The corn snake is endemic to southeastern United States, ranging from New Jersey then south into Florida (where there are most abundant), west into Louisiana and Kentucky. Being a common pet, rare observations may occur elsewhere.
Corn snakes thrive in wooded groves, meadowlands, barns, rocky hillsides, and abandoned buildings. They shelter in rock crevices and beneath logs in cold weather. They climb trees to search for prey or inside rodent burrows. Breeding occurs from March to May and these snakes are oviparous. Females lay clutches of 10-30 eggs in decaying vegetation or similar as long as there is sufficient humidity or heat. Young snakes feed on tree frogs and lizards but the adults find larger pray like bats, birds, mice, and rats.
Pantherophis guttatus is a slender, non-venomous snake with a length range of 24-72 inches. They often appear in colors of orange or brownish-yellow with large, red blotches bordered in black that spot the back. The belly or underside has a checkerboard pattern of black and white marks. The patterns and coloration vary widely dependent on age factors or region. Hatchling and juveniles are darker and lack brighter coloration in adults. They are extremely docile and reluctant to bite, this and their bright coloration and pattern has made them popular as household pets.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians