The Albino Corn Snake is a very popular medium-sized snake, available in a wide variety of morphs and colors, which is easily purchased for around $40 USD.
A great pet for any owner, no matter their experience. corn snakes have a docile nature and enjoy being handled once tamed and used to captivity.
With no special nutritional-requirements, this snake’s diet is as simple as it gets and can live in a 40 gallon glass vivarium.
If you want to learn what it takes to welcome an albino corn snake into your family then keep reading to learn more about their habitat, feeding, health requirements and behavior.
Are Albino Corn Snakes Good Pets?
Corn snakes are commonly found across the southeast and central regions of the United States. They get their name from:
- Their prevalence on corn/grain farms, where they help to catch rodents looking for food
- The corn-like pattern on their underbellies
Initially bred from a naturally amelanistic corn snake from the wild in 1953, they are now the most common morph in captive corn snakes.
Characteristic red eyes, and striking red-orange patterns, along with their docile nature make them a favorite among reptile owners; especially beginners.
This medium-sized snake grows slowly from around less than 15 inches as a hatchling to between 36 to 60 inches as an adult.
Adults can safely be kept in a 30-40 gallon vivarium with heating pads (or tape) to heat from under the tank and unlike some beginner snakes, don’t require any special lighting; this makes them easy to care for!
Albino Corn Snakes should be housed individually and fed frozen-thawed rodents every few days to give them all the necessary nutrients.
|Common Names||Amelanistic corn snake and Amel corn snake|
|Scientific Name||Pantherophis guttatus guttatus|
|Adult Size||Three to five feet and 250 to 800 grams|
|Diet||Small to large sized mice (dead and thawed)|
|Tank Size||Minimum 40 gallon vivarium|
|Humidity & Temperature||Humid hide box with wet moss
Cool temperature of 70-77°F and warm temperature of 80-85°F
|Popular Alternatives||Kingsnake, Milk Snake|
Care & Husbandry Guide
Wild corn snakes inhabit grasslands and forests in the United States. They are terrestrial (not arboreal), however, sometimes they will travel onto low tree branches or plants.
Active year-round, many breeders will notice they are less active during the colder winter months and will hide in burrows, tree holes, and even man-made structures such as barns and abandoned buildings.
Setting up an enclosure that replicates their natural environment is simple and easy to maintain. Size, temperature and substrate requirements are all outlined below.
Housing An Albino Corn Snake
For a hatchling albino corn snake, you can start off with a plastic shoe box sized container. Furnish the container with a small log, cork tube for hiding, and some fauna. As your snake grows, their tank will need to increase in size too.
A 10-gallon glass enclosure is suitable for a juvenile aged between six months to a year.
As your pet grows, you can get a larger glass enclosure. 20 gallons is the minimum size, but depending on how big your snake gets, usually 30 – 40 gallons is ideal.
Seal the vivarium with a screen top for optimal ventilation and make sure there are no cracks because finding an escaped snake is not easy!
To give your snake a small area for vertical climbing you can include some slanted branches or driftwood as well as other fake fauna and rocks. This will help to encourage exploration and they should have at least two hide boxes and one specifically for shedding. Cork bark hide boxes work great!
Keep one of the hide boxes on the cooler side of the tank and the other on the warmer side. Placing moist moss in the shedding hide will create a more humid environment and make shedding easier. Your snake will go into this hide box when its ready to shed.
Along with a water bowl, provide a large, shallow bowl specifically for soaking (more on this below).
Heating and Lighting
There are no specific lighting requirements for an albino corn snake. Natural light patterns are perfectly suitable, but enclosures should never be directly next to a window as you cannot control the sun’s position or heat intensity.
Snakes like to get heat from their underside so the best form of heating is either a heating pad or heating tape (make sure you do not heat the entire enclosure):
- There should be a cool side in the 70-77°F range
- There should be a warmer side ranging from 80-85°F
- (Optional) a basking light can be added but the bulb should not be inside the enclosure and should only heat a small circular area to around 90°F
The most suitable substrate for your albino corn snake is aspen shavings. This substrate is non-abrasive and soft, allowing them to burrow without the worry of inhaling the material. Newspaper and paper towels are also helpful because they are inexpensive and absorb any additional moisture well.
Avoid sand or wood chips. Sand can be dangerous as the small particles are easy for your pet to inhale and wood chips may be too rough on their skin.
You should replace any areas of the substrate that are wet or has feces on it and change all the bedding about once a month.
|Tank Type||40 gallon glass vivarium|
|Heating||Heating pad/tape on bottom of enclosure|
|Best Substrate||Aspen bedding|
What Should You Feed An Albino Corn Snake?
Captive Albino Corn Snakes usually eat rodents that are frozen, not live. It is recommended to feed frozen rodents because it can be dangerous for your snake if they are fed live rats or mice. Live prey will try to defend themselves and can end up inflicting scratches or bites on your snake.
For most, mice seem to be a better size-fit since the prey you feeed should only be slightly wider than the width of your snakes’ body.
Corn snakes are constrictors and will strike at their prey before wrapping their body and squeezing tightly. In the wild, they will eat a variety of live prey including:
When feeding frozen prey, allow for the food to thaw and warm to room temperature before you feed it. This will give the prey a better taste, smell, feel, and overall create a more favorable meal. You can use tongs or dangle the prey by its tail to encourage your corn snake to strike.
Be careful when using your hands to feed prey; they are very quick and can cause harm if they bite your finger or hand instead of the prey.
- Hatchlings can be fed live pinky mice as they will need to adjust to frozen-thawed. They can get one every 5-7 days
- Juveniles can be fed one pinky mouse or one small adult mouse (depending on the individual’s size) once a week
- Adult corn snakes can be fed a medium to large sized mouse every 7-10 days
Individual corn snakes have different feeding requirements which are based on their size, so make sure to adjust accordingly to their needs.
Clean water should always be available for your pet. A shallow water bowl is ideal since it’s not too high for them and cannot be easily tipped over. Change water daily or whenever dirty.
|Fruits||0% of diet|
|Insects||0% of diet|
|Meat||100% of diet – small/medium sized rodents|
Common Health Issues
The Albino Corn Snake is known for being hardy and doesn’t have many health issues in captivity. Good husbandry by keeping a clean, properly heated enclosure in crucial to preventing possible illnesses.
A dirty enclosure can lead to unwanted bacteria or fungus to fester and may cause respiratory illnesses or mouth rot. Both issues can cause your snake to be in pain as well as refuse meals which can lead to further complications.
Sometimes snakes will refuse food for various reasons. This is not necessarily a problem on its own, but you should monitor how many meals your pet eats and how many are refused. If more than two meals are refused in a row consult a veterinarian as there may be an underlying health issue or a problem with the enclosure.
Another health problem to watch out for is any shedding complication. This can occur when parts of your snake’s shed remain on their body. Keeping a humid hide box is recommended to avoid this problem, and you can give your snake a lukewarm bath to aid in the process.
How Long Do Corn Snakes Live As Pets?
While this morph is present in the wild, the Albino Corn Snake’s vibrant coloring gives them a disadvantage, as they cannot camouflage well into their natural habitat.
Wild corn snakes have an average lifespan of three to seven years in the wild. In captivity, since there is no incidence of predation, and coloration is no longer a factor in survival, the average lifespan for an albino corn snake is 15-20 years.
Keeping a clean enclosure is essential to help keep your pet healthy.
Make sure to spot clean daily and change any soaked or wet substrate. Deep clean the enclosure once every 1-2 months, which includes entirely replacing the substrate material, to promote correct husbandry.
Your snake’s excrement should consist of solid brown feces with a white urate cap and a small amount of urine.
Albino corn snakes do not require any extra misting into their enclosure, but they should have a moist, humid hide available in their home.
|Signs They Are Healthy||Sickness Symptoms|
|Clear eyes||Labored breathing|
|Tongue flicking||Refusing meals|
|Exploring, active||Hiding for extended periods of time|
|Slim, full body||Incomplete shedding|
Are Corn Snakes Friendly?
They are solitary pets and do not interact much outside of breeding season when males compete for females. The Albino Corn Snake is docile and spends most of his time hiding in the grassland waiting for nightfall when he emerges to catch mice, birds and other small prey.
Albino Corn Snakes use body language to communicate how they are feeling to other snakes and to humans:
- Tongue flicking is a normal behavior which is simply your snakes way of sensing its surroundings
- Tail shaking/rattling and hissing are defensive behaviors which mean that the snake is interpreting something as a threat and saying, “stay away”
They are a naturally inquisitive snake so it is common to observe them exploring their surroundings in their enclosure. Being nocturnal, they will be most active at night time and may spend most of the daytime in one of their hide boxes.
Handling is good for stimulation as well as promoting pet tameness, so make sure not to leave your snake in its enclosure alone for extended periods.
You should wash your hands before, as well as after, handling because this prevents the spread of disease from you to your pet and vice versa.
When you first get your albino corn snake, it is important to let them adjust before any handling or major interaction. Your snake will be in a completely new environment with all new sights and smells and may have never interacted with humans.
Allow your snake to adjust to its enclosure for about two weeks, and when they are comfortable moving around and eating in their new home, you can initiate small, slow increments of handling.
Snakes in shed will have a blue-ish glaze over their eyes, and you should avoid handling while in this state. They are shedding the skin over their eyes and their vision is hindered; thus increasing the chance of your snake being startled.
To start handing approach your pet from the side, not from above, and support its body weight without restricting the head or grabbing the tail. Albino corn snakes are docile and love to explore when being handled.
Start with short five minute handling sessions, then move to 10 minutes, and finally 30 minute sessions. Snakes should not be handled for more than an hour and should be placed back in their enclosure when done. Handle your corn snake at least 1 or 2 times a week and no more than once daily – this should help keep your snake tame and familiar with human interaction.
Albino corn snakes are not venomous. Your albino corn snake should not bite if being raised and handled correctly. Hatchlings and juveniles are jumpier and easily agitated and may bite at first, but will not cause serious damage.
Albino corn snakes are amelanistic snakes meaning they lack melanin in their pigmentation.
Rather than being all white, this morph has white, pale red, or pale orange pigmenting in place of the traditional black markings on wild corn snakes. Red saddles line the dorsal side of the albino corn snake with orange banding in between, finished off with a white underbelly.
Owners love how corn snakes have markings which extend onto their head (creating a triangular image directly on top) and their red eyes! While the albino corn snake is a morph itself, there are a few varieties with differential markings like the creamsicle and reverse okeetee morph.
Within the albino morph, there are a variety of markings which produce different looking snakes including the okeetee, tessera, motley, and striped varieties.
Unfortunately, corn snakes are often mistaken for copperheads (a venomous snake found in North America). To a trained eye, there is an easily noticeable difference in coloration and markings between the two species.
There is no visible sign to tell a male from a female. The only way to sex Albino Corn Snakes is popping them which involves exposing the hemipenis, or lack thereof, out the cloaca. The presence of hemipenes means your snake is male, and females will have small red dots in place.
How Big Do Corn Snakes Get?
Hatchlings start off tiny, measuring less than 15 inches long! They do most of their growing in the first year of their life but continue to grow slowly until around two years old. After two years, your Albino Corn Snake should measurement from three to five feet in length. The largest corn snake recorded was 72 inches long!
Some may grow after two years of age, but growth is slow and steady and not very noticeable.
Corn snakes are medium-sized, slim-bodied snakes. The average weight varies quite a bit and there is no breed standard. So, on average, aim for between 250 to 800 grams.
Choosing An Albino Corn Snake
It is important to make sure your snake is healthy before bringing them home. Check that they are active, moving properly, and free of discomfort. Ask the breeder what they feed them, and if they have been handled before. Look for clear eyes and normal behaviors such as tongue flicking.
Depending on where you purchase your pet from the price can vary, but, you can expect the average price to be around $40-$60 USD.
The different colorations and markings for albino corn snake morphs can change the buying price. Factors such as sex, size and age may also play a role in lower or higher prices.
Buying at a reptile-expo is highly recommended as you can talk to the breeder face-to-face and you can see the snake before you purchase.
Albino corn snakes are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs in which the offspring develops and then later hatches from; this is like many Geckos.
After laying eggs, there is no parental care aided by the father or mother snake. Hatchlings may appear duller when they first hatch, but as their scales develop, their colors brighten.
Breeding is best done after a period of brumation.
This is achieved by decreasing the temperature of their vivarium gradually and stopping feeding your snakes from about November to February. Then, you can gradually increase the temperature and start feeding 2-3 times a week to build up energy and strength. Males will shed and approximately 2 weeks later the female will shed – this is the time for mating.
Males respond to pheromones from the female so increasing the humidity of the enclosure can help attract the two. Mating snakes will intertwine for 20-30 minutes. Return the male to its enclosure after each mating event.
Females are gravid for 4-6 weeks. On average, a female will lay 12 eggs in a clutch but as many as 32 eggs have been recorded!
Incubate the eggs at a temperature of 78-80°F. Eggs will take around 6-8 weeks to hatch. Mating is recommended only once a year to ensure the health of your snakes and the hatchlings.
Care Guide Summary
|Why We Love Them||What Makes Them Difficult|
|Docile nature||Must be housed individually|
|Inquisitive and exploratory||Needs time to adjust to a new environment|
|Simple diet||Move a lot during handling|
Albino corn snakes are perfect for beginners and reptile enthusiasts. Their exploratory yet calm nature makes them ideal for any family who is ready to give them the love and care they deserve. If you want a snake that will slither all over you, then this snake is for you!
Other similar breeds include the Kingsnake, Milk Snake, and Garter Snake. Each have different care requirements when in captivity (e.g. tank sizes, feeding requirements, etc.) so make sure to compare everything to know which is best suited for your lifestyle.
Not only will the albino corn snake love to be part of your family, it’s striking colors and markings make it an exciting talking point for guests! Their unique coloration is sure to turn many heads.
Let us know if you have one below.