Corn Snake

Not too many mornings ago, a handsome, three-foot Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttatus) was spotted on Parish Parkway at Camp Salmen. The snake was just lying there in mid-crossing, basking and glinting in the sunlight and adjusting his/her kinks every once in a while to betray signs of life. After a close-up viewing, a nudge to the tail prompted the animal to move on to the safety of the ditch and weeds alongside the road. Once the gates were opened and traffic into the park commenced the reptile's survivability at this particular location would have been greatly compromised.

 

 

 

Though the snake is harmless, even beneficial to humans, it is predatory when it comes to rodents and other small creatures. They cautiously nose around the tall grass and underbrush, even climb into shrubbery and up trees to try and detect a whiff of heat or odor, then lunge at, grab and swallow their smaller prey. They simply hold on to the larger ones and use their talents as a constrictor to wrap around and squeeze the breath out of them until they quiet down. It is then they can do the snake thing and unhinge their jaws and attempt to swallow “da whole ting.” Likewise, they are also not above grabbing an occasional egg from any nest they run across.

 

In the wild, this particular species of Corn Snake is a proud citizen of Dixie, with close relatives on the East Coast and Great Plains, all under the general category of rat snake. Within this particular species are many variations in its color and patterns. The standard issue Corn Snake has a background that is orange in color and distinctive, angular-looking, rust-red spots with dark borders. Since they are very agreeable to captivity, they're a favorite of the pet shop trade, they are also very conducive to genetic hybridization. Corn Snake fanciers have selectively bred them to come in a variety of colors and patterns. They are available with weird names like Candy-cane, Sunglow, Lavender, Lava, Aztec, Butter, Plasma and Ultra. All the better to attract their predators like the hawks and King Snakes at Camp Salmen who are always looking for something new and interesting.

Hours of Operation

Friday - Sunday
9am to 4:30pm

Click Here for Directions