Palmetto Corn Snake

Palmetto Corn Snake: Lifestyle And Care Guide!

Corn snakes are abundantly found in the central and southeastern parts of the United States. Their docile nature and physical beauty mesmerize pet-lovers all over the world. They have hundreds of color and pattern morphs and one of them is the Palmetto corn snake.

This article discusses the physical appearance and lifestyle of Palmetto corn snakes. This type of corn snake has morphs of their own. You would be awe-struck at the different colors shining on the elongated bodies of these beauties. Without further ado, let’s wriggle right into it!

All About The Mysterious Palmetto Corn Snake!

Before we know about the gorgeous Palmetto corn snakes, let’s first get introduced to the family they belong to. Corn snakes are non-venomous colubrids that share the genus “Pantherophis” and species “Guttatus”. They resemble certain venomous snakes, like copperhead snakes.

Alternatively known as the red rat snakes, they are named so for some interesting reasons. They often visit the granary to eat rats and mice that frequent those places. They also bear checkerboard patterns on their belly that resemble corn kernels, thus the term “corn snakes”.

What Do Palmetto Corn Snake Look Like?

Let’s first take a look at the meaning behind their scientific name “Pantherophis guttatus”, which will clarify the mystery behind their appearance to a great extent. Both the words share ancient origin and remembering the meaning of these two words will help you describe corn snakes.

The term “Pantherophis” derives from two Greek words “Panther” and “Ophis” which mean “a panther-like snake”. The word “Guttatus” is a Latin word which means “spotted” or “water drop-shaped”. Corn snakes do have panther-like spots or blotches on their elongated form.

Palmetto Corn Snake Have Orange and Brown Appearance

Source: @colubrids101

Corn snakes bear a predominant orange and brown appearance, and this orange coloration is mainly due to the presence of carotenoid pigment in their body. Corn snakes have a lot of hybrids and moths ranging along the color line orange, brown, yellow, red and purple.

What About Palmetto Corn Snakes?

Do Palmetto corn snakes look just like any other corn snake? Actually, no. They look very different. There are two variations of Palmetto corn snakes that are mostly visible– heterozygous (het) and homozygous (homo). They look quite different from one another.

Homozygous Palmetto corn snakes are largely white snakes that have tiny orange to red specks unevenly distributed all over their wriggly appearance. They may or may not have a large orange splotch on their head. The orange coloration is almost not visible in these morphs.

Adult Palmetto Corn Snake

Source: @amazing_snakes84

However, in the heterozygous Palmetto corn snakes, more orange coloration is visible. They are also called hypomelanistic. Adults look mostly orange with blood-orange hues visible in certain portions of their body. Scales along the belly are more yellow in appearance, with the underbellies white to creamish looking. Simply put, they look more like a transitional morph between the normal corn snakes and homozygous Palmetto corn snakes.

The white coloration is due to a recessive gene mutation that causes a condition in the animal termed as ‘leucism’. Leucism is different from albinism in the sense that there is a reduced production of all types of pigments in the body, including melanin. This results in a mostly white coloration or large white patches, with or without the presence of other colors on the body.

However, there is still a debate over if the Palmetto corn snake is the result of a recessive gene mutation, or an incomplete dominant gene mutation.

How did Palmetto corn snakes get their name? At first, they were named “Confetti” but unfortunately many other snakes already had that name. Now, South Carolina has a lot of Palmetto palm trees and these snakes originate there, thus they got their name!

What Do Palmetto Corn Snake Babies Look Like?

baby Palmetto corn snakePalmetto baby corn snakes look slightly different from their adult counterparts. Homozygous hatchlings have a baby-pink coloration all over their body, with snowy white heads, and beady blue or black eyes. 2 to 3 weeks old babies may look completely white and the orange specks may be unsightly. At 15 months of age, orange and yellow specks become more visible.

Heterozygous baby Palmetto corn snakes have large saddle-shaped crossbands on their body that are bright orange in color. However, the background is stark white or cream white in appearance. At certain places, they may show faint yellow coloration as well.

Palmetto corn snake adults can be quite long and can grow anywhere between 2 and 6 feet! Hatchlings are usually between 8 and 16 inches. Corn snakes usually have a white and orange checkerboard crisscrosses on their bellies, but Palmettos have horizontal markings only.

What Is The Range Of Palmetto Corn Snake?

Southeastern parts of the United States, which includes north and south Carolina, Florida and Georgia, just to name a few of the states, are home to Palmetto corn snakes. The subtropical, humid climate of the abovementioned zone of the US is quite favorable for the snakes.

Pine forests are abundant in the southeastern parts. Longleaf pine, Loblolly pine, and the American Beautyberry are strewn all across the region. Countless rivers and lakes beautify the states, nurturing a rich biodiversity that includes birds, reptiles and amphibians of all kinds.

Besides being a home to different types of corn snakes, the vegetation and water bodies of the southeastern states see various other wriggling serpents like the venomous cottonmouths, coral snakes, copperheads, and rattlesnakes. Turtles, alligators and lizards frequent those places too.

Where Do Palmetto Corn Snake Live?

Palmetto corn snakes are indigenous to North and South Carolina. They cannot be found in abundance as the chances of heterozygous Palmetto corn snake couples mating is quite rare as their number is scarce. These gorgeous speckled snakes are usually bred in captivity.

When, however, Palmetto corn snakes are sighted, they have been found near palmetto flatwoods, open fields, forest openings or near human settlements. They also like elevated surfaces. During cold winters, they usually stay hidden within rock crevices or thick growths.

What Do Palmetto Corn Snake Eat?

In the wild, corn snakes primarily settle for rodents like mice and rats. They also like small sized amphibians, reptiles and other snakes. There are some semi-arboreal specimens that prove to be a bit more ambitious than the others and target small songbirds, their eggs and fledglings.

Palmetto Corn Snake Eating fledglings

Source: @cornsnake_world

They are non-venomous constrictors, meaning they use the method of construction for subduing the prey animal. They have small pointed teeth, but they are not fangs. These use these teeth to grasp the prey while making pressurizing coils around the prey’s body, suffocating it to fatality.

How Do Palmetto Corn Snake Reproduce?

In cases of captive breeding, both the parents must be heterozygous (‘het’ in short) Palmettos to produce true Palmetto babies. When individual snakes reach 2 to 3 years of age, they are sexually mature enough to breed. Certain captive-breds may not be physically very strong.

Male Female Intimating

Source: @kjng_snakes

Impregnated females lay about 10 eggs that are oblong in shape, white in color, and leathery to touch. After 10 weeks of egg-laying, baby Palmetto corn snakes use their specialized egg-tooth to ax their way out of the leathery shell to say hello to the world.

How Do Palmetto Corn Snake Behave?

In captivity, Palmetto corn snakes may be a little restless and aggressive, though with time the behavior will improve. When they feel threatened, they beat their tail-ends against mulch or leaf litter to mimic the venomous rattlesnakes. This behavior helps keep predators at bay.

Palmetto Corn Snake Care: Humidity, Temperature, Diet And More!

Palmetto corn snakes are a rare morph of corn snakes and are quite expensive, prices ranging anywhere between $400 and 1000. A few specimens could be found in the wild though they are extremely rare. Palmetto corn snakes are usually bred in captivity.

If you are thinking about adopting or purchasing one, then a few pointers listed and discussed below may come in handy. Some specimens may demonstrate an unmanageable attitude, and may hiss and bite, or hide underneath the substrate. But this will improve with time.

They also have reddish to brownish bug-eyes with large eye-rings around them that may intimidate certain pet lovers. Their eyes look more bulbous and protruding than the eyes of normal corn snakes. Both hets and homo morphs of Palmettos may have these eyes.

An appropriate temperature range is a must for Palmetto corn snakes. The ideal corn snake temperature range is between 75 and 85°F on the warmer side, and 70 to 75°F on the cooler side. This temperature gradient is extremely important for these snakes to metabolize adequately. A 65 to 75% humidity level maintenance would be perfect for these babies.

Maintaining Palmetto Baby


Lids are essential for safe-keeping of these escape-artists! As previously mentioned, certain specimens could be a bit feisty and may look for a way out to go back to their jungle habitat. A thick substrate is crucial and could be made with aspen shavings. Provide them with artificial caves and plants to keep them busy and active. To feed them, thawed pinky mice would suffice.

Is There Any Other Snake That Looks Like Palmetto Corn Snake?

The venomous copperhead snakes (Agkistrodon genus) look a lot like the orange morphs of Palmetto corn snakes. They have the same reddish-brown saddle-shaped blotches on a light brown background. However, the Palmetto morphs are much more whitish looking. Also, Palmetto corn snakes can grow up to 6 feet, whereas copperheads grow between 2-3 feet.

Albino milk snakes may look a lot like the white morphs of Palmetto corn snakes. Albino milk snakes have albinism so cannot produce melanin pigment. They have red eyes and may grow anywhere between 2 and 4 feet. But don’t worry, milk snakes are also non-venomous colubrids.


Palmetto corn snakes remind us of “palm” trees because of their name. Surprisingly they got their name from the same plant that grows abundantly in certain parts of Carolina state. There are beautiful orange and white morphs of corn snakes that are quite hard to find.

However, like all other corn snakes, Palmettos are gentle and manageable. They are not venomous and seldom ever bite, unless continuously harassed or perturbed. They are not that difficult to take care of, and together with their mesmerizing beauty, they are popular as pets.

Hi dear readers! This is Rebecca, the lead analyst and blog writer for Snake Insider. Following in the footsteps of David’s guided path, I feel highly encouraged to make the most interesting snake-facts to a mass audience! In due time, I believe we’ll be able to present some jaw-dropping insight on snakes that’s sure to leave you begging for more! Personally, I’m a strongly motivated person to explore the most extreme environments should my work demand it. In many cases, I’ve ventured deep into territories that were never considered certain snake habitats and brought back necessary information. Rest assured I’ll surely be sharing them with you over the course of time.

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