Skip to Content

Eastern Milk Snake Vs Corn Snake

Eastern Milk Snake Vs Corn Snake: A Comparison

When it comes to choosing a pet snake, the Eastern Milk Snake and the Corn Snake are two popular options that often come up in discussions. Both of these snakes are non-venomous and make great pets for beginner snake owners. However, there are some key differences between the two species that potential owners should be aware of before making a decision. In this article, we will compare the Eastern Milk Snake and the Corn Snake in terms of their appearance, behavior, care requirements, and more.

Appearance:

The Eastern Milk Snake and the Corn Snake are both species of colubrid snakes that belong to the same family, but they have distinct differences in their appearance. The Eastern Milk Snake typically has a light tan to gray background color with dark brown or reddish-brown blotches bordered by black. These blotches often form a distinct pattern that wraps around the snake’s body. In contrast, the Corn Snake usually has a brighter coloration, with a base color of orange or red and large, bold black-bordered blotches running down the length of its body.

According to a herpetologist, “The coloration of a snake can often be misleading in terms of its behavior or temperament. While Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes may have different appearances, it’s important to remember that each individual snake has its own unique personality.”

Behavior:

In terms of behavior, both the Eastern Milk Snake and the Corn Snake are generally docile and easy to handle. They are not known to be aggressive and are unlikely to bite unless they feel threatened or cornered. However, the Eastern Milk Snake is known to be more active and may be more prone to musking, a defense mechanism where the snake releases a foul-smelling liquid from its cloaca when it feels threatened. On the other hand, the Corn Snake is typically more laid-back and may be less likely to musk.

A snake behavior specialist notes, “While the Eastern Milk Snake and the Corn Snake have similar temperaments, it’s important to handle them gently and with care to build trust and prevent stress.”

Care Requirements:

Both the Eastern Milk Snake and the Corn Snake have similar care requirements in terms of temperature, humidity, and enclosure setup. They are both terrestrial snakes that require a secure enclosure with a substrate for burrowing, a water dish for drinking and soaking, and hiding spots for security. Additionally, they both require a heat source to maintain a temperature gradient in their enclosure, with a warm side ranging from 80-85°F and a cool side around 75°F.

According to a reptile veterinarian, “Proper husbandry is crucial for the health and well-being of snakes. It’s important to research the specific care requirements of the Eastern Milk Snake or Corn Snake before bringing one home as a pet.”

Interesting Trends:

1. The Eastern Milk Snake is often mistaken for the venomous Eastern Coral Snake due to their similar red, black, and yellow coloration. However, the Eastern Milk Snake can be distinguished by its blotchy pattern and round pupils, while the Eastern Coral Snake has bands of color and round pupils.

2. Corn Snakes are known for their docile nature and adaptability to captivity, making them a popular choice for beginner snake owners.

3. Both Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes are constrictors, meaning they subdue their prey by wrapping their bodies around them and squeezing until the prey suffocates.

4. Eastern Milk Snakes are known for their habit of climbing trees and shrubs in search of prey, while Corn Snakes are more likely to burrow underground to hunt for food.

5. Eastern Milk Snakes are found throughout the eastern United States, while Corn Snakes have a wider range that extends from New Jersey to Florida and west to Louisiana.

6. Both Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes are active primarily at night, making them nocturnal hunters that rely on their keen sense of smell to locate prey.

7. Eastern Milk Snakes are often kept as pets for their striking coloration and active behavior, while Corn Snakes are prized for their ease of care and beautiful morphs that come in a variety of colors and patterns.

Common Concerns and Answers:

1. Are Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes dangerous to humans?

Both Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes are non-venomous and pose no threat to humans. They are docile and unlikely to bite unless provoked.

2. What do Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes eat?

Both species of snakes primarily feed on rodents, such as mice and rats. They can also eat other small animals like birds, lizards, and insects.

3. How big do Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes get?

Eastern Milk Snakes can grow up to 3-4 feet in length, while Corn Snakes typically reach lengths of 3-5 feet. However, there can be variations in size depending on the individual snake.

4. Do Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes require any special handling?

Both Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes are relatively easy to handle and care for. It’s important to handle them gently and avoid sudden movements to prevent stress.

5. Are Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes prone to any health issues?

Like all reptiles, Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes can be susceptible to certain health issues, such as respiratory infections and parasites. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper husbandry can help prevent these issues.

6. Can Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes live together in the same enclosure?

It is not recommended to house different species of snakes together, as they may compete for resources and space. It’s best to keep Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes in separate enclosures.

7. How long do Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes live?

Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes have similar lifespans, with both species living an average of 15-20 years in captivity with proper care.

8. Do Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes require any special lighting in their enclosure?

Both species of snakes do not require UVB lighting, as they are primarily nocturnal and do not rely on sunlight for Vitamin D production. However, they do require a day/night cycle to regulate their internal clock.

9. Can Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes be kept together with other pets?

It’s important to supervise interactions between snakes and other pets, as some animals may perceive snakes as prey. Always ensure the safety of all animals when introducing them to each other.

10. Are Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes good snakes for beginners?

Both Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes are considered good snakes for beginner owners due to their docile nature, ease of care, and manageable size.

11. Do Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes shed their skin?

Yes, both species of snakes shed their skin periodically as they grow. It’s important to provide a humid hide for them to facilitate the shedding process.

12. How often should Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes be fed?

Snakes should be fed appropriately sized prey items every 7-10 days, depending on the size and age of the snake. It’s important not to overfeed or underfeed them to maintain their health.

13. Do Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes require any special substrate in their enclosure?

Both species of snakes benefit from a substrate that allows for burrowing and retains moisture, such as aspen shavings or coconut husk bedding.

14. Can Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes be housed together with other snakes of the same species?

While Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes can be housed together with conspecifics, it’s important to provide enough space and hiding spots to prevent aggression or competition.

15. What are some common misconceptions about Eastern Milk Snakes and Corn Snakes?

One common misconception is that all snakes are dangerous and aggressive, which is not true for non-venomous species like the Eastern Milk Snake and the Corn Snake. It’s important to educate oneself on the behavior and care requirements of each species before making assumptions.

In conclusion, both the Eastern Milk Snake and the Corn Snake are popular choices for beginner snake owners due to their docile nature, ease of care, and striking appearances. While they may have some differences in terms of coloration and behavior, both species make great pets for those looking to venture into the world of snake ownership. By understanding the unique characteristics and care requirements of each species, potential owners can make an informed decision on which snake is the right fit for them. Whether you choose an Eastern Milk Snake or a Corn Snake, you are sure to enjoy the companionship and beauty that these snakes bring into your life.