Corn snakes are one of the most popular pet snakes in the US. Nevertheless, a lot of questions about them still need to be answered. One of the most common questions is: why are corn snakes red?
In fact, corn snakes are red because of low levels of melanin in their skins. In other words, there’s little black pigment in their body.
This results in their red, yellow, or orange external appearance. However, not all corn snakes are red. There are some grayish and black species, like Lavender, and Black.
The red corn snake lives in multiple counties and cities all around the states. So, it has a long list of vernacular names according to each location. Here are the most common names:
- Beech snake
- Brown sedge snake
- Red chicken snake
- Chicken snake
- Pine snake
Some corn snakes are orange for the same reason that others are red. This is because of the lack of melanin in their bodies.
Still, what makes some individuals darker (red) than others (orange or yellow) is their level of black pigment. The higher the level of pigment, the darker the appearance of the snake.
The answer is no, and yes! To explain, there’s no pure blue corn snake. That’s because the genes producing the blue color aren’t a part of the corn snake’s composition.
However, some individual Charcoal corn snakes look a bit blue. The reason is that they have a genetic combination called the dilute gene that decreases the level of black pigment.
Plus, they have anerythristic genes, which reduce the red pigment. This gene combination results in a wash gray color, which looks slightly like blue.
So, some people might call it a blue snake, while others don’t consider it blue.
Because what’s called blue corn snake is a rare morph, it’s tremendously hard to get one. Nevertheless, you can get a blue snake that looks similar to corn snakes and is the same size.
This snake is the Japanese Rat Snake. It’s available in both blue and green colors. Japanese Rat Snake behavior is slightly different from that of a corn snake. Still, it’s so easy to handle.
There are multiple species of corn snakes. Each has its own unique color pattern. Here are the most common colors other than red and orange:
Albino or amelanistic corn snake colors aren’t limited to red and orange. They can be yellow with a pink, orange or red eye color as well.
Another color of Albino or amelanistic corn snake is white. This white amelanistic has one of the three eye colors, pink, orange or red.
Coral Snow morph is pale pink with orange patches spread along its body. In addition, it has some white or yellow patches on its sides and a white belly.
As its name reveals, the ghost morph has a pale gray color. Plus, brown patches across its body. It’s the result of breeding anerythristic type A and hypomelanistic corn snake.
Okeetee breed has a dark red color bordered with bold black lines. Their original home is South Carolina.
The breed snow corn snake is a subtype of amelanistic snake. It has a color pattern consisting mainly of pink and yellow. Its eyes are pink, and the pupils are dark pink.
Black or anery corn snake has a unique black and white color. Some individuals have a black and gray color.
The lavender corn snake is a morph that was produced only four decades ago. It was introduced due to breeding a wild-caught female with a snow corn snake. They’re dark grayish, and some individuals are light lavender.
A melanistic snake morph can also have a low-contrast color pattern that consists of yellow, orange, and red. This type of snake has red eyes.
Why are corn snakes red? Corn snakes are red due to the lack of melanin in their skins. It’s the same reason why orange corn snakes have their color.
However, corn snakes have a lot of other color patterns that have been produced over time. Nevertheless, there’s no actual blue among all corn snake colors.
That’s because these types of snakes don’t have the genetics to produce such color. So, what’s called a blue corn snake isn’t a real blue. In fact, it has a wash gray color.
Finally, if you want to get a blue corn snake, the Japanese Rat Snake can be a perfect alternative as it’s blue and similar in appearance and size to corn snakes.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.