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Common Name:
Corn snake
Scientific Name:
Elaphe guttata guttata

The corn snake is also called the red rat snake and can be found throughout Florida, including the keys. The corn snake inhabits pine flatwoods, meadows, barnyards, and wooded lots, often near streams and lakes. It feeds primarily on small mammals, especially rats and mice. Corn snakes kill their prey by constriction (squeezing), and then they swallow their victim headfirst.

The adult averages from 2.5 to 4 feet (.61-1.22 m) in length and may even reach 6 feet (1.83 m). Corn snakes mate in the spring. Females lay and bury approximately 20 eggs in rotting vegetation. Nine weeks later the hatchlings emerge. It will take 18 to 36 months for them to reach sexual maturity, which is determined by size rather than age.

In Florida, corn snakes range in color from gray-brown to orange-brown, with dark-red or deep brown-red splotches along the length of the body. They have a dark V-shaped band between the eyes, with a second band above the snout, across the eyes and cheeks, and past the neck. The wide, flat underside of the snake is white, with a bold, uneven checkerboard pattern.

Native Ecosystem:
Pine Flatwoods and Dry Prairies

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