Have you ever seen a albino animal? They’re very interesting because they have pigmentation loss, which means that their skin is pale in comparison to all the other members of their species. This occurs when individuals, whether it be a person or an animal, inherits a mutated gene from both of their parents that interferes with melanin production. This is the main pigment that is responsible for the color in your hair, eyes, skin, and, in animals, fur. Melanin is produced in the melanocytes, and these cells are not functional in albino animals.
Although you might know about albino mammals, non- mammal animals can also be albino, but they have other cells that produce pigment. This leads to a partial albinism in comparison to other animals. Also, not all white animals are albino.
One interesting albino animal is the albino corn snake. This is an interesting albino animal because it’s one of the most popular snake breeds for pets. These are eye-catching snakes and the albino corn snake is actually a morph. A morph is a snake is a pattern that’s purposefully breeded in that snake. The albino corn snake is exotic looking and they make great companions because of their treats. Here’s some more information about the albino corn snake.
All About the Albino Corn Snake
First, you should know that albino snakes can be found in the wild, but most of them are bred in captivity. Breeders make sure that this morph lives on by trying to mate snakes that have the albino gene. Breeders make sure that these snakes are plentiful enough to be a popular option for beginning pet owners who want unique and exotic snakes.
One of the things that you notice the most about the albino corn snake is their skin. They have no melanin in their body, which is what gives animals no black pigment. The albino corn snake does not have the dark pigment that is in regular snakes, but it does have red and white scales. Some of the albino corn snakes have orange and yellow shades in their skin also.
If you see an albino corn snake, they usually have red and orange markings on their back, and these markings are usually surrounded by a thick white border that makes those markings stand out more. Their heads usually have some yellow markings and the neck area might have more color as well. Oftentimes, the belly of the albino corn snake is white with some red markings.
There are also some striped albino corn snakes and these have more melanin than a traditional albino corn snake. You’ll easily make this observation because they have dark stripes on their back. You’ll know that it’s a striped albino corn snake because they have an orange body with two red stripes running along their body.
One thing that you will notice when you look at an albino corn snake is the red eyes. Usually, snakes have black eyes but being albino means that they don’t have dark pigmentation. This is why they have red eyes that can shine super bright. These snakes have varying shades of red eyes, but it can be anywhere from a dull red to a bright red. You might even see some with pink eyes and others with an orange glow to their eyes. This changes how likely they are sold too, because breeders want their albino corn snakes to have the most unique qualities.
Corn snakes, not just the albino ones, have terrible eyesight and they hunt using thermal pits in their mouths. This means they sense their prey and it can tell them where their prey is hiding. That’s why these snakes can be nocturnal and not need to hunt for food during the day. Their night hunting makes these small snakes less susceptible to being hunted by larger prey.
All snakes have scales, so that isn’t what’s different about the albino corn snake’s scales. There is a trait about the albino corn snake’s scales that are different, however, and it’s the way the scales lay on the snake’s body. Their scales are keeled, which means that these skills don’t lie flat on their body. The middle of the scale has a bend in it.
You’ll understand this if you’ve ever touched a snake. When you touch a snake, you have to run your finger in the direction of their scales. Their scales lie flat when you run your finger along them and it’s very smooth. The corn snake’s, however, don’t lie flat and you’ll feel the up-and-down of your finger as you drag it down the snake’s body.
No one knows what the purpose of this difference is, but there are a few guesses. Some people believe that the healing of the albino corn snake scales help it dig through dirt and climb trees. It’s used to grip, which is very similar to the ways that the pruning of your fingers help grip when you’ve sat in water too long. Others think that it was adapted over time because of camouflage since it prevents their scales from shining brightly when they’re hiding.
What are they Like as Pets
Corn snakes are very popular pets for snake owners for a reason.
They’re very docile snakes, which means that they are very temperamental. They won’t strike you when you try to touch them and they asked well around human attention for extended periods of time. If you want to actually interact with your snake, like old them remove them from their enclosure for a bit, then a corn snake is a great choice for you.
Those are good snakes to have if you have kids because you don’t have to worry about being bitten. If you provoke the corn snake to bite you, then oftentimes you were doing something that you knew would make the snake uncomfortable. If you handle your snake weekly, actually it will get used to you handling it and it’ll become more comfortable with you soon.
This doesn’t mean that they won’t get irritated or afraid of you. This means that it takes a lot more for them to feel this way. If they strike you, you won’t get any serious injuries, but it will hurt a little bit. When this occurs, you want to put the snake back in its enclosure and allow it to calm down. Now, make sure to clean your wound and learn what to do when a snake bites you. Corn snake bites are not deadly and you’ll be fine. Just make sure that you handle the snake correctly next time.
Snake owners also like corn snakes because they stay small, which means you need a smaller enclosure. They only grow to be around 3 to 6 feet long typically. While this may sound big, this size is perfect because you don’t have to feel scared while you’re handling them and they’re a lot easier to care for at this size. For these snakes, you could buy a 20 gallon glass tank (View on Amazon) and it’ll be enough room for everything that the snake needs.
Most pet owners are concerned about their corn snakes escaping their terrarium because they’re very small. To prevent an escape, make sure it’s a secure terrarium with a top. If your snake does escape, all you have to do is look for the closest warm area because they’ll likely be there.
If your corn snake is a baby, you’ll have to be careful because they’re more scared about being handled. You’ll want to let them get adjusted to their new terrarium for a few days so that it doesn’t lash out at you. After they’re adjusted to their terrarium, you can handle your snake for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time. You should do this a few times throughout the day just to make sure that your snake is getting used to you and is exposed to handling more often.
If you have a corn snake, whether it’s albino or not, you should know a few things about raising them they might have issues with.
The first thing you have to know is that it is likely to get fungal and respiratory infections. These diseases are very serious and they can harm the health and lifespan of your snake. You’ll probably end up with a few veterinary bills and a few medications to administer because of these issues. You can prevent fungal infections by ensuring that the snake’s cage is cleaned thoroughly which means you need to give them a decent amount of attention. If you do believe that they have a fungal infection, you need to take them to the vet immediately. The respiratory infections can be caused by stress or mouth rot. Constant maintenance can definitely help you have a healthy snake.
Corn snakes also require complex habitats. Your corn snake needs special bedding, humidity levels, and temperatures so that they live well in the enclosure. If you don’t give your snake these things, they’ll become sick and die. These habitat conditions can be expensive because you have to replace a lot of it once a week or semi-regularly. Bedding, for example, is one thing that needs to be cleaned weekly for your corn snake, which means you have to buy more of it.
Watching the temperature is important, but this is something that you’ll have to do whenever you have a reptile as a pet. For your corn snake, the temperature must be around 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and this means you’ll need a thermostat (View on Amazon) in the enclosure so that you could track the levels.
Owners have to be concerned about salmonella because corn snakes carry this bacteria. This bacteria can be deadly to humans and it’s spread through direct contact. In some cases, it can be spread indirectly, which means you don’t have to touch your snake to get it. This bacteria attacks the intestines in humans, and children and elderly people are more susceptible to this bacteria. Symptoms can begin anywhere from 1 to 3 days following the infection. You’ll have to be careful if you have a snake in your house around children especially.
One thing that many people complain about is the feeding of a corn snake. Feeding any snake requires some preparation, but corn snakes need to eat pre- killed mice. This means you’ll have to purchase pre- killed mice and find a place to store them. Since you don’t want these mice sitting in your freezer with your food, you’ll need a separate freezer for your snake’s food. While you could simply buy a mini fridge (View on Amazon), this does give you some extra costs. If you have a baby corn snake, this also makes things more complicated because they can only eat single newborn pinky mice.
Feeding is further complicated once you realize that you’ll need to warm it up because it ensures that the snake will actually eat the food. Corn snakes like to wrap around their food and constrict it, and frozen food can’t allow this to happen because it’s hard and cold. You need to dangle the warmed up snake in front of your corn snake to get them to eat. You’ll need to become more familiar with what your snake will do around feeding time so that it’s eating properly.
How Long will they Live
When kept in good enclosure, these snakes will live for up to 24 years, sometimes even older. This is a long commitment, so if you want a corn snake, ensure that you’re in it for the long haul. Luckily, the snakes are very content with being left alone, which means that being a snake owner is very different than owning a dog or cat. This is a long time to be attentive to their habitat, but owning a snake is a unique experience and you’ll have a lot of fun for that period of time.
The Ideal Enclosure
All corn snakes need a good enclosure and they have specific requirements. The first thing that you’ll need to do is make sure that this enclosure is ready before you get your snake. You need to buy your 20 gallon terrarium (View on Amazon). 20 gallon terrariums come in different measurements, but try to get one that’s 12 inches wide, 30 inches long, and 12 inches tall. You definitely don’t want to do anything like a shoebox, especially if you have an adult corn snake.
Make sure the surface of it is easy to clean and make sure that it’s heated (View on Amazon). Set it up so that you have a viewing area and openings for air exchange. For good air exchange, you’ll need to separate openings on different sides of the cage. Make sure that it’s about an eighth of an inch so that the snake can’t escape, and make sure that what it’s being covered with is a non-abrasive texture.
You want to buy Aspen bedding (View on Amazon) for them, because the bedding is very important for corn snakes. It’s a pale, wood fiber that’s great at absorbing solids and liquids the snake produces. This bedding allows you to easily scoop and remove it, which makes it ideal for you too. This bedding allows the snake to weave channels through it and explore, which is very important for corn snakes. You want to give your snake the most comfortable environment that they can have because they deserve it.
Now that you know all about the albino corn snake, you can decide if you want one as a pet. If not, then at least you learned a little something new.