My friends and I were at a local pet shop looking at all the different snakes they had, and we were surprised by how similar the copperhead and corn snakes looked. The specific kind that caught our eye first was the corn snake, and we thought it looked similar to a copperhead snake. This got us thinking about which snake would win in a fight.

What is the difference between a corn snake vs a copperhead snake? The copperhead snake is a poisonous snake, and when they feel threatened, they bite. The snake that would most likely win in a fight would be the copperhead snake. Corn snakes are non-venomous, and while they might be longer, they are very docile and not as aggressive as a copperhead, and so the copperhead would win.

Although a fight between a copperhead snake and a corn snake would be over in a matter of minutes, there is still much more to each of these snakes regarding their characteristics, habitat, and diet. There is also the knowledge of which snake is best to keep as a long-term pet.

Corn Snake vs. Copperhead

It is obvious that the copperhead snake could easily overpower the corn snake in the event of a battle. 

Although a copperhead’s bite only holds a small amount of poison, the area around the bite will become uncomfortable. However, if their intention is to kill, then the amount of poison their bite carries becomes fatal.

Corn snakes, on the other hand, are very docile creatures. They are a constricting snake but rarely ever bite even if they are hurt or frightened. When corn snakes are hatchlings they are more likely to bite. But their bite will not hurt because of their small teeth: you won’t feel a thing.

A copperhead snake has a poison that can become fatal and large fangs that come along for the kill. While a copperhead snake has some killer characteristics, it also has the aggression to go alongside it, making it capable of besting a corn snake easily.

For a close up look at the difference between a Corn Snake vs a Copperhead Snake watch this video.

Copperhead Snake Characteristics

Copperhead snakes are seen more in North America than any other region. They are also very likely to bite human beings. While they do hold venom in their bite, the amount is mild and it is very rare for that bite to become fatal for a human.

Copperhead snakes get their name from how they appear. Their heads are the color of red copper. There are also other snakes referred to as copperheads that do not all fall under the same species.

Copperheads are pit vipers, similar to rattlesnakes and water moccasins. They have heat sensors to which can help them detect a change in temperature which leads them to their prey. The behavior of a copperhead closely resembles that of a pit viper. Pit vipers hunt during the night which makes the temperature cooler, therefore making it easier to hunt the rodents that radiate warmth.

Copperheads are medium-sized snakes, and they are usually about two to three feet long, which is 0.6 to 0.9 meters in length. Female copperheads are typically longer than the males; however, the males do have longer tails in comparison to the females.

The body of a copperhead is patterned with an hourglass-shaped body. The pattern of their skin includes dark brown or reddish-brown crossbands that sit on a background of a lighter brown or even pinkish skin.

The scales on a copperhead snake are very rigid, and their bodies are thick with muscle, while their head is in a triangular (an arrow) shape. Their eyes resemble the look of a cat because they are slanted, and the color of their eyes varies between orange, tan or reddish brown.

There is also the note of how young copperhead snakes are grayish in the color of their scales, and they have yellow tail tips. They have these yellow tails because it helps them lure in prey so they are able to eat. The prey they usually lure in is most commonly frogs and lizards.

Because the copperhead snake is very similar to many other snakes, it is common to get them confused with the copperhead. The key to deciphering all the other snakes from the copperhead is to notice the shape of the body.

Corn Snake Characteristics

Corn snakes are a non-venomous group of snakes found in the United States. They are medium sized, and compared to a copperhead snake they are brightly colored and easy to care for. These snakes are fairly calm and the only trouble they cause is their inability to stay within their homes.

Corn snakes attribute their name to the pattern on their bellies. The markings on their stomach resemble the look of a kernel pattern of Indian corn.

Aside from how they look, their name comes from how they were found. Corn snakes were often found in crop fields, and often in corn. The countryside is a likely area to find them because they reside in barns where they can often find rats to eat.

Corn snakes have dark red or brown blotches on their scale and smaller blotches of red, orange, brown or gray as well.

Their bellies are a glossy white checkered pattern with black and orange accents. Their heads also have a spear shape look to them and vertical dark bars on their lips. The size of a corn snake can go from 18 to 44 inches which is an equivalent of 45 to 112 centimeters. The record of 72 inches is recorded of a size of a corn snake.

Corn snakes are their own species, but they do have a resemblance to the rat snake and are known to be called the “red rat snake”. That name comes from their color which can be a reddish orange or an orangey-brown. It is said that snakes tend to be browner the higher their elevation.

Corn Snake Morphs

Corn snakes, while being found in the United States, are often bred with other snakes to create difference selections. There are hundreds of different breeds, also known as “morphs”: 

Albino corn snake: They lack melanin or black pigment. Which resulted in their other common name; amelanistic corn snake. They are bright red, orange, yellow and white. They also have red, orange and pink eyes.

Okeetee corn snake: This morphed was originally bred from corn snakes that were caught in South Carolina. They have black borders and deep red-colored saddles.

Snow corn snake: This falls under another type of  “amelanistic” snake. They are pink and yellow. their eyes also have a pink color to them with even darker pink pupils. 

Black corn snake: This snake is a type of “anerythristic” corn snake. Anerythrism is the absence of pigment with makes reds and yellows. These snakes are mostly gray and black. 

Lavender corn snake: This morph of a snake was created in the 1980’s which happened due to a breeding between a snow corn snake and a wild female. These snakes are dark gray to a lavender pastel color. 

Corn Snake VS. Copperhead Snake 1 Corn Snake vs Copperhead Snake

To learn more about morph’s and how they’re achieved, along with our list of the most popular corn snake morphs, click here.

What snakes look like a copperhead? There are many snakes that look similar to a copperhead. Here are a few: corn snakes, eastern hognose snakes, black racer snakes, mole kingsnakes and eastern rat snakes.

How poisonous is a copperhead snake? Copperhead poison is rarely fatal. When bitten, their venom can cause some damage to the immediate area which can lead to an infection.

Are copperheads water snakes? Yes, they can reside and swim within the water. When hunting, they go to the water edges, rocks and underneath wooden logs.

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