Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Alan D. St. John
Photo Copyright Alan D. St. John

The cornsnake or Great Plains rat snake, Elaphe guttata, occurs in northeastern Mexico and throughout much of the southern United States east of New Mexico. In addition, an isolated population occurs in western Colorado and eastern Utah. Cornsnakes are usually found near streams, or in rocky or forest habitats. This species is typically more active at night, particularly during hot summer months.

Females lay an average of ten to twelve eggs per clutch in spring and early summer; young hatch in eight to ten weeks. Cornsnakes eat rodents, bats, birds, insects, lizards, and other snakes. Individuals are typically light gray in color with dark blotches on their backs. Two dark markings on the back of the neck join to form a V-shape between the eyes.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.