Wild Encounters: Corn Snakes

Wild Encounters

(WJBF) – This week on Wild Encounters we’re going to learn about a snake that is very popular in the Palmetto State.

We’re here with Sean outside of the reptile nursery and we are talking corn snakes: babies and adults. Sean, tell us a little bit about it.

Sean Foley, Curator, Herpetology: “Okay, corn snakes are one of our more common snakes in South Carolina. It’s a really popular snake. They are beautiful. It’s pretty common, so people know what corn snakes are. They like to see them. We’ve got a nice exhibit for them and every year we do breed those snakes and this year we did get some babies. So, we have about five babies in our little nursery today and also have an adult to look at.”

What’s special about the corn snake?

Sean: “Well, they’re one of our prettier snakes. So, they are super colorful, especially some in certain parts of our state, like in Jasper County they’re called Okeetee corn snake. They are really bright orange and we have some of the prettiest ones that we’ll see. So, their color pattern is probably one of their characteristics.”

Why are they called a corn snake?

Sean: “It’s not because they eat corn. When we get one of them out you’ll see the underbelly of the snake. It kind of looks like a checkerboard. So, kind of like Indian corn. So, that’s where they get their name.”

Now, we’re seeing the baby versus the adult. How long does it take for the baby to get to full size?

Sean: “It’s going to take several years. So, in probably three to four years it will be an adult snake.”

What’s their feeding process like?

Sean: “They eat mice. So, an adult snake is an adult mouse. These little tiny guys are going to eat baby mice; so, they are rodent eaters. So, that’s one of the good reasons to have them around and good to have around barns and things like that, because they are going to feed on the mice and keep those down.”

Last question: for the little guys, how long are they going to be here at the nursery?

Sean: “They’ll be here six months to maybe a year before they are too big and we move them out into other places.”


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