally, you can use a basking light, but it should be positioned outside the enclosure and should only heat a small circular area to approximately 90°F.
The most suitable substrate for your albino corn snake is aspen shavings. This substrate is gentle and non-abrasive, allowing for burrowing without the risk of inhaling the material. Alternatively, newspaper and paper towels work well as they are cost-effective and absorb excess moisture efficiently.
Avoid using sand or wood chips, as sand can be hazardous due to the risk of your pet inhaling fine particles, and wood chips may be too rough on their skin. Remember to replace any substrate areas that become wet or soiled and completely change all bedding approximately once a month.
|40 gallon glass vivarium|
|Heating||Heating pad/tape on bottom of enclosure|
|Best Substrate||Aspen bedding|
What Should You Feed An Albino Corn Snake?
Albino Corn Snakes in captivity typically consume frozen rodents rather than live ones. Feeding frozen rodents is strongly recommended due to the potential dangers associated with live rats or mice. Live prey may attempt to defend themselves, potentially causing scratches or bites to your snake.
Corn snakes are constrictors that employ a striking motion to capture their prey, followed by coiling around their target and applying constriction pressure. In their natural habitat, they consume a diverse range of live prey, including:
- Small Rodents
- Smaller Lizards
- Other Snakes
When offering frozen prey, ensure that the food fully thaws and reaches room temperature before feeding it to your snake. This practice enhances the prey’s taste, scent, texture, and overall makes for a more appealing meal. You can use tongs or dangle the prey by its tail to stimulate your corn snake’s striking response.
- Hatchlings can begin with live pinky mice to help them adapt to frozen-thawed prey. Offer them one every 5-7 days.
- Juveniles should be fed either one pinky mouse or one small adult mouse, depending on their individual size, once a week.
- Adult corn snakes can be provided with a medium to large-sized mouse every 7-10 days.
Keep in mind that each corn snake may have unique feeding needs based on their size, so it’s essential to tailor their diet accordingly.
Ensure your pet always has access to clean water. Opt for a shallow water bowl, as it is the ideal height for them and less prone to tipping over. Remember to replace the water daily or whenever it becomes dirty.
|Fruits||0% of diet|
|Insects||0% of diet|
|Meat||100% of diet – small/medium sized rodents|
Common Health Issues
The Albino Corn Snake is renowned for its robust health in captivity, as it generally doesn’t suffer from many health issues. Maintaining excellent husbandry practices, including a clean and adequately heated enclosure, is crucial in preventing potential ailments.
Neglecting enclosure cleanliness can foster the growth of undesirable bacteria or fungi, potentially leading to respiratory problems or mouth rot. Both conditions can cause discomfort for your snake and result in a loss of appetite, which may lead to further complications.
At times, snakes may refuse food for various reasons. While this alone isn’t necessarily concerning, it’s essential to monitor their eating habits. If your pet declines more than two consecutive meals, consult a veterinarian, as an underlying health issue or enclosure problem may be at play.
Another health concern to watch for is shedding complications, where some of the snake’s old skin remains attached. To prevent this, it’s advisable to provide a humid hide box and occasionally offer your snake a lukewarm bath to aid in the shedding process.
Lifespan of Corn Snakes as Pets: In the wild, where camouflage is essential for survival, corn snakes typically have an average lifespan of three to seven years. However, in captivity, where predation is absent, and coloration no longer impacts survival, Albino Corn Snakes can live an average of 15-20 years.
Tank Cleaning: Maintaining a clean enclosure is vital for your pet’s well-being.
Daily spot cleaning and the replacement of soaked or damp substrates are necessary. Perform a deep cleaning of the enclosure every 1-2 months, which includes completely replacing the substrate material to ensure proper husbandry.
Healthy snake excrement should appear as solid brown feces with a white urate cap, accompanied by a small amount of urine.
|Signs They Are Healthy||Sickness Symptoms|
|Clear eyes||Labored breathing|
|Tongue flicking||Refusing meals|
|Exploring, active||Hiding for extended periods of time|
|Slim, full body||Incomplete shedding|
Are Corn Snakes Social?
Corn snakes are solitary creatures and do not engage in much interaction outside of the breeding season when males compete for females. The Albino Corn Snake, known for its docile nature, primarily spends its time concealed in grasslands, emerging at night to hunt mice, birds, and other small prey.
Albino Corn Snakes employ body language to convey their feelings to other snakes and humans:
- Tongue flicking is a normal behavior and serves as a way for snakes to sense their surroundings.
- Tail shaking/rattling and hissing are defensive behaviors, signaling that the snake perceives something as a threat and is communicating “stay away.”
These snakes are naturally curious, often exploring their surroundings within their enclosures. Being nocturnal, they are most active during the night and often rest in one of their hide boxes during the day.
Handling your snake is beneficial for stimulation and fostering pet tameness, so avoid leaving your snake in its enclosure alone for extended periods.
Before and after handling, it’s essential to wash your hands to prevent the spread of disease between you and your pet.
When you first acquire your Albino Corn Snake, it’s crucial to allow them time to adjust before handling or significant interaction. They are entering a completely new environment with unfamiliar sights and smells, and they may have had minimal prior interaction with humans.
Give your snake approximately two weeks to acclimate to its enclosure. Once they are comfortable moving around and eating in their new habitat, you can start with short, slow-handling sessions.
Avoid handling snakes that are in the shedding process, as their eyes will have a bluish glaze, impairing their vision and increasing their likelihood of becoming startled.
When handling, approach your pet from the side rather than from above. Support their body weight without restricting the head or grabbing the tail. Albino corn snakes tend to be docile and enjoy exploration when handled.
Initiate with brief five-minute handling sessions, gradually increasing to 10 minutes, and eventually extending to 30-minute sessions. Do not handle your snake for more than an hour, and return them to their enclosure when finished. Aim for handling your corn snake at least 1 or 2 times a week, but avoid daily handling to maintain their tameness and familiarity with human interaction.
It’s important to note that Albino corn snakes are non-venomous, and with proper care and handling, they should not pose a biting risk. Hatchlings and juveniles may be more skittish and prone to biting initially, but their bites are generally not harmful.
Albino corn snakes belong to the amelanistic category, characterized by the absence of melanin in their pigmentation.
Contrary to being entirely white, this morph features white, pale red, or light orange pigmentation instead of the typical black markings seen on wild cornsnakes. Dorsally, you’ll find red saddles with orange bands in between, culminating in a white underbelly.
Owners are particularly fond of how corn snakes exhibit markings that extend onto their heads, creating a distinct triangular pattern on top, along with their striking red eyes. While the albino corn snake is a morph in its own right, there are several variations with unique markings, such as the creamsicle and reverse okeetee morphs.
Within the albino morph, various markings produce snakes with different appearances, including the okeetee, tessera, motley, and striped varieties.
Regrettably, corn snakes are sometimes mistaken for copperheads, which are venomous snakes found in North America. However, to a trained eye, there are easily discernible differences in coloration and markings between these two species.
Distinguishing between male and female Albino Corn Snakes isn’t visually apparent. The sole method for determining their sex is through a technique known as “popping,” which involves exposing the hemipenis or its absence through the cloaca. The presence of hemipenes indicates a male, while females will exhibit small red dots in this area.
How Big Do Corn Snakes Grow?
Hatchlings begin their journey at a diminutive size, measuring less than 15 inches in length! They undergo most of their growth during the first year of their lives, continuing to grow slowly until they reach approximately two years of age. By this point, your Albino Corn Snake should measure between three to five feet in length. The largest recorded corn snake stretched to an impressive 72 inches!
While some may experience growth beyond the age of two, it tends to be gradual and not very conspicuous.
Corn snakes are categorized as medium-sized, slender-bodied snakes. Their average weight can vary significantly, as there is no standardized breed norm. On average, aim for a weight ranging from 250 to 800 grams.
Choosing An Albino Corn Snake
Ensuring your snake’s health before bringing them into your home is of utmost importance. Verify that they exhibit activity, proper movement, and freedom from discomfort. Inquire with the breeder about their dietary habits and prior handling experiences. Observe for clear eyes and typical behaviors, such as tongue flicking.
The cost of your pet may vary depending on the source, but on average, you can anticipate a price range of approximately $40 to $60 USD.
Opting to purchase at a reptile expo is strongly advised because it allows you to engage in direct, face-to-face discussions with the breeder and personally inspect the snake before making your purchase.
Albino corn snakes, like many geckos, follow the fascinating oviparous path of reproduction – they lay eggs, and from those eggs, their offspring gradually develop and eventually hatch.
Once the eggs are laid, there’s no involvement from the mother or father snake in terms of parental care. Hatchlings may initially appear somewhat lackluster, but as their scales mature, their vibrant colors come to life.
To embark on successful breeding, it’s essential to prepare your snakes through a period of brumation. This involves a gradual decrease in the temperature within their vivarium, coupled with a fasting period from around November to February. Afterward, a gradual temperature increase and a feeding regimen of 2-3 times a week help build up their energy and strength.
Males undergo a shedding process, and approximately two weeks later, the females shed as well – this is the opportune time for mating.
Males are drawn to the scent of the females, so elevating the humidity in the enclosure can aid in attracting the two. During mating, the snakes intertwine for a captivating 20-30 minutes. Following each mating event, it’s advisable to return the male to its own enclosure.
Females carry their eggs for 4-6 weeks on average. While a typical clutch comprises around 12 eggs, astonishingly, some females have been known to lay as many as 32 eggs!
Egg incubation requires maintaining a steady temperature range of 78-80°F. Expect the eggs to hatch in approximately 6-8 weeks. It’s advisable to limit mating to once a year to ensure the well-being of your snakes and their hatchlings.
Care Guide Summary
|Why We Love Them||What Makes Them Difficult|
|Docile nature||Must be housed individually|
|Inquisitive and exploratory||Needs time to adjust to a new environment|
|Simple diet||Move a lot during handling|
Albino corn snakes are the perfect choice for both beginners and passionate reptile enthusiasts. Their inquisitive yet gentle nature makes them an excellent addition to any family willing to provide them with the love and care they deserve. If you’re seeking a snake that will joyfully slither all over you, then look no further – this snake is your ideal companion!
In the realm of similar breeds, you’ll encounter the Kingsnake, Milk Snake, and Garter Snake. Each of these captivating serpents comes with its distinct care requirements in captivity, including tank sizes and feeding preferences. It’s essential to compare these aspects to determine which one aligns best with your lifestyle and preferences.
Beyond their amiable disposition, Albino corn snakes are a captivating visual delight. Their stunning colors and distinctive markings serve as engaging conversation starters, guaranteed to turn heads and ignite excitement among your guests.
How rare is an albino corn snake?
Albino corn snakes are not considered extremely rare within the pet trade and herpetology community. They are one of the more common morphs of corn snakes available in captivity. Due to selective breeding, albino corn snakes have become more widely accessible and are often bred for their unique and visually striking appearance.
Are albino corn snakes friendly?
Albino corn snakes, like other corn snake morphs, are known for their generally friendly and docile nature. They are often recommended as good choices for both beginners and experienced snake owners due to their calm temperament. While individual temperament can vary, albino corn snakes are typically easy to handle and can become quite accustomed to human interaction with proper care and handling.
How much do albino corn snakes go for?
The price of albino corn snakes can vary depending on several factors, including their age, size, coloration, genetics, and where you purchase them. On average, you can expect to pay between $30 to $100 USD for an albino corn snake as a pet.
Rahul M Suresh
Visiting the Zoo can be an exciting and educational experience for all involved. As a guide, I have the privilege of helping students and visitors alike to appreciate these animals in their natural habitat as well as introducing them to the various aspects of zoo life. I provide detailed information about the individual animals and their habitats, giving visitors an opportunity to understand each one more fully and appreciate them in a more intimate way.