Corn snakes range from New Jersey to Florida and across to central Texas. They are most common in the south-eastern United States. These snakes live in woodland and meadows, and they are at also home around rural and suburban settlements.
Corn snakes hunt on the ground, up trees and among rocks. Like other members of the rat snake group, to which they belong, corn snake have a wide underside that helps them grip onto near vertical surfaces such bark, rubble and even walls. They are not venomous, but when threatened these rattlesnake mimics will waggle their tail and rise up as if to strike. Corn snakes kill their prey - mainly small rodents - by constriction.
Com snakes belong to the rat snake group. Like their relatives, they occur in several colour forms. There are four subspecies, which tend to be more colourful in the south of their range.
This species mates between March and May. Like other snakes, mating is more or less indiscriminate. The females lay eggs in rotting debris by midsummer. The heat produced by the rotting material incubates the eggs, helping them to hatch more quickly. The young corn snake eat lizards and tree frogs; adults prey on rodents, bats, and birds.
Distribution: Eastern United States, from New Jersey to Florida and west into Louisiana and parts of Kentucky.
Habitat: Woodland, rocky areas and meadows.
Food: Mice, rats, birds and bats.
Size: 1 - 1.8 m (3.25 - 6 ft).
Maturity: 3 years.
Breeding: Between 10 and 30 eggs laid in summer; incubation takes around 60 - 65 days.
Life span: 20 years.