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(di Geoffrey A. Hammerson)


Recognition: Upper surface light gray with numerous dark-edged blotches; weakly keeled scales on back; divided anal scale; numerous square-cornered dark marks on belly; dark stripes on underside of tail, maximum total length about 5 ft. (153 cm.)

Distribution: Ranges throughout south eastern and south central U.S. and north eastern Mexico. Occurs below 6000 ft. (1828 m.) in south eastern Colorado. A disjunction population occurs in the river valleys of west-central Colorado and eastern Utah.


Habitat and habits: The corn snake is closely associated with river valleys and canyon bottoms in Colorado. It inhabits a variety of vegetation types, including grassland, shrub land, and woodland, but usually does not venture far from a permanent or intermittent stream or arroyo. This snake sometimes is seen in rodent-infested ranch outbuildings.

The corn snake prowls primarily on warm nights from May to September. Sometimes it can be found under objects on the ground during the day.


Breeding: A female found in Otero County in early July was laden with nine large eggs about the reproduction of this snake in Colorado.

Food: The corn snake preys mostly on rodents, which are killed by constriction.

Subspecies in Colorado: Elaphe guttata emoryi.

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