Pets in the Classroom

Teaching Responsible Pet Ownership

Our Class Pet

20131015_081028Amelanistic Corn Snakes are also known, as Red Albino is a common type of snake with the amenalistic hereditary trait. This means that its skin misses the black color pigment leaving only shades of white, yellow and orange. E. guttata is its Latin scientific name. The snake comes in a variety of patterns and colors. The word Elaphe means deerskin while guttata means spotted or speckled. The name “corn snake” is a holdover from the days when southern farmers stored harvested ears of corn in a wood frame or log building called a crib. Rats and mice came to the corn crib to feed on the corn, and corn snakes came to feed on the rodents Corn snakes are harmless and beneficial to humans.


The snake is beautiful despite the fact that it lacks the black skin pigmentation like other normal corn snakes. It has an orange to red coloring and its skin feels like that of fine tanned deerskin with patterns on the back creating speckles or spots. The pattern of the belly scales resembles maize.

Geographic Range:

The snake is normally found in a various regions in the United States such as southwestern Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, west Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Georgia, Okeetee, Kentucky, Maryland, Kansas, Mississippi, Texas, Virginia, Eastern Utah, Oklahoma and Miami. The snake can also be found in Mexico (Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, North Durango and Tamaulipas) and in the Cayman Islands



This species normally occurs in Pine Barrens, deciduous forests, farm areas and rocky hillsides.  The aquarium was designed to simulate a natural, but manageable environment.


It feeds on anything ranging from frogs to mammals like rodents. Wild Amelanistic Corn snakes feed on vertebrates. The snake will eat thawed mice approximately every 7-10 days; live mice are not used for feeding. The snake will consume and digest almost 90% of the mouse. Students may witness feeding.


The snake is mostly active at night or in some hours of dusk and dawn. Normally, it is primarily a ground dweller but some are semi-arboreal. It is NON-AGGRESSIVE and students will have the opportunity to handle the snake.  Students are taught responsible pet-ownership as an objective of the grant which includes understanding the long-term commitment an animal requires.


It is recommended to acquire a captive bred rather than wild caught Amelanistic Corn Snake because they come in exotic colors and are easy to handle. The average life span of the ones held captive is about 10 years.


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