The Corn snake is a moderately sized North American snake and is known for being very docile in nature and generally easy to care for. For these reasons alone, the corn snake is considered a great choice of beginner snake and is in fact one of the most commonly sold pet snakes to first time owners around the world. Corn snakes come in many different color patterns, but one of the most striking varieties is the Albino corn snake.
The Albino corn snake – or the amelanistic “red albino” – is the original morph of the corn snake and its unique appearance is down to the fact it lacks the black pigment melanin. The result is a beautiful snake of light to bold orange coloring with dark red blotches along its body and a white underside. Though perhaps their most standout feature is their eyes that are often ruby red or pink.
Albino corn snakes are considered the most popular of the corn snake family and have produced many wonderful and striking color morphs with other corn snake genes. If you’re interested in owning a pet Albino snake or simply wish to know more about these pretty serpents, read on below – we’ll look at their cost and how big they get to the different morphs of Albino corn snake and what to expect when they shed.
How Much is an Albino Corn Snake?
They are fairly inexpensive, costing no more than $40 to $50. Albino corn snakes weren’t always so affordable though – since albinos were the first corn snake morph to be found in the wild, they were much more valuable years ago. Today, only the very rare morphs of albino corn snake, costing up to $1,000 and more in some cases.
Albino Corn Snake Lifespan
Albino corn snakes can live roughly between 10 to 15 years, but with proper care, they can live well into their late teens. And it is not unheard of for corn snakes to live well into their 20’s.
Albino Corn Snake Size
Albino corn snakes will grow to between 3 and 5 feet, but can reach a maximum length of 5 ½ feet. According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, the largest ever recorded corn snake measured 1.8 meters (around 5 foot 9 inches).
What Do Baby Albino Corn Snakes Look Like?
Healthy Albino corn snake babies or ‘hatchlings’ will measure around 9 to 14 inches long and will be patterned just like the adult Albino, except their blotches tend to be a darker red and their orange body color will be a lot more vibrant than their adult color pattern.
Albino Corn Snake Morphs
The unique, bold coloring of the Albino corn snake has led to some pretty interesting and stunning morphs in recent years. Here’s a rundown of the most popular types and their beautiful color variations:
Blizzard – The result of breeding an Albino and a Charcoal corn snake produces this stunning serpent – a snake that’s entirely pure white from head to tail. Along with the Albino parent’s lack of melanin, the Charcoal parent lacks the red pigment, erythrin – meaning the Blizzard has no pigmentation whatsoever!
Palmetto – Palmettos are a very pretty morph that has the pure white body color of the Blizzard with flecks of different colors that make up their pattern, kind of like confetti. What’s cool about the Palmetto’s dots and flecks is that these change color depending on the morph they breed with, so a normal with have red and orange dots whilst a Butter Palmetto will have yellow flecks and dots.
Butter – Breeding an Albino with a Caramel corn snake produces the sunny yellow Butter corn snake. This pretty morph has a light yellow body coloring with blotches or ‘saddles’ of deep, warm yellow making up its pattern.
Orange creamsicle – The combo of an albino with a Great Plains rat snake will produce the bold and beautifully colored Orange creamsicle corn snake. Albino corn snakes and Great Plains are closely related since they are two species within the same genus. The Orange creamsicle morph is like a high contrast version of the Albino, except with a doubly orange body and blotch pattern in place of the red.
Albino Corn Snake Shedding
Snake shedding is a pretty cool process to behold, especially with one as colorful as the Albino corn snake! Corn snakes will typically shed every few weeks when they are juveniles (younger than 18 months) and will shed less frequently as they age, usually only shedding every few months.
You’ll know it’s time for your Albino corn snake to start the shedding process when their colors begin appearing darker and duller than before, and their eyes will turn a kind of cloudy milky blue.
Their shed skin should ideally come off in one whole piece, but if it doesn’t this just means the humidity levels weren’t high enough in their enclosure. You can easily remedy this by adding a handful of damp moss or a wet paper towel to help them shed the excess off. The entire shedding process should last no more than 3 to 4 days.
Albino Corn Snake Eggs
Female Albino corn snakes can lay an egg clutch of around 10 and 30 eggs any time between the May to July mating season. The mothers need a space with plenty of heat and humidity for the eggs to develop properly, so they tend to choose spots with rotting vegetation near rotting stumps or inside trees to achieve the right conditions (and to keep out of reach of predators).
The eggs gestate for around 2 months and once they hatch, the baby corn snakes are left to fend for themselves almost immediately. A baby Albino corn snake will be considered fully grown at around 18 months.
Albino Corn Snake Eyes
One of the first things you notice about the Albino corn snake is its stunning pair of ruby-red eyes, and this is down to the lack of black pigment that gives normal snakes their typical dark brown or black peepers. The shade of red in their eyes can change from one albino snake to the next – while some can have fiery red eyes that shine like the above-mentioned gems, others can be dull dark red and even pink and orange!
Albino Corn Snake Teeth
Like all corn snakes, Albinos have very small needle-like teeth that are angled backward and act like barbs to help them grasp their prey and latch on. They have around 20 to 30 of these tiny teeth in total and have twice as many teeth on their top row as on the bottom of their jaw to help them get a precise grip on their prey.
If you’re considering keeping a corn snake as a pet, don’t worry! Besides some temporary discomfort, a bite from them is relatively harmless, and because corn snakes are constrictors they do not have venomous fangs (or venomous anything for that matter).
If you are bitten by one, you will likely feel nothing more than a pinch or squeeze on your skin and it’s very rare for one to draw blood. The one thing to be wary of when it comes to a corn snake bite is the bacteria they carry in their mouths, so cleaning the affected area straight away is a must.
The Difference Between an Albino Corn Snake and a Snow Corn Snake
When you think of an Albino snake species, you may imagine one that is entirely white like snow, so it can be confusing to discover a morph known as the Snow corn snake! So what’s the difference between these two?
Well, unlike the bold orange and red color pattern of the Albino, the Snow corn snake is, as described, much lighter and paler by comparison and is known as the “complete Albino snake” as opposed to the “red Albino”. Snow corn snakes have pale candy pink bodies that mellow into a pale yellow color as they age. They also have pinkish-white bellies and darker pink pupils than Albinos.
Albino Corn Snake Facts
They have ‘keeled’ scales – whilst the majority of snakes have smooth body scales, corn snakes have a ridge that runs down the center of each individual scale known as ‘keeled’ scales, and this makes their bodies rough to the touch instead of smooth and glossy as you’d expect.
They can climb – as unlikely as it sounds, Albino corn snakes can actually climb using their ‘keeled’ scales to help them climb trees and other heights. With just their body muscle and scale tips, corn snakes can push against tree bark and other surfaces to help them ascend. This can make them notorious escape artists in enclosures, so bear this in mind if you keep one as a pet!
The origin of their name is undetermined – it seems that scientists can’t agree on how the corn snake really got its name. The Smithsonian National Zoological Park notes that their belly markings look similar to the kernel pattern on Indian corn, while the museum of Zoology at Michigan theorizes that the name corn snake derives from the fact that they are often found in corn and crop fields.
To add even further doubt, experts at Davidson College’s Herps of North Carolina have suggested that their name refers to the fact that corn snakes often live in barns where rats come to feed on corn. Perhaps we’ll never find out how the corn snake really got its name…