Skip to Content

Corn Snake Vs Garter Snake

Corn snakes and garter snakes are two popular choices among reptile enthusiasts as pet snakes. Both species are non-venomous and relatively easy to care for, making them ideal for beginner snake owners. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are several key differences between the two types of snakes. In this article, we will explore the differences between corn snakes and garter snakes, as well as discuss some interesting trends related to the topic.

Corn snakes, also known as red rat snakes, are native to North America and are named for their resemblance to the kernels of corn. They are typically orange or red in color with distinctive black markings, making them a favorite among snake owners for their vibrant appearance. Garter snakes, on the other hand, are smaller in size and have a more subdued coloration, with a striped pattern running along their bodies.

One interesting trend related to corn snakes and garter snakes is the rise in popularity of breeding morphs. Breeders have been creating unique color and pattern variations in both corn snakes and garter snakes through selective breeding, resulting in a wide range of morphs available in the market today. This trend has attracted many collectors and enthusiasts who are interested in owning rare and exotic snake morphs.

Another trend in the snake-keeping community is the emphasis on responsible ownership and conservation. As more people become interested in keeping snakes as pets, there is a growing awareness of the importance of proper care and husbandry practices to ensure the health and well-being of the animals. This trend is evident in the increasing availability of educational resources and workshops aimed at educating snake owners about best practices for caring for their pets.

In terms of temperament, corn snakes and garter snakes have different personalities. Corn snakes are known for their docile nature and are generally easy to handle, making them a great choice for beginner snake owners. Garter snakes, on the other hand, can be more skittish and prone to musk when threatened, although they can become tame with regular handling.

One professional in the field of herpetology comments on the differences in temperament between corn snakes and garter snakes, stating, “Corn snakes are typically more laid-back and easygoing compared to garter snakes, which can be more high-strung and defensive. It’s important for owners to be patient and consistent in handling their garter snakes to help them become more comfortable with human interaction.”

In terms of diet, both corn snakes and garter snakes are carnivorous and feed primarily on small rodents, insects, and other small prey. However, corn snakes tend to have a more voracious appetite compared to garter snakes, which may go on hunger strikes or be more selective in their food choices. It is important for snake owners to provide a varied diet and monitor their snakes’ feeding habits to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition.

One professional in the field of snake nutrition emphasizes the importance of providing a balanced diet for corn snakes and garter snakes, stating, “It’s crucial to offer a variety of prey items to ensure that your snake is getting all the essential nutrients they need. Feeding frozen-thawed prey is recommended to reduce the risk of parasites and other health issues.”

In terms of size and lifespan, corn snakes tend to be larger and longer-lived compared to garter snakes. Corn snakes can reach lengths of up to five to six feet and live for 15-20 years in captivity, while garter snakes typically grow to around two to three feet and have a lifespan of 10-15 years. This difference in size and lifespan should be taken into consideration when choosing a snake as a pet.

One professional in the field of snake husbandry discusses the importance of providing adequate space and enrichment for corn snakes and garter snakes, stating, “Corn snakes require a larger enclosure with plenty of hiding spots and climbing opportunities, while garter snakes can thrive in a smaller setup with ample substrate for burrowing. It’s important to research the specific needs of each species to ensure they are provided with a suitable environment.”

In terms of care requirements, both corn snakes and garter snakes have similar needs in terms of temperature, humidity, and lighting. Corn snakes require a warm basking spot of around 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit and a cooler area of around 75 degrees, while garter snakes prefer slightly cooler temperatures of around 75-80 degrees. Both species also require a humidity level of 50-60% and access to UVB lighting to help with calcium absorption.

One professional in the field of reptile husbandry emphasizes the importance of monitoring temperature and humidity levels for corn snakes and garter snakes, stating, “Maintaining the proper temperature and humidity levels in your snake’s enclosure is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Investing in a quality thermostat and hygrometer is essential for providing a comfortable environment for your pet snake.”

Common concerns and answers related to corn snakes and garter snakes:

1. Are corn snakes and garter snakes good pets for beginners?

– Both corn snakes and garter snakes are considered good pets for beginner snake owners due to their docile nature and relatively easy care requirements.

2. Do corn snakes and garter snakes require special handling?

– Corn snakes are generally easy to handle and can become tame with regular interaction, while garter snakes may be more skittish and defensive but can also be handled with care.

3. What do corn snakes and garter snakes eat?

– Both corn snakes and garter snakes are carnivorous and feed primarily on small rodents, insects, and other small prey.

4. How long do corn snakes and garter snakes live?

– Corn snakes can live for 15-20 years in captivity, while garter snakes have a lifespan of 10-15 years.

5. Do corn snakes and garter snakes require special lighting?

– Both corn snakes and garter snakes benefit from access to UVB lighting to help with calcium absorption, but natural sunlight is not necessary for their health.

6. Are corn snakes and garter snakes prone to health issues?

– Like all reptiles, corn snakes and garter snakes are susceptible to health issues such as respiratory infections and parasites, so regular veterinary check-ups are recommended.

7. Can corn snakes and garter snakes be housed together?

– It is not recommended to house corn snakes and garter snakes together, as they may compete for resources and potentially injure each other.

In summary, corn snakes and garter snakes are both popular choices among snake enthusiasts for their unique characteristics and relatively easy care requirements. While corn snakes are known for their vibrant coloration and docile nature, garter snakes are smaller in size and have a more subdued appearance. Both species have specific care needs that should be taken into consideration when choosing a snake as a pet, including temperature, humidity, diet, and handling requirements. By providing a suitable environment and proper care, both corn snakes and garter snakes can thrive in captivity and make rewarding pets for snake enthusiasts of all levels.