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Corn Snake Care

By: Dr. Steve Divers

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An adult corn snake should be maintained in a vivarium at least 5 feet by 1.5 feet by 1.5 feet with sliding glass doors for good access and ventilation grills to facilitate air flow. It is completely inappropriate to reduce ventilation in an effort to artificially maintain temperature and humidity.

Heating can be provided by an under tank heat mat or an overhead ceramic or infrared heater. All heaters must be controlled by a thermostat and screened to prevent snake-heater contact that invariably results in horrendous burns.

Artificial turf or paper towels should be used to cover the floor and several hide-outs or retreats such as bark or small cardboard boxes are essential to provide retreats.

A stout, well secured clean branch can add to the attractiveness of the set-up and provide climbing exercise.

It is important to prevent excessive humidity and moisture as skin infections are likely in such situations. A warm, dry and well ventilated vivarium is preferred.

Lighting

Corn snakes, like most snakes, do not have any special lighting requirements. Maintenance of a 12 hour photoperiod using small fluorescent strip lights or external room lights is adequate. During hibernation periods, these snakes are often not illuminated at all, or are subject to the natural photoperiod of the room.

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