Corn Snake Morphs

Corn Snake Morphs: A Complete List With Description And Examples

Corn snakes are lovely critters that are sometimes spotted coiled around tree-branches, or basking during daytime on a rock. They can also be seen in grasslands, on the edges of forests, or on the banks of rivers. Mostly, however, they remain hidden during daytime and explore at night. They also contribute to the environment by keeping mice population low.

Corn snakes used to be known as a critter-of-the-wild earlier, but since corn snake morphs started to be created by breeders, there are thousands of variations of corn snakes each with an even lovelier color than the other. They are loved as pets mostly for their docile nature and eye- catching hues dancing on their elongated form. Let’s explore their different avatars!

Corn Snake Types: The Different Species Of Corn Snakes

Different Species Of Corn Snakes

The beautiful corn snakes belong to the genus Pantherophis, of the family Colubridae. The term “Pantherophis” has a very interesting meaning and says a lot about the appearance of corn snakes. It is a Greek word which means “panther-like snakes”, indicating the maroon or orange colored saddle markings that corn snakes have on their body over a tan overall background. It does indeed resemble the skin of panthers with dark-maroon splotches over brown.

Many think that corn snakes have that name because they feed on corn, but that’s just a funny misunderstanding. Snakes are strictly carnivores and cannot obtain nutrition from plant mate- rials. However, corn snakes are seen frequenting granaries where you would expect to find corn cobs and other sorts of grains. Rodents feed on grains, and snakes follow the rodents.

But that’s not the only reason why they have such a name. On the belly of almost all corn snakes, with the exception of maybe a few morphs, there is a variegated pattern made by criss- crosses of black lines. This pattern produces small squares on the belly bearing colors like yellow, orange and white that resemble corn kernels, and thus the name. Let’s wait no longer and get introduced to the different species of corn snakes.

Pantherophis Guttatus

Pantherophis Guttatus

This is the common, wild-type or Carolina corn snakes that are most frequently seen in the wilderness of the southeastern parts of the United States. They are usually treated as the standard, considering the morphs and other species as variations of them. They are a lovely tan all over, with bright orange saddles to accentuate the tan.

The common corn snakes grow anywhere between 2 and 6 feet, where the 6-feet length is quite unusual. They usually live for about 6 to 8 years in the wild, but if they are rescued and brought up in captivity, they may demonstrate a promising lifespan of longer than 20 years! Palmetto flatwoods, forest openings, overgrown fields, and even barns and sheds are the natural habitats of these lovely corn snake species.

Pantherophis Emoryi

Pantherophis Emoryi

Also known as the Great Plains rat snake, they are considered as another species of corn snakes. Their body coloration is quite different from the common corn snakes, but there is definitely a pattern similarity. They are mostly white snakes, with gorgeous purplish-gray saddles all over their body. They are mostly found in the dry areas of Colorado, Texas and Mexico. They are sometimes known by the name mouse snake or Texas rat snake.

The name “Emoryi” has derived from the name of Brigadier General William Hemsley Emory, who collected the first few rat snake specimens for the Smithsonian’s Institution. They grow between 3 and 5 feet only. Places like rocky mountains, semi-arid regions and coastal plains are frequented and inhabited by these beautiful snakes. It is a nocturnal snake and spends most of its time basking or relaxing. To protect itself, it mimics the tail-beating skill of rattlesnakes.

Pantherophis Slowinskii

Pantherophis Slowinskii

Slowinski’s corn snakes are indigenous to the eastern parts of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Like their cousin, the Great Plains rat snakes, they are also habituated to living in dry and rocky areas. They resemble the Great Plains rat snakes more than the common corn snakes as far as physical appearance is concerned.

Slowinski’s corn snakes are white or tan all over with deep-maroonish saddle markings all over the body. They have been named after the famous American herpetologist Joseph Bruno Slow- inski.  They are sometimes confused with the Prairie Kingsnake, but the characteristic spearhead markings present on the head of all corn snakes helps to tell them apart.

Corn Snake Morphs: The Plethora Of Colors And Patterns

Corn snakes have been hybridized, crossbred and inbred for decades now to produce some exceptional morphs that exist today. They have different variations or shades of the colors red, orange and black on them. The amelanistic versions may not have the characteristic black edges that outline the bright-red saddle markings in some red morphs. Not only that, completely white morphs of corn snakes are also available that are quite rare and expensive.

The red and orange corn snakes are available at different breeding centers and morph markets at prices between $70 and $800. Whereas the white or the purple ones fall on the costlier side with prices ranging between $100 and $1000. Beginner corn snake lovers purchase or adopt hatchlings that are priced a bit lower, but range differs with the variation you are looking for.

Many mistakenly think that corn snake morphs are quite difficult to feed and take care of, but that is not true at all. Since most designer corn snake morphs are captive-bred, they are fed frozen thawed mice or rats of different sizes. A 30-40 gallon enclosure with temperature and humidity controlling measurements are usually the things that corn snakes need.

Morph Categorization By Color

Below is a list of corn snake morphs categorized by color. Get mesmerized with the plethora of color options that are available and also get to know the hatchlings!

Red Corn Snake

Red Corn Snake

Red is one of the most common colors in the corn snake genus. Red color is produced by some pigment-producing cells called erythrophores within the snake’s body. Erythrophores also produce carotenoids that help manifest orange coloration on the body of the snake.

  • Okeetee: They are extremely popular red morphs that have a bright orange background, adorned with bright red saddles edged in thick black. The thick black edges are the prime attraction in Okeetee corn snakes. There are Extreme Okeetee versions available where the edges are even thicker. Reverse Okeetees, that are actually amelanistic versions of Okeetees, have all the bright colors, only the edges are white instead of black.
  • Albino: Albino corn snakes are amelanistic, meaning they lack the pigment melanin that produces black or dark colors on a snake’s body. As a result, the corn snake has all the bright colors but the characteristic black that outlines the saddle markings are missing in them. Since they are amelanistic or albino, they have pink or red eyes.
  • Sunglow: They are amelanistic corn snakes too, and may even have their bright colors appear slightly subdued. Instead of red, they appear more orange. However, the saddles markings are the signature red. It has beautiful motley versions where the hatchlings are bright red with yellow (or orange) splotches all over their body. They turn more orange as they mature.
  • Sunkissed: They are beautiful corn snakes with bright orange bodies, red saddles, and faint black outlines around the saddle markings. They look a lot like the Okeetee morphs. They have hypomelanistic versions where they appear more whitish as hatchlings, and as adults they look as if all the bright colors have diffused into one, with the black markings almost missing. They have a large number of morphs, like sunkissed buf, diffused, kastanie, strawberry and what not.
  • Lava: These mesmerizing looking snakes have orange and red as the dominant colors, in fact some parts are so red, they look almost blackish. There are cinder lava versions that look gray because one of the parents was anerythristic. There are diffused lava versions where the red saddle markings are replaced with purple saddle markings due to hypomelanism.

Yellow Corn Snake

Yellow Corn Snake

Yellow cone snakes look yellow due to xanthophores. These cells produce yellow pigment that manifests on the body of a corn snake on the necks or the flanks. Yellow corn snakes could be completely yellow, or may have yellow spots on a white background. They could be present with the other bright colors– red and orange.

  • Butter: Butter corn snakes are yellow all over. They display a beige background and the saddles are bright yellow. There are all sorts of butter patterns available, like motley and tessera. Butter charcoal morphs are another variation that look like light green marble, with a touch of yellow at various locations of the corn snake’s body.
  • Amber: They are golden colored morphs that look quite brown or tan when they are hatchlings, but turn golden-brown as they mature. The first one-third of the corn snake is more golden than the rest of its body. There are amber cinder versions that look gray, and amber lavender variations that look light purple. Different pattern morphs are not that hard to find.
  • Candycane: The belly of these corn snake morphs are bright yellow. However, the rest of the corn snake’s body has the dominant colors of red, orange and white. They actually look like Christmas candy canes, thus the name.
  • Caramel: This is one morph that actually morphs as they grow older! They look black and white as babies, but they turn pearly white with yellow saddles as they develop. There are caramel kastani versions that look lemon yellow as they mature.
  • Creamsicle: They are light orange snakes with a white background, adorned with yellow hues all over. There are striped versions where beige lines run across the spine of the snake. There are diffused creamsicle versions that look bright orange.

Black Corn Snake

Black Corn Snake

Black corn snakes produce a lot of melanin which manifests in the snake’s eyes, saddles and other parts of the body. Black morphs are also anerythristic, the reason why the brighter colors fail to show, and the black and white colors become more pronounced.

  • Anery (Anerythristic): There are two types of anerythristic corn snakes, Type A and Type B. Type A anery corn snakes show a little yellow on their body as they grow older, but Type B does not. Different types of morphs can be produced by mating an anery parent with other morphs.
  • Cinder: Cinder snakes look black and white as babies, but turn more gray as they mature. Their saddles start gray, then turn more purplish toward the end. Amelanistic cinder versions look quite purple when they are mature. Cinder lava and charcoal look purplish-gray.
  • Granite: Adult granite corn snake morphs look darker than their hatchling stage. They have a black body with purple saddles on top. Caramel granite versions take a mixture of brown, black and white. There are masque, motley and tessera patterns of granite available.
  • Platinum: Anerythristic corn snakes mated with charcoal and hypomelanistic gene-bearing corn snakes generate platinum babies that look purple. They turn gray as they develop. Diffused platinum version looks tan on the top, and white across the flanks.
  • Charcoal: They look black as hatchlings but turn more gray as they mature into adulthood. There are all sorts of charcoal versions available, with different types of patterns.

White Corn Snake

White Blizzard Tessera Corn Snake

White color on a corn snake manifests only when they have both the amelanistic and the anerythristic genes. White corn snakes have pink or red eyes.

  • Palmetto: A few specimens of Palmetto corn snakes were found in South Carolina where there are lots of Palmetto palm trees from where the snake got its name. These snakes have leucism that causes them to produce a reduced amount of all types of pigments. Palmetto corn snakes have a white body with confetti-like orange and red spots all over.
  • Snow: When anery Type A and amelanistic corn snakes are mated, they produce snow morphs. Snow morphs are largely white with a little bit of yellow on their neck. The babies are light pink and that’s mainly because of a lack of melanin. They have red or pink eyes.
  • Blizzard: They are fully white corn snake morphs. Blizzard corn snake belly is almost white with faint yellow markings. The babies are glossy pink and are available in different pattern morphs. They are the product of amelanistic and anerythristic parents.
  • Powder: Parents must contain genes of hypomelanism, charcoal, amelanism and anerythrism to produce powder hatchlings. Hatchlings are light pink in color, whereas adults are white.

Avalanche: These snakes are completely white as well with unsightly gray hues on their body. There is a version called the green blotch avalanche that has faint yellow hues on them.

Pink Corn Snake

Coral Ghost Pink Corn Snake

Pink corn snakes are actually white corn snakes that may look pink due to a lack of melanin or erythrin pigment. They could be leucistic too where a snake experiences a lack of all types of pigments and therefore appears either white or have subdued hues.

  • Coral Ghost: These are one of the most pink looking snakes there is. They are a breed between an anerythristic and a strawberry parent. When hatchlings, they look quite maroonish, but as they grow older, they develop a very beautiful pink shade with gray saddles.
  • Salmon Snow: They are a strawberry morph that look almost beige with light-colored saddles when they are babies, but metamorph into a pink colored snake with purple saddles as they age. They have red eyes since they are amelanistic.
  • Snopal: Snopals are the product of an interbreed between corn snake parents that are anerythristic, amelanistic and lavender. The hatchlings are pink. However, they become pearly white with pink hues as they mature. There are hyposnopals that are completely white.
  • Citrine: As babies, they look pink with white saddles that turn to purple as they mature. They are caramel morphs. There are citrine motley tessera versions that are mostly white in appearance.
  • Amel Cinder: They are amelanistic cinder corn snake morphs. They look white with pink saddles when they are young, but the saddle color emits more purplish hues as they mature.

Blue Corn Snake

Blue Corn Snake

Blue corn snakes are actually white corn snakes. They possess a “dilute” gene that forms gray coloration instead of a complete black. These gray parts look blue or purple. Iridophores, which act as mirrors on the skin of a snake, may create an optical effect of blue color as well.

  • Lavender: They are an extremely popular corn snake morph that has the prettiest shade of purple on it. Their belly is also white with a purplish tinge. Lavender corn snakes are available in different pattern versions like tessera and motley. They are both amelanistic and anerythristic.
  • Ghost: They have shades of gray and brown on them, and the gray shades look blue at different angles of light. There are lavender ghost versions that give off pink to purple hues.
  • Plasma: They will dazzle you with their bright purple-gray hues, however, as hatchlings they are mostly brown and white. There are charcoal plasma versions where the morph appears light tan and white. Hypo plasma adults look like purple on a white background.
  • Opal: Opal morphs are formed by mating amelanistic and lavender parents together. They look white with lavender highlights. There are diffused opal versions that are mostly white with faint purplish-pink hues. Hypo opal versions look the same color as diffused opal morphs.
  • Dilute Anery: Amelanistic and anerythristic parents produce dilute anery corn snake morphs. They are called “dilute” because in place of black, gray manifests. There are motley and striped versions available.

Morphs Formed By Mutation Technique

Scaleless corn snakes are formed by a recessive gene mutation that causes reduced production of beta keratin that is responsible for generating scales and hardening them. As such, the corn snake has very few scales on its body. Though the name suggests there are no scales, there are scales present on the corn snake’s body– only fewer than expected.

Scaleless corn snakes resemble ropes. When they straighten themselves from a coiled-up position, creases and wrinkles appear on their skin making it look as if it is made up of fabric. They may have black or red eyes depending on their genetic makeup. Eyes of scaleless corn snake morphs appear bulgy since eye scales are not present.


Corn snake morphs are popular worldwide for their beautiful colors and patterns. They have been hybridized or crossbred for decades now. Though there are some concerns over whether morphs need more care, the myths have been debunked time and time again. However, before getting one, the pet-keeper must ensure that the breeder follows humane tactics to generate the morphs. They are fantastic critters and they deserve a loving home and lots of care.

Hello snake lovers! I’m David Mifsud and Snake Insider is my latest project with a vision of spreading reptile awareness to every single netizen. I’ll be introducing some of the most unexplored territories in the world of snakes to broaden the horizon of knowledge for the readers. My personal motto is to get as close to the snakes in nature without disrupting the balance and gather information as well as habitation patterns. It can be later on utilized in order to build a safe and healthy environment for every species of snakes. So stick around with us and I’m sure we won’t disappoint you!

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