Corn Snake Overview
Ease of Care: Beginner
Size: 4 to 6ft (48- 72”)
Life Span: 20+ year in Captivity
Diet: Carnivore – Rodents
Background Temp: 23-28°C (73.4-82.4°F)
HOT Spot: 30-31°C (86-88°F)
Our top tips
After feeding let your snake digest its meal for
2 days before handling him.
If your snake refuses to feed, try offering a
smaller or larger food item.
A Corn Snake will normally refuse its food
when it is about to shed so wait until the
snake has fully shed before offering food.
A bad shed is normally a sign of something
wrong in the snake’s environment.
If your snake has a bad shed, try soaking it in
lukewarm water and removing any left-over
Make sure any Vivarium vents a facing
inward. This way, they can’t be pushed out
allowing the snake to escape
Basic Equipment needed
Housing: Wooden Vivarium
Heating: Basking Bulb / Deep heat projector (12 hours
Lighting: UV Tube (12 hours on/off cycle)
Substrate: Snake Bedding like hemp or Lignocel or a Arid mix, including moss for a moist hide to assist with shedding.
Water: Round Plastic Water Bowl
A relevant sized Terrainium or Vivarium offer the ideal housing solutions for a Corn Snake dependant on size/age.
Baby Corn Snake:
Terrainium, L90 x D38 x H20cm
(36 x 15 x 8”) (DVTE36*)
Standard Vivarium, L46 x D38 x
Juvenile/ Adult Corn Snake:
Standard Vivarium, L122 x D61 x
H61cm (48 x 24 x 24”)
Heating a Terrainium
Corn Snakes are an ectothermic (cold-blooded) animal and take all their heat requirements from external sources. Different heat sources are required depending on the type of housing selected. Heating a Terrarium
To replicate these conditions in a Terrainium, we recommend using a Heat Mat that is thermostatically controlled as a heat source. The heat mat should be inserted into the glass holder located in the base of the Terrainium to ensure that the Corn Snake does not come directly into contact with it. The heat mat should be used in conjunction with a heat mat thermostat. Heat mat thermostats are designed to regulate temperatures using a thermostat probe (also known as a sensor). Correct placement of the probe is critical to avoid overheating and injury to the snake. Insert the probe through the back of the Terrainium via the rubber grommet and tape directly onto the glass panel above the heat mat. The probe cable should be taped 2-5cm (1-2”) back from the actual probe sensor to allow for a correct temperature reading and avoid it becoming dislodged. Carefully place the substrate on top.Heating a Vivarium
Heating a Vivarium
To provide an appropriate heat source in a Vivarium, we recommend using the Ceramic Bulb or Arcadia Deep Heat Projector that is thermostatically controlled. The Ceramic bulb or Deep Heat Projector should be set up using a Pro Ceramic Lamp holder, which can be hung from the roof of the
vivarium, approximately 15-20cms from one side.
The Ceramic bulb or Deep Heat Projector should be used in conjunction with a Dimming Thermostat. Dimming thermostats are designed to regulate temperatures using a thermostat probe (also known as a sensor). Correct placement of the probe is critical to avoid overheating and injury to the snake. The probe should be positioned on the floor in the basking area and the probe cable should be taped to the floor 2-8cm (1-3”) back from the actual probe sensor. This will ensure an accurate temperature reading and prevent the probe becoming dislodged. Carefully place the substrate on top of the probe cable leaving just the probe above the surface. A Heater Guard should be used to surround your chosen heat source to prevent the animal coming into direct contact with the heat source
Temperature and Monitoring
As a rough guide, daytime temperatures should be between 23-28°C (73.4-82.4°F) with the hot end up to 30-31°C (86-88°F) going down to 23°C (73.4°F) at the cooler end of the enclosure. Night-time temperatures should be 23-30°C (73.4-86°F). Make sure temperatures are checked regularly with a 2x probed thermometers (one in both the hot and cooler ends) to ensure that there
are no extreme fluctuations.
Substrates and Decoration
Personal choice will dictate how you decorate your Terrainium or vivarium, but we recommend the following as a guide:
Substrates: A dry and non-dusty substrate Snake Bedding such as Lignocel
EarthMix Arid, that is easy to spot clean. Wood and branches for hiding under, crawling on and to help with shedding. Artificial or live plants for decoration and to provide darker areas for the Corn Snake to hide away. Hide to allow the snake to hide away if it chooses to and give it an area to feel safe and secure.
In captivity, a UV light is essential for a Corn Snake’shealth and wellbeing. We recommend using a UV tube which has been specifically designed for such species. The Arcadia ShadeDweller (RARTP8S) would be ideal. Ensure that the UV tube is fitted correctly and securely overhead and should overlap the basking bulb.
Diet & Water
Hatchlings through to Adults should be offered appropriately sized defrosted feeders. As a general rule, the feed size offered to your snake should be no larger in diameter than 1- 1½ times the width of the snake at its widest point. Fresh clean water must be accessible at all times. The water source should be positioned at the cool end of the environment to prevent the water from evaporating quickly and causing an unwanted humidity increase.
Corn snakes do not require additional supplementation. But the
occasional light sprinkling (few times yearly) with a multivitamin on the
chosen rodent can be beneficial.
Health & Hygiene
We recommend the following cleaning routine to keep your Corn Snake healthy and happy. On a daily basis the water should be changed and fresh water given, a general spot clean should also be carried out. We advise that you also check the vents on the enclosure are not blocked and allow air to pass through freely.
On a weekly basis the water bowl/dish should be disinfected and you should agitate the the substrate to prevent any bacterial build-up and remove any dirty bedding. You should also wipe down the glass and walls with a reptile safe disinfected.
On a monthly basis we recommend that a half/full substrate change and a wipe down of the inside of the enclosure and disinfect decor with a reptile safe disinfectant.
Always wash your hands, surfaces and equipment with warm water and disinfectant immediately before and after
handling or feeding your Corn Snake, their food, enclosure and any other equipment.
A Corn Snake will shed its skin every so often, depending on how big the snake is – and how quickly its growing. As a rule, a young snake will shed every 3 to 6 weeks, and an older snake every 2 to 6 months. The best way to tell that your Corn Snake is going to shed its skin is to look at its general colour and eyes. The Corn Snake will appear duller than normal and may have a washed out look. This will become more obvious as the Corn Snake nears shedding its skin. The snake’s eyes will appear clouded at first and will eventually turn a bluey/grey colour. Normal colouration will return once the Corn Snake has shed its skin.