Scientific Name: Elaphe guttata

Range: Throughout Florida and southeastern United States, from southern New Jersey to Louisiana

Habitat: Including wooded groves, rocky hills, meadows, barns, and abandoned houses

Diet: Small mammals, eggs, and birds

Life Span: Over 20 years

Description: Narrow-bodied snake; usually orange and yellow with large red splotches on back; white and black checkered belly; underside of tail generally has two dark stripes; spear-shaped pattern on head and neck. Adults range from 75-120 cm (2.5-4 ft.) in length. Considerable variation occurs in the coloration and patterns of individual snakes. Age, origin and genetics all play a role. Hatchlings lack much of the bright coloration found on adults.

Family Life: The breeding season of corn snakes is from March to May. The snakes are oviparous, depositing a clutch of 10 to 30 eggs. Eggs are laid in rotting stumps, piles of decaying vegetation, or other similar locations where there is sufficient heat and humidity to incubate them. The adult snakes do not care for the eggs. Once laid, the incubation period of the eggs is 60 to 65 days. Hatchlings are 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 cm) long and mature in 18 to 36 months.

Status in the Wild: Not threatened but is a Species of Special Concern in Florida

Nature Notes: Corn snakes are primarily diurnal. They readily climb trees and enter abandoned buildings in search of prey. However, they are very secretive and spend most of their time underground prowling through rodent burrows. They also often hide under loose bark and beneath logs, rocks, and other debris during the day.