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Why Are Corn Snakes Red? (And What Other Colors Can They Be?)

Why Are Corn Snakes Red? (And What Other Colors Can They Be?)

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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.

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.

What Are the Names of the Red Corn Snake?

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

Why Are Corn Snakes Orange?

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.

Are Blue Corn Snakes Real?

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.

Can You Get a Blue Corn Snake?

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.

What Are the Other Colors of Corn Snakes?

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.

Faded Pink

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.

Pale Gray

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.

A Mix of Red and Black

Okeetee breed has a dark red color bordered with bold black lines. Their original home is South Carolina.

A Mix of Pink and Yellow

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.

A Combination of Black and White

Black or anery corn snake has a unique black and white color. Some individuals have a black and gray color.

Dark Grayish or Light Lavender

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.

Combination of Yellow, Orange, and Red

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

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