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corn snake head sizes


New member
I have been researching corn snakes and trying to learn as much as I can. I have read Don Soderberg's book called Cprn Snakes in Capativity and I am about 2/3 of the way through Corn Snakes: The Comprehensive Owner's Guide by Kathy Love and Bill Love. I have also watched a lot of YouTube videos on corn snakes. Also, I have come across several web sites with pictures of corn snakes.

I have a question about corn snake heads. The pictures in the books show corn snakes with small heads. Even some web sites show corn snakes with small heads. But, I have come across at least one web site which shows pictures of corn snakes that have heads that look too big for their bodies, if I compare them with pictures in the books.

One more question while I'm thinking of it. When it comes to corn snakes as pets, which sex makes the better pet?
Are the pictures you're looking at all adult corns? Or a mix of ages? Babies often proportionally have larger heads. The weight of the snake will also affect how the head looks. Very fat corns will look like they have a smaller head with no defined neck. And then skinny corns will look like they have a larger head. And then there's some variation between individuals based on genetics and possibly locality.

As far as the sexes, no, it doesn't really affect personality. The only difference in the sexes that you'll want to consider is that adult males often go a feeding strikes during the spring and adult females may lay eggs (even if they haven't been bred). Feeding strikes are more likely and they're a bit annoying to deal with. Laying infertile eggs is less common, but can be dangerous for the female.
I have gone back through the pictures that I have seen in the books and on line. Not all photos indicted whether the snake pictured is a juvenile or not. Then I was watching a fishing video and when the boy fishing wanted to show off his catch, his dad had him stick his arm out to get the fish closer to the camera. It made the fish look bigger than what it was. So, maybe what I thought were snakes with huge heads were tricks with perspective or something like that.

Hypnoctopus gave and answer that was really helpful. Thank you.

I have a tank and a lid and a heat mat. I'm working on getting other supplies together. I want to get a corn snake; but, I want to hold off getting it until I have all of the supplies that I will need.
It's great that you're addressing your questions before purchase. You'll have more later - we all do at times, but you're getting a good start. You and your snake will benefit from this. About setup, it's best to get the enclosure set up and running for a few days to get everything dialed in before you add the snake. Exciting stuff!

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My observations re head size of genus Elaphe now called Pantherophis (RatSnakes, Corns, FoxSnakes) over the last 40+ years via personal observations of my own captive snakes and others' captive snakes, pics in books & magazines & nowadays online, specimens at expos and in the Wild, are as follows:
1) heads of adult males are proportionately larger vs heads of adult females
2) heads of WC and F1, F2, etc those close to their WC roots are proportionately larger vs heads of those who have been CBB for 20, 30, 40 years
3) heads of those who have been power-fed are proportionately smaller vs those that have been fed on a more natural schedule

We have a 6' LTC male with a head that resembles a blood-python more than a colubrid. I'll try to get pics tomorrow.

Something to keep in mind: In the Wild, amongst a stable population of Elaphe, only 2 hatchlings will survive to reproductive age (which is at least 3 years old probably closer to 7 years old). This does not mean 2 per clutch, no, this means 2 out of the total of all the clutches that a female produces during her entire life. So, for example, if a female Corn or Rat or Fox manages to survive in the Wild lets say for 5 years and then produces a clutch of 10 eggs every year for 5 years before she finally dies that would = 50 eggs... only 2 of those 50 will live long enough, in a stable population, to breed. The other 48 = dead one way or another.

Which 2 do you think are gonna make it? Think about the attributes that are required out there, including head size, to beat the odds. Now compare that to 50 CBB eggs. Humans prioritize the subjective color/pattern that they think will be successful in the marketplace, not in the Wild.
Asmodeus, thank you for your reply. It contains a lot of information. From my history of raising guppies back when I was a teenager, I have come across F2 and F2. But, I have not been able to figure out what WC or CBB stand for. I can make a guess that WC stands for Wild Caught and CBB might stand for Captive Bred and Born. But, corn snakes come from eggs, so they are hatched.

Can somebody let me know if I am understanding the abbreviations right?
Yes, your abbreviations are correct.

WC = Wild Caught
CBB = Captive Bred and Born.

Yes, corn snakes hatch from eggs; so you might also see "CB" which = captive born which means a gravid WC dropped her clutch in captivity. Those hatchlings can also be considered F1's.
"CH" is also sometimes used instead of "CB"

Here's an example:
"1.1 CH'22 Hendry Co. FL Corn Snakes... They are captive hatched from eggs laid by a gravid female that was collected out of Hendry Co. FL."
copy/paste this URL for full description

Since you raised guppies you probably already know what the "1.1" means but if not 1.1 = 1 male + 1 female

1.2 = 1 male + 2 females

first number is how many males, 2nd number is how many females

occasionally you'll see a 3rd number which means unsexed, e.g 1.2.3 = 1 male + 2 females + 3 unsexed
I've been conducting extensive research on corn snakes and have immersed myself in various sources of information. I've read Don Soderberg's book "Corn Snakes in Captivity" and I'm currently about two-thirds of the way through "Corn Snakes: The Comprehensive Owner's Guide" by Kathy Love and Bill Love. Additionally, I've watched numerous YouTube videos and explored several websites featuring images of corn snakes.

My question pertains to the appearance of corn snake heads. The images in the books typically depict corn snakes with relatively small heads. Some websites also showcase corn snakes with small heads. However, I've encountered at least one website where the pictures depict corn snakes with heads that appear proportionally larger when compared to the images in the books.:sidestep:
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