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Best Snake For Beginners: Corn Snake vs. Hognose Snake

Best Snake For Beginners: Corn Snake vs. Hognose Snake

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The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Snakes are the perfect pets for beginner reptile owners. They don’t require a lot of care, and it’s fun to watch them grow.

The challenging part about snakes is choosing which species will suit you most. Most experts always advise keeping Corn or Hognose snakes. Mainly because along with Ball Pythons, they’re the easiest to take care of.

If you’re curious about who’s superior between Corn snake vs Hognose snake, keep on reading!

What Are Corn Snakes and Hognose Snakes?

Before choosing a snake, you should brief yourself about the species you’re eyeing. This is to ensure that you’re knowledgeable enough to determine whether you’ll be able to comply with their needs.

Corn Snakes

Corn Snakes or Pantherophis guttatus are native to North America, specifically Florida. They’re commonly found in the eastern parts of the United States, such as New Jersey, Louisiana, Florida, and Kentucky.

This species is also known as the “Red Rat Snake” because they’re part of the rat snake group. Aside from that, they usually have a yellow or brown body with red spots that have black outlines.

Moreover, their bellies have alternating black and white marks, which resemble a checkerboard pattern. Additionally, it’s similar to Indian corn, which might be the origin of their name.

They also have different variations, but the most common are Mexican Corn Snakes, Slowinski’s Corn Snakes, and Keys Corn Snakes. These are the Corn Snake variations that are normally sold in pet stores.

Corn Snakes attack their prey through means of constriction. They wrap their bodies around the prey, and they’ll subdue the latter before swallowing them.

Hognose Snakes

Hognose Snakes come from the Heterodon genus which is native to North America. Additionally, there are three types of Hognose Snakes in the United States, namely Western Hognose Snake, Eastern Hognose Snake, and Southern Hognose Snake.

One of the distinguishing factors of a Hognose snake is its facial structure. They have an upturned snout and wide necks.

In addition, Hognose snakes have different body colors. Eastern hognose snakes typically have yellow or brown bodies, while Southern and Western Hognose Snakes have gray or tan bodies.

Furthermore, Hognose snakes are sometimes called “Puff Adder” because when attacking their prey, they inflate their bodies. By doing so, they mimic Rattlesnakes, which are the largest venomous snakes in the United States.

After inflating their bodies, they strike their prey. If it fails, the snakes will act like they’re dead by rolling on their backs and sticking out their tongues.

Corn Snakes and Hognose Snakes Comparison

It’s time to move on to the differences between Corn Snakes and Hognose Snakes. Take note of how the snakes differ in size, behavior, and the like. These can be deal breakers whether you’d want to take care of them or not.

1 – Snake Size

Young Corn Snakes are oftentimes eight to 12 inches. However, when they reach maturity after three years, they can grow up to five feet.

As such, the ideal enclosure for young Corn Snakes is a ten-gallon tank, while a 40-gallon (or larger) tank is perfect for an adult.

On the other hand, a juvenile Hognose Snake is only five to nine inches. As they mature, they can grow up to four feet long.

Moreover, female Hognose snakes grow larger than males. Their maximum length is four feet, while males can only grow up to three feet.

The ideal enclosure size for a young Hognose is ten gallons, while adults need a 20 to 40-gallon tank.

2 – Behavior

Most of the time, Corn Snakes are docile. The only time they get aggressive is when they’re feeling threatened or stressed, but they’re not venomous.

They’re diurnal species, meaning, they’re active during the day, but there are instances wherein they’re also active during dusk and nighttime. Additionally, Corn Snakes enjoy climbing trees and burrowing, which is their way of finding prey.

Moving on to Hognose snakes, they, too, are docile species. Even when they’re in their defense mode, they don’t bite.

However, it’s good noting that Hognose snakes produce a mild venom that they use to subdue their prey. The venom only works on small animals such as rodents.

They’re also diurnal species. They enjoy basking, burrowing, and foraging unless the temperature gets way too hot for their liking.

3 – Diet

Corn Snakes aren’t picky when it comes to their diet because they’re carnivores. You can feed them rodents that vary in size, depending on the Corn Snake’s age.

Young Corn Snakes eat after their first shed, and the advised meal is a pinkie (baby mouse). When they become adults, two juvenile mice or a weaned rat will suffice.

You can feed them live or frozen mice. Although you should keep in mind that you can’t let live mice stay in the snake’s enclosure for long periods of time.

Hognose Snakes aren’t constrictors so they can’t subdue live animals, especially when they grow up in captivity. As such, they can only feed off of frozen or thawed prey.

Furthermore, they’re carnivores, so they also eat mice. Other options include frogs, salamanders, and lizards, as long as they’re not larger than the snake’s head.

Moreover, Hognose Snakes can be picky eaters at times. It’s quite common among this species, but it’s nothing to worry about—you just have to try different feeders.

Final Thoughts

So, who’s superior between Corn Snake vs Hognose Snakes? The answer depends on your preference.

If you want a snake that doesn’t require that much effort to take care of, then the winner is Corn Snake.

On the other hand, if you want a snake that looks unique, and you can tolerate finicky animals, then Hognose Snake wins.

Nonetheless, these snakes are still the best beginner-friendly reptiles that you can own!

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