Is a corn snake a king snake

Is a corn snake a king snake


Can a corn snake be considered a king snake? To answer this, let’s look at the traits of these slithering creatures.

Corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) and king snakes (Lampropeltis genus) have similar eye-catching colors and patterns. But there’s a key difference in their behavior – corn snakes are docile and good for beginners, while king snakes have an aggressive streak and may be unsuitable for new handlers.

Plus, they have different diets – corn snakes mostly eat mice and rats, while king snakes enjoy other reptiles and even smaller snakes.

A tip to tell them apart – corn snakes have rectangular belly scales, while king snakes have colored scales in bold patterns.

Understanding Corn Snakes and King Snakes

Corn snakes and king snakes belong to the same colubrid family. However, they have distinct features. Here’s a summary:

FeatureCorn SnakeKing Snake
ColorationOrange or brownVarious colors and patterns
ScalesSmoothSmooth or keeled
Size3 to 5 feet longUp to 6 feet
HabitatWoodlands and grassy areasDesets, forests, and swamps
DietRodentsRodents, birds, amphibians, and reptiles
TemperamentDocileMore aggressive

Plus, corn snakes are popular pets. They’re easy to care for and can live up to 20 years in captivity. King snakes eat a lot, and they can even consume venomous snakes.

For centuries, indigenous cultures have respected corn snakes and king snakes. They believed these animals were sacred and linked to fertility rituals. Nowadays, their beauty and behavior still amaze people.

Finding the difference between corn snakes and king snakes is like finding Waldo in a chameleon-filled room!

Differences between Corn Snakes and King Snakes

Text: Corn snakes and king snakes may seem the same, but there are key differences. Let’s explore!

Corn SnakeKing Snake
Typically 4-6 feet.Usually 3-6 feet.
Red/orange blotches with black background.Bands or stripes, depending on species.
15-20 years in captivity.20-30 years in captivity.

Plus, corn snakes are docile and make great pets for novices. King snakes can be more temperamental and require expert handling.

Tip: Research your pet’s care needs to give them the best environment.

Warning: Corn snakes and king snakes can be fashion accessories for daring reptile lovers!

Similarities between Corn Snakes and King Snakes

The Corn Snake and King Snake have many similar features, so they are often mistaken for each other. Let’s look at their similarities in more detail:

SimilarityCorn SnakeKing Snake
AppearanceLong, slender bodies, with colorful patterns and smooth scales.Long, slender bodies, with vibrant patterns and smooth scales.
HabitatCan live in various habitats, from forests to grasslands.Adapts to many environments, including woodlands and deserts.
DietActive hunters, mainly eating rodents and small mammals.Avid hunters, usually feasting on rodents and other small animals.
BehaviorUsually quite docile, making them a popular choice for snake lovers.

[1] Corn Snakes: A Comprehensive Guide (2021).


Corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) and king snakes (Lampropeltis spp.) may look similar, but they are actually two different species. To tell them apart, observe their head shapes. Corn snakes have slender heads, slightly wider than their necks. King snakes have broader heads, more distinct.

Behavior and diet also differ. Corn snakes are constrictors, eating small rodents and birds. King snakes, however, are specialized predators, eating other reptiles, including venomous ones like rattlesnakes. This adaptation lets them survive in many environments.

Reproductive habits differ too. Corn snakes lay eggs, with larger clutches than most snake species. Some king snakes, though, give birth to live young.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about Corn Snakes and King Snakes

1. Is a corn snake a king snake?

No, a corn snake (scientific name Pantherophis guttatus) is not a king snake. Although both snakes are nonvenomous and belong to the same family, Colubridae, they are different species.

2. What are the main differences between corn snakes and king snakes?

Corn snakes have smooth scales and are known for their vibrant colors and patterns, including orange, red, and brown. On the other hand, king snakes have banded patterns and can come in various colors such as black, brown, yellow, or white. They also have keeled scales that give them a rough texture.

3. Can corn snakes and king snakes live together?

It is not recommended to keep corn snakes and king snakes together in the same enclosure. These snakes have different habitat requirements, diets, and behavioral characteristics. Housing them together could lead to stress, aggression, or even cannibalism.

4. Do corn snakes and king snakes have similar care requirements?

While both snakes have comparable care requirements in terms of temperature, humidity, and appropriate enclosure sizes, there are some differences. For example, king snakes usually require slightly higher humidity levels, and their diets may differ slightly as well.

5. Can corn snakes breed with king snakes?

No, corn snakes and king snakes cannot interbreed. These snakes are separate species with different genetics and reproductive mechanisms.

6. Are corn snakes or king snakes better for beginners?

Corn snakes are often considered ideal for beginners due to their calm temperament, ease of care, and wide availability of captive-bred individuals. King snakes may require more experience and specialized knowledge, especially certain subspecies known for their aggressive behavior.