Where Have the Common Corn Snakes Gone?

Corn snakes are possibly one of the most commonly kept pets in the UK today. They are easy to care for, easy to handle, great with kids and come in almost any colour or pattern you can imagine.

As I think back to the earlier days of keeping these pets I’m amazed as to how much they have changed. Collectors used to be limited to choosing between the 4 main varieties that were available.

1. Commons. The original corn snake is also known as the Red Rat Snake. This is the ‘wild’ corn snake and has always been the most commonly kept.
Common Corn Snake

2. Anerythristic. A common corn snake bred to be missing the reds, oranges and browns. This produces a white, grey and black snake. Sometimes also called the ‘black albino’.
Anerythristic Corn Snake

3. Amelanistic. This variety has been selectively bred to lack black pigment. This leaves a corn that is a mix of reds, whites and oranges.
Amelanistic Corn Snake

4. Snow. Crossing an Anerythristic and an Amelanistic produced the first snow corn snakes. These are a combination of pinks and whites and one of my favourite morphs.
Snow Corn Snake

These old varieties have consequently artificially evolved to produce the staggering array of varieties we see for sale today. We now have lavenders, blood reds, butters, ultramels, blizzards, hypos, caramels, gold dusts, ambers, etc… the list is endless!!

With all these new varieties being bred and new morphs being created all the time it seems like the original 4 have been left a bit by the wayside. Breeders concentrate on the ‘high end’ corn snakes, hobbyist breedings are usually accidental between mixed varieties.

Who is continuing to breed quality Commons, Amels, Anerys and Snows?

What do you think? Is it all about the new generation corn snakes these days?

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4 Responses to Where Have the Common Corn Snakes Gone?

  1. Xavier June 20, 2009 at 11:00 am #

    Personally i’m a huge fan of the “commons”, especially the anerys. They have to be one of my favourites, just a shame I can’t find anyone who happens to be taking the time to develop them with the same amount of care as is given to the fabulous new varieties everyone simply has to have.

  2. Yvonne June 24, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

    I have a “Carolina” corn snake, which looks uncannily like the “wild” or “Red Rat” snake you refer to here so I’m sure it must be one and the same. I love the traditional morphs in snakes, although it’s nice to see some of the newer, very colourful morphs coming in. Ringdings, my corn snake, has been the easiest snake I’ve ever looked after, by a mile. I wouldn’t pay the high prices that are put on some of the latest, “fashionable” morphs – what if your snake gets ill? That’s a few hundred (or thousand) quid down the drain!

    • Gary June 24, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

      Hi Yvonne, Carolina corns are indeed a varient of the common wild corn. I think they are slightly prettier though. Since writing this we have had a load of Anerys hatch so I will get some pictures of them up soon!

  3. Lily September 29, 2009 at 6:00 am #

    Hi, I just bought a common corn hatchling from you at the weekend and it got mentioned then too how rare they are at the moment. (He’s doing great by the way!) I also think that their species name should be changed from ‘common’ or ‘normal’ as they are far more interesting than people give them credit for. You just have to look at their colours.

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