Albino Corn Snakes: A Guide with Pictures and Facts

Recently, after reading up on some snake breeds, I’ve become interested in the Albino corn snake.  I wanted to share that information with you. Here is some of the information I found too cool not to share.

So what is so neat about the Albino corn snake? This morph is interesting because of its white and red scales, bright red eyes, and corn kernel-patterned stomachs. Not only are these creatures eye-catching and exotic looking, but they also make great companions because of their life-expectancy, calm personalities, and easy-to-care-for nature. 

This may not be something you’d expect to hear when learning about a snake. This morph is absolutely amazing, especially when considering what would make a great pet.┬áTo those who may not know or are looking to know more, look no further.

It’s All in the Skin Pigment

Albino corn snakes are a type of melanistic corn snakes or in other words, a corn snake that has no melanin in its body. The melanin is what gives people and animals black pigment in their bodies.

Because this morph does not have the dark pigment that is usually present in a snake, it appears to have red and white scales. Some snakes in this morph have shades of orange and yellow as well.

What is a morph anyway? A morph is a type of snake within a breed that looks different than the original or traditional snake. This could be a difference in color or pattern.

Most Albino corn snakes have alternating red and orange saddle markings on their back surrounded by a thick white border. There can be some yellow colors near the head and neck area of the snake as well. The stomach of the snake is mostly white with some red pigments here or there.

There are also Albino Striped corn snakes. These morphs are still melanistic but are separated from the traditional Albino corn snake because of the pattern on their backs.

Instead of the usual saddle markings found on most snakes, these guys have an orange body with two darker red striped running across the length of their body.

One of the neatest things about a melanistic snake is the red eyes. No dark pigment means no black eyes. These eyes can shine like rubies. Depending on the individual snake, it can be a dull dark red to fiery red eyes.

There are a few of these Albino snakes that have lighter colored, almost pink looking eyes, some more of an orange tone. This sure does make the snake look even more exotic.

COOL FACT: Corn snakes have terrible eyesight so they hunt using thermal pits in their mouths which act as thermal sensors. The heat pits tell them which way to go on their hunt. This is why corn snakes can be nocturnal, they don’t need to see to catch their prey. 

Most people might initially believe that the Albino corn snake is all-white, but this is not the case. Albino-ism in snakes just means an absence of black pigment. However, there are other amelanistic corn snake morphs that have more white on their bodies such as the Blizzard corn snake and Snow Stripe corn snake.

Most say that this difference in skin color is just an adaption taken over the centuries to blend in with a natural environment. Albino corn snakes can be found in the wild but are more frequently bred in captivity Albino corn snakes can be used to breed other sorts of morphs that are amelanistic.

Albino Corn Snakes Scales

The scales themselves are very interesting. On the body of an Albino corn snake, there are keeled scales. This means that the scales do not lay flat. The middle of the scale has a bend or a ridge. Though it is not certain what the purpose of this keeling is, there are a few guesses:

  • Some think that the keeling of snake scales is to help the creature to can more easily dig into dirt or climb trees. The ridges provide something that grips the snake to its environment.
  • Some think keeling was developed as an adaption over time because it helps with camouflage. Keeling makes a snakes skin look not shiny because it reflects light at different angles. This feature can help reptiles blend into the background.

Either way, this adaption results in a different appearance than in other breeds of snakes. The Albino corn snake and other corn snake morphs have a duller, not shiny look to their skin.

They Play Well with Others

Another amazing thing about Albino corn snakes is that they are consistently great pets. Corn snakes as a whole don’t mind being held and are very mildly mannered. Albino’s are no different. They will lovingly drape around the arms of friendly owners.

Albino corn snakes like to play. They are known to dig in the dirt and splash around in the water. They are nocturnal so they spend their most active hours during the late afternoon, and evening. However, they sometimes will adapt to being awake at different hours, it just depends on the lighting within their enclosures.

It may sound weird to hear that a snake likes to climb, but it’s true. The keeled scales on its body makes it even easier for the Albino corn snake to get to a high tree branch. Baby snakes usually cannot climb until they are at least 4 months old. After practice, however, trees make a nice, safe, and cool place for a snake to hang.

Just another reason this morph is cool is that Albino corn snakes, unlike a lot of pet snake breeds out there, actually play well with other snakes.

By this, I mean they won’t eat the other.

This could mean that you can have two corn snakes in one large enclosure. Just as long as there is room enough for both of them, then there usually is no problem. A lot of snakes that are in the mid-sized range will prey on others so this surely is a neat fact!

Life in the Wild

Albino corn snakes are not often found out in nature because they are a hot commodity in the pet snake business. However, like most corn snakes, Albino’s like to live in drier areas.

Most corn snakes are natively found near farms – like where corn is grown – or wooded areas. They were originally found in the south-east regions of the United States.

They like to burrow during the day to escape the heat of the hot sun. They also will climb trees and dangle from branches in the wild. Albino snakes do have a harder time blending in with their surroundings in this case because of their brightly colored scales. 

FUN FACT: Corn snakes are not only named because of where they live but also because the scale pattern on their bellies looks like kernels.

In the wild, corn snakes will eat bugs, birds, and small mammals. It is usually the young hatchlings that will eat smaller animals or bugs. These corn snakes help farmers out by eating rodents that are known to destroy crops and carry diseases. 

Corn snakes can also be called “red rat snakes” because of their color and diet. 

These creatures can be anywhere from 3-5 feet in length. They have a bigger girth than kingsnake or the garter snake even though they are typically the same length.

In the wild, corn snakes tend not to live nearly as long as they would in captivity. The average life-span is only 7 to 8 years if they live in the wild. This is because they are subject to be preyed on themselves by larger snakes or mammals. Especially Albino corn snakes in the wild are subject to being prey because they are not as easily camouflaged.

Because of their resemblance to the dangerous copperhead snake, sometimes they are at risk as well. Humans often mistakingly kill corn snakes thinking they are the venomous copperhead snake. The morph of Albino corn snakes is usually not at as high of risk because they do not look like the “wild” corn snake which closely resembles the copperhead snake.

Life in Captivity

Corn snakes in captivity reach the same average length of wild corn snake of 3 – 5 feet long. However, they can live over three times as long when in captivity. Instead of a 7 or 8-year life, when kept in enclosures, most Albino Corn Snakes live to be 24 years old. Sometimes, these snakes can live to be even older. 

Even though this may seem to be a very long commitment for an owner to keep a pet, you must remember that snakes don’t require the same demand or need for attention like dogs or cats. 

Snakes are usually very fine with being left alone. As long as their enclosure is in clean condition and they have water and a mouse to eat every week or so, snakes can be independent. They will entertain themselves and will be very mellow.

Albino corn snakes are known to be very docile creatures. They will let you pet them, they will splash around in their water dish, and simply wait around for their food to digest. Whatever they feel like really. They will be by your side for years as a faithful pet that is not demanding.

In captivity, Albino corn snakes should be fed a mouse or a small rat once every week. The mouse or rat fed should be no bigger than the widest part of the snake’s body. The mouse should also be pre-killed. This is done as a precaution to protect the snake.

A live mouse might put up a fight, scratch and attack your snake. This could be fatal in some cases. The easiest way to prevent is just to have a thawed, pre-killed mouse ready to go to feed your snake.

Though corn snakes were originally found in regions like Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, they have been so popular because of their relaxed nature and beautiful colors, they are now found everywhere in homes of reptile lovers across the world.

Safe as a Snake Can Be

A reason, other than the calm nature and good looks of the Albino corn snake, that this reptile is so popular as a pet is because of its safety. There are a lot of folks out there that are worried about snakes potentially harming them or loved ones. They use this as a reason to not get a pet snake. Well, no need to fear, corn snakes are practically harmless.

Albino corn snakes, as well as other morphs of corn snakes, are non-venomous. This means that they don’t have a way to poison you or a loved one. Now, even if they do bite, it would be more like a nip, maybe they’d break the skin and you’d need a band-aid.

Corn snakes are constricting snakes. They trap their prey and wrap their bodies around the prey and suffocate it. If a corn snake was trying to hurt you, it would try to squeeze you very tightly and not let go.

Don’t let this scare you enough to not hold one though. Like mentioned before, this is a very tame breed. They don’t mind being held. If you feel your snake wrapping a bit too tightly, or your scared, it is not too hard to unwind them gently and put them back in their enclosure. The only reason a corn snake would lash out is if it felt it was in danger.

As hatchlings, otherwise known as baby snakes, Albino’s might be a little bit prone to biting or nipping at fingers. This is because they are frightened and not used to humans. They will calm down and ease over time. As they age, they will grow closer and more accustomed with their owners.

It’s best to get acquainted with your pet Albino corn snake before letting little ones or nervous friends handle it. This will ensure the safety of everyone, snake included.

Reproduction of the Albino Corn Snake

Most Albino corn snakes are bred in captivity by special breeders. The typical mating season for corn snakes occurs from March until May. A female can lay an egg clutch size of 10 – 30 eggs.

The female will lay her egg in a warm, earthy spot. Somewhere that is secluded and out of reach of most predators. Common spots are rotting stumps, inside trees, and rotting vegetation. There needs to be a bit of humidity as well. The female will then leave her eggs there and will not return. 

The eggs hatch and the corn snakes are left to fend for themselves. These new hatchlings, when healthy, will be 9 – 14 inches in length. These babies will be full grown in about 18 – 30 months.

Corn snakes can start reproducing at as young as 18 months old, given that their bodies have developed enough. 

In captivity, there are ways to make sure a snake can lay eggs consistently. Corn snakes are known as one of the easiest snakes to breed. Albino corn snakes can be bred with the same morph or a different one. Amateur snake breeders can click here to find more specifics.

It is hard to know whether an Albino corn snake is male or female without probing unless they are babies. Probing is done only to determine gender and must be done gently. This article details the specifics of how to probe. It is best done by a professional. This is a situation where your snake might feel in danger and lash out.

What it’s Worth

If after all my rambling, you’re not convinced that you need an Albino corn snake, I hope that this will do the trick. You can find one of these snakes just for you for about $50. The bigger the individual, the higher the price usually.

However, when you compare this to the price you can spend on a dog, that’s practically nothing. Especially when you compare the price of a mouse every week to the amount you’d pay for pounds and pounds of dog food who eat every day.

Albino corn snakes are more than the typical “wild” corn snake because it’s more than typical. It’s definitely not something you stumble across in your backyard every day. These guys are bred to be the most beautiful, exotic creatures. They will be more money than the average corn snake. The wild corn snake can be bought for around $12.

Be careful when you are picking out a snake. The safest route is to pick out your Albino corn snake in person. This way you can ensure that you have the healthiest pet as possible. Watch for glossy eyes and marks on the skin. It’s best to invest your money in a happy and healthy snake.

If you’re considering the prices for getting a corn snake, remember that a nice, inescapable enclosure is necessary for the first time buyer. There are starter kits like this one available on Amazon.com that will come with more than just the enclosure. You’ll need at least a 20-gallon tank to house your Albino corn snake friend.

When you’re talking about a pet that will live 20+ years, you’re really talking about an investment. An Albino corn snake could be the right pet for me, and maybe you, too.

Did you know there’s an albino ball python as well? Read this article that we wrote where we list 13 cool facts about albino ball pythons.

Related Questions

How long can a corn snake go without eating? Corn snakes usually eat once every 7 – 10 days. Babies will need to eat more frequently, about once every 5 days. 

Is a Blizzard corn snake the same thing as an Albino corn snake? They are considered to be different morphs. They are very similar, the only difference is the color.

Are Albino corn snakes less friendly than other corn snakes? Different morphs of corn snakes do not have different temperaments. Most corn snakes are mild-mannered and calm, including the Albino corn snake.

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