If you have a young corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus) as a pet, he probably won't stop growing for a few years. Juvenile corn snakes start their lives at lengths of between 8 inches and a foot, though that will changes with time. These laid-back reptiles, at physical maturity, are usually on the moderate side, sizewise.
Corn Snake Mature Size
Corn snakes mature to lengths of between 4 and 6 feet. The females are usually a little bit smaller than the males. Corn snakes in warmer geographic locations tend to not grow as long as those from cooler settings. Also, corn snakes who are not fed sufficient quantities of food can experience stunted growth.
Reproductive Maturity Age
Corn snakes typically attain reproductive maturity a little quicker than they do adult size. If a corn snake is healthy and eating right, he should become sexually mature when he's somewhere in the ballpark of 18 months to 2 years old. Male and female specimens generally become sexually mature around the same time.
Age of Adult Corn Snakes
Corn snakes typically reach "full size" around 3 to 4 years of age -- they actually gain size every time they molt, their whole lives, as long as food is plentiful, but with proper feeding and a captive setting, what you see at age 4 is what you can expect for most of the pet's life. The interval between moltings will slow from the point of adulthood onward. This is true of specimens of both genders.
A Word About Reproduction
It usually isn't a good idea to allow them to share enclosures until they're actually adults. If you intend to allow a pair of corn snakes to reproduce, wait until the female is an full-fledged adult. It can be risky to mate female corn snakes that aren't fully grown, so be careful. Breeding can be extremely taxing on females who are sexually mature but not fully mature physically.
Differences in Care
Adult corn snakes aren't just bigger than juveniles -- they have different needs. Importantly, they require enclosures that are considerably larger, as their physiques are considerably larger. They also don't need to eat as often as the little guys. Mature corn snakes can typically thrive on meals with intervals of seven to 10 days -- but youthful corn snakes need intervals of five to seven days. If you're ever uncertain about the care demands of your juvenile or adult corn snake, seek your exotic veterinarian's advice immediately.
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Pantherophis Guttatus
- ReptileChannel.com: Corn Snake Care Sheet
- ReptileChannel.com: Corn Snake Reptiles
- Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital: General Care of Cornsnakes
- Wellsboro Veterinary Hospital: Corn Snake Breeding
- Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia; John B. Jensen
- Utah Veterinary Clinics: Corn Snakes
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images