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What Is a Scaleless Corn Snake? (And How to Identify One)

What Is a Scaleless Corn Snake? (And How to Identify One)

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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.

The first time you get into the world of reptile keeping, you’ll get to learn about different snake species.

It can be a little overwhelming to try and keep track of them all, though. One variety that stands out that you may not understand much about is the scaleless corn snake. So, what is a scaleless corn snake?

Let’s take a look at this article to learn everything you need to know about these reptiles.

Who Produced The First Scaleless Corn Snake?

A snake collector from France, Richard Dijoux, produced the first scaleless corn snake. It resulted from cross-breeding between a great plains rat snake and a corn snake.

All scaleless corn snakes are hybrid mutants; there’s no such thing as a pure scaleless corn snake. That’s why it’s next to impossible to find one in the wild.

How to Identify a Scaleless Corn Snake

Scaleless corn snakes, as the name suggests, have no discernable scales in appearance. Instead, these types of snakes display wrinkle-like textured skin that feels velvety.

Here are some characteristics that are unique to scaleless snakes.

1 – Absence of Visible Scales

These snakes do still have their scales, although they’re tiny compared to the size of regular snake scales. This gives them the appearance of having no scales at all.

In addition, some scaleless snakes have small visible scales that are sparsely located along their bodies. These scales appear in random locations, and varying degrees of visibility.

2 – High Color Saturation

The absence of scales makes the colors stand out and appear more vibrant than scaled snakes. This is because scales have an obscuring effect on their actual colors.

Scaleless corn snakes have the same variety of colors as regular corn snakes. The most common colors are reds, oranges, and browns, with some black markings.

3 – Large Eyes

Scaleless corn snakes appear to have large eyes in proportion to their head size. It’s an illusion brought about by having no scales around their eyes.

4 – Belly Scales

The only visible scales are the ventral scales found on their underside. These ventral scales protect the most used part of its body and add traction for its mobility.

5 – Length

Adult scaleless corn snakes can reach an approximate length of five to six feet, with a girth of around one inch.

How Does Genetic Mutation Make Snakes Scaleless?

The absence of scales is not only confined to corn snakes. This genetic mutation, although rare, can also occur with other snake species.

The scales are made of keratin, the same protein that forms our hair and nails. This recessive genetic mutation prevents cells from forming into scales in snakes.

A recessive genetic mutation means that a pair with the same genetic disorder passes the trait on to their offspring.

Snake breeders take advantage of this when it happens in captivity. They pair snakes with this genetic mutation on purpose to produce more scaleless snakes.

Do Scaleless Corn Snakes Shed?

These snakes also shed their skin like other regular snakes. While scaled snakes leave imprints of scales, scaleless snakes have smooth skin sheddings. Ventral scale imprints would only be the visible tell-tale signs of scales on their shed skin.

Can Scaleless Corn Snakes Be Pets?

There is a huge demand for scaleless corn snakes as they make excellent pets. The extensive range of colors and patterns in these scaleless corn snakes adds to their popularity among breeders.

Having a long lifespan of 20–25 years and a non-aggressive nature, they’re best suited for newbie snake owners. Always keep in mind that even though these snakes are docile and non-aggressive, they’ll defend themselves if threatened.

Is a Rodent-Based Diet Good for Scaleless Corn Snakes?

Scaleless corn snakes are hardier than most corn snakes. They’re not as prone to illness, but still need a balanced diet to thrive.

A majority of corn snake owners feed their snakes a rodent-based diet. These include rats, mice, gerbils, and hamsters. Other reptiles and amphibians are acceptable as well.

How Much Does A Scaleless Corn Snake Cost?

Scaleless corn snake price range starts from $150.00 to $4,000.00 for specimens with patterns and colors that are unique.

In other words, their prices depend on their color and pattern. The more vibrant or exotic the color or pattern the snake has, the higher the price it commands.

Final Thoughts

What is a scaleless corn snake? A scaleless corn snake is a result of breeding a pair with the same genetic mutation. This is referred to as a recessive genetic mutation. Snake breeders capitalized on this mutation to supply the high demand in the pet trade.

The scaleless corn snake species has a wide variety of colors and patterns. This makes them perfect for reptile enthusiasts who like diverse specimens.

It’s a good pet choice for anyone looking for a pet with a long lifespan and who loves exotic reptiles. They’re among the friendliest types of snakes and are easy to handle.

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