Corn snakes, native to North America, are a favorite pet snake. They make ideal beginner snakes due to their relatively small size, placid nature, and ease of care. Over the years, corn breeders have selectively bred hundreds of different color and pattern variations, known as “morphs.”
We’re going to provide an in-depth guide to the best corn snake color morphs. You’ll find information and pricing for our favorite morphs, including some beautiful photos or corns. You’ll then find out how many corn snake morphs there are in total.
- 1 What Are Corn Snake Morphs?
- 2 Beautiful Corn Snake Morphs (with Price Guide)
- 2.1 1) Amelanistic (Albino) Corn Snake
- 2.2 2) Anerythristic Corn Snake
- 2.3 3) Lavender Corn Snake
- 2.4 4) Caramel Corn Snake
- 2.5 5) Okeetee Corn Snake
- 2.6 6) Stripe Corn Snake
- 2.7 7) Bloodred Corn Snake
- 2.8 8) Scaleless Corn Snake
- 2.9 9) Blizzard Corn Snake
- 2.10 10) Palmetto Corn Snake
- 3 How Many Corn Snake Morphs Are There?
What Are Corn Snake Morphs?
Pantherophis guttatus are a species of non-venomous rat snake native to the southeastern United States. In the wild, they are usually orange in color with orange-red saddle-shaped markings, outlined in dark grey.
There is some variation in appearance among wild snakes, but not much. For example, Miami phase corn snakes tend to have a lighter ground color than Carolina phase corn snakes.
Breeders have produced corn snakes with some exciting color and pattern variations. They do this by pairing corn snakes with specific genetic mutations which they wish to see in future generations (such as albinism).
According to the University of Pittsburgh, some corn snake genes are dominant (requiring only one copy of the gene to express the trait) and some are recessive (the snake will carry the gene, but won’t visually display it unless it has inherited two copies). A snake which looks different to a “normal” or “wildtype” corn snake is referred to as a “morph.”
Morphs are extremely popular among owners. Some of the more common variations can be quite cheap (around $40); scarce corn snake morph types can cost over $1000.
A color morph is a corn snake which has the same pattern as a normal corn snake (saddle-shaped dorsal markings) but is a different color. Their background color may differ, or the marking color.
For example, caramel corn snakes have caramel-colored saddles (rather than red saddles) on a light tan or yellow background (rather than an orange background). They may or may not have different eye colors, too.
A pattern morph shares the same orange, red, brown and black colors as a regular corn snake.
However, their markings are differently shaped. For example, a stripe corn snake has longitudinal stripes along its body, rather than saddle-shaped patches.
Scale morphs, rather than affecting the corn snake’s color or pattern, affect the physiology of the scales themselves. For example, scaleless corn snakes have normal colors and patterns, but have no scales on the dorsal area of their skin.
Snakes carrying various color, pattern and scale morphs can also be bred together to form “compound” morphs. For example, breeding a stripe corn snake to an albino corn snake could theoretically produce an albino stripe corn snake.
With the scaleless trait thrown in there too, you could produce a scaleless albino stripe corn snake. Some color morphs can also be bred together to form new colors.
Beautiful Corn Snake Morphs (with Price Guide)
|Morph Name||Appearance||Price Range|
|Amelanistic (Albino) Corn Snake||Cream to light orange ground color with orange-red saddles.||$40 – $50|
|Anerythristic (Anery) Corn Snake:||Light grey ground color with dark grey-brown saddles, outlined in black.||$50 – $60|
|Lavender Corn Snake:||Pale grey ground color with a hint of pink. Purple-grey saddles.||$40 – $80|
|Caramel Corn Snake:||Pale grey to light tan ground color. Deep golden saddles, outlined in black.||$30 – $70|
|Okeetee Corn Snake:||Bright orange ground color. Deep red to burgundy saddles, with very thick black outlines.||$60 – $100|
|Stripe Corn Snake:||Orange ground color with red longitudinal stripes running from neck to tail.||$40 – $60|
|Bloodred Corn Snake:||Vibrant blood-red ground color with deep red to burgundy saddle markings. Saddles may fade with age as the ground color becomes darker.||$70 – $100|
|Scaleless Corn Snake:||This snake lacks any scales on the dorsal area. Normal colors and patterns still present on the skin. The ventral area still retains scales.||$200 – $800|
|Blizzard Corn Snake:||Solid white with no markings. Some specimens can develop slight yellow coloration with age.||$70 – $100|
|Palmetto Corn snake:||Solid white in color with many individually pigmented scales, giving a “flecked” or “confetti” appearance.||$600 – $1500|
1) Amelanistic (Albino) Corn Snake
Amelanistic corn snakes are the result of a simple color morph gene which completely removes melanin (the dark pigment producing black and brown colors).
This was the first corn snake morph ever to be selectively bred. It’s also possibly the only corn snake mutation that ever occurs naturally in the wild.
Amelanistic corn snakes, or “amels,” are widely available and ever-popular. However, the fact that they’re common does not make them any less beautiful.
Though they’re often nicknamed “albino,” amelanistic corn snakes are not entirely white all over, like an albino guinea pig. This is because while they do not have any melanin, they retain the red and yellow pigments that give them the rest of their color.
They typically have a cream or pale orange ground color, with orange and red patches lacking the dark outlines seen in typical corn snakes. According to an article in Scientific Reports, amelanism in corn snakes results from a single malfunctioning gene called OCA2.
Amelanistic corn snakes also have pink, red or orange eyes, as melanin is responsible for giving normal corn snakes their brown eyes.
How Much Do Amelanistic Corn Snakes Cost?
Amelanistic corn snakes are one of the most widely available morphs. They aren’t quite as cheap as “normal” corn snakes, but they aren’t too expensive. For a corn snake that only has the amelanistic trait, you could expect to pay around $40 or $50 per snake.
Some amelanistic snakes, however, cost more than others. Candy cane corn snakes, for example, are amelanistic corn snakes that have been selectively bred for minimal orange coloration.
They are white or pale pink with red patches. Though they don’t have any other genetic traits aside from amelanistic, they typically cost more than standard amels.
2) Anerythristic Corn Snake
Anerythristic corn snakes, commonly called anerys, are corn snakes which lack erythrin. Erythrin is the pigment which gives corn snakes their red coloration. This is another simple color morph, resulting from a single gene mutation.
Because anerythristic snakes still have melanin, they keep all of their dark brown and black pigmentation, but lack oranges and reds.
The result is a snake which has a grey ground color and dark grey or brown markings, with black outlines. They also typically have grey eyes instead of brown ones.
There are two different types of anerythristic corn snake:
- Type A anerys are typically quite light in color, with a stark contrast between background and markings. Their markings usually have some hint of brown amongst the dark grey, and their eyes are silver. As they age, Type A anerys often acquire some yellow pigmentation along their throats and sides.
- Type B anerys are a darker grey color, with less contrast between their ground color and markings. Their eyes are usually very dark grey or black. They have minimal, if any, brown pigmentation in their markings. They also typically do not acquire any yellow pigmentation as they age. Another name for Type B is “charcoal corn snake.”
How Much Do Anerythristic Corn Snakes Cost?
Because anerythristic corn snakes are the result of one single gene mutation, like amelanistics, they are quite common and not particularly expensive. Anery corn snakes typically sell for $50 to $60. Type Bs tend to be slightly rarer and pricier than Type As.
3) Lavender Corn Snake
Lavender corn snakes are another simple color morph, but one of the most popular corn snake morphs around. Their colors are unique to behold, and quite difficult to describe.
The ground color is typically silvery-grey, with some hints of peach or pink. Their saddle-shaped markings are a strange purplish-grey, sometimes with a hint of brown. Their saddles are outlined in dark grey or brown.
Interestingly, lavender corn snakes change color drastically as they age. Hatchling (baby) lavender corns are much darker than adults, and have much more brown pigmentation in their scales. As they age, they fade to a lighter color, and hints of pink and lavender start to come through.
How Much Do Lavender Corn Snakes Cost?
The price of lavender corn snakes can vary, depending on the individual snake’s coloration. Individuals that have more brown pigmentation tend to be cheaper than snakes with subtle lavender coloration. You may be looking at $40 to $80 per snake.
4) Caramel Corn Snake
Caramel snakes are one of the simplest color morphs and yet, in the opinion of many people, one of the nicest to look at. Red pigmentation is significantly reduced in the caramel gene, but the yellow pigmentation is enhanced.
This results in a corn snake which has a light tan to grey ground color, with deep golden-brown saddles. The saddles can range from quite a bright yellow to a medium brown, but the usual color is somewhere in between.
The caramel gene has been used by breeders to create several favorite compound corn snake morphs. The yellow pigmentation in the caramel gene is often enhanced by pairing it with another gene. For example, combining the amelanistic and caramel genes removes all of the brown pigment from the caramel snake, resulting in a striking pale yellow morph with bright yellow saddles. This is known as a butter corn snake.
Morphs containing the caramel gene can often appear redder as hatchlings. They lose this red coloration and become more yellow as they age.
How Much Do Caramel Corn Snakes Cost?
Caramels are one of the more basic morphs available, so, fortunately, they can be quite cheap. A basic caramel or butter corn snake may cost between $30 and $70.
5) Okeetee Corn Snake
Interestingly, okeetee corn snakes first started as a natural variation observed in wild corn snakes. First spotted in the region of Jasper County, South Carolina, these snakes were named after the Okeetee Hunt Club located there.
They have since become selectively bred for their striking colors, and are one of the most popular color morphs.
Okeetee corn snakes are quite similar in color to normal corn snakes, but brighter, and with a much higher contrast between the ground color and markings.
They have a bright orange ground color, with deep red saddles, verging on maroon. The border surrounding the saddles is jet black, and much thicker than on normal corn snakes. Interestingly, this means that the okeetee gene affects both color and pattern.
Amelanistic corn snakes can be bred with okeetee corn snakes to produce “reverse okeetee” morphs. These are identical to okeetees, but the border surrounding each saddle is white, rather than black.
How Much Do okeetee Corn Snakes Cost?
Slightly rarer than the color morphs we’ve covered so far, okeetee corn snakes usually priced at around $60 – $100 per snake. “Extreme okeetees,” selectively bred for yet higher contrast and more well-defined borders, can be on the higher end of this.
6) Stripe Corn Snake
Stripe corn snakes can come in any color morph, as the stripe gene only affects the snake’s pattern. Rather than having saddle-shaped dorsal blotches, stripe snakes have longitudinal stripes. These stripes are quite thin; they begin at the neck and end at the tail.
A normal-colored stripe corn snake has an orange ground color with red stripes. As with the dorsal saddles on normal corn snakes, the color of the stripes can range from a lighter orange-red to a dark reddish-brown. In some individuals, the stripes may begin to break up towards the tail.
How Much Do Stripe Corn Snakes Cost?
It’s relatively uncommon, these days, to find a stripe corn snake for sale that doesn’t have any other traits added in. If you can find a normal-colored stripe for sale, you may be looking at around $40 – $60. But most breeders like to combine the stripe pattern morph with exciting color morphs to form unique combinations; these can cost significantly more.
7) Bloodred Corn Snake
One of the most popular morphs is the bloodred snake. They are incredibly striking. With a bloodred corn snake in your collection, any visitors would undoubtedly be impressed. The bloodred trait was bred into normal corn snakes, by selecting only the brightest and darkest red specimens.
Bloodred corns have a bright, blood red ground color, with darker red saddle markings. Some individuals with this trait possess the “diffused” gene, meaning that their pattern is focused on the back and fades at the sides. Their bellies also lack the characteristic “checkered” appearance associated with normal corn snakes.
Hatchling bloodred corns often look quite similar to normal snakes. As they grow older, their colors darken. Many diffused bloodreds lose their markings completely as adults, turning a solid red color.
How Much Does the Bloodred Corn Snake Cost?
One of the more expensive single-trait color morphs, bloodred corn snakes usually sell for $70 – $100. Diffused bloodred corn snakes, which eventually fade to patternless, tend to sell for more than standard bloodreds.
8) Scaleless Corn Snake
First created by interbreeding corn snakes with another species of American rat snake in the genus Pantherophis, scaleless snakes are one of the most interesting morphs.
This is because the trait which gives these snakes their identity is not based on a color or pattern, but rather a physical mutation. They have no scales on their dorsal area, leaving the soft skin underneath exposed.
They still have scales on their ventral side (belly), to protect their undersides while they’re moving through their environment. Some scaleless corn snakes have a few odd scales on their head or neck area. Scaleless corn snakes can come in any color or pattern.
Some corn snake enthusiasts have expressed worry that scaleless corn snakes may be less healthy or more at risk of illness than typical corn snakes. However, no studies so far have demonstrated that they are any less robust.
One study on scaleless snakes in the Journal of Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology tested whether the missing scales could contribute to more water loss through the skin. However, it found that the rate of water loss due to evaporation was the same in scaleless and scaled snakes.
How Much Do Pantherophis Guttatus Cost?
Scaleless corn snakes can’t be called “new” anymore, as they’ve been around for many years now. However, because of the uniqueness of their appearance, they are still relatively expensive. Most scaleless morphs start at about $200 and get more costly as more color morphs are added in.
9) Blizzard Corn Snake
From a literal perspective, blizzard corn snakes are the plainest snake you could imagine. However, they are simultaneously one of the most beautiful and unique morphs among corn snakes. Why? It’s because they are pure white, from nose to tail, with no markings or pattern of any kind.
Blizzard corns are the result of breeding an amelanistic (albino) corn snake with a Type B anerythristic (charcoal) corn snake. The resulting hatchlings lack both melanin and erythrin, meaning that they have no orange, red, brown or black pigmentation on their bodies. This is what creates the characteristic solid white appearance. Blizzard corn snakes have light pink eyes with red pupils.
As adults, some blizzard corn snakes end up with some yellow pigmentation, localized around the throat and belly. This is because some corn snake morphs retain carotenoids (yellow pigments) from the food that they eat, and the build-up eventually gets express in their colors as they age.
How Much Do Blizzard Corn Snakes It Cost?
Blizzard corns, like many compound morphs, were once quite expensive.
However, they’re becoming increasingly more common, so their price has begun to drop. You can expect to find blizzards for $70 – $100.
10) Palmetto Corn Snake
The palmetto corn snake is one of the newest morphs available to breeders, and they are a contender for the unique looking snakes.
Palmetto corns are white and patternless from head to tail, just like blizzards. However, a handful of randomly-dispersed scales up and down their body are pigmented with color. This gives palmetto corns a “speckled” or “flecked” appearance. The appearance of the palmetto corns is like confetti sprinkled in the snow.
Normal palmetto corns are flecked with the colors that you’d see in an average corn snake – red, orange and brown. However, we have also seen palmettos mixed with many other morphs. For example, butter palmetto corn snakes are white with flecks of yellow.
How Much Do Palmetto Corn Snakes Cost?
One of the most recent morphs to grace the corn snake world, palmetto corns are still very expensive. Most palmettos on the market today sell for $600 to $1500 each.
That being said, their price is dropping – a few years ago, they were selling for $10,000 each. In a few years more, they should start to become quite affordable.
How Many Corn Snake Morphs Are There?
There are dozens of single-trait morphs available to choose from that we haven’t mentioned, and thousands of potential compound morphs. And because corn snakes are one of the most popular pet snakes, breeders discover new genetic mutations every year.
Some of the rarest corn snake morphs are the result of breeding precise color or pattern morphs together. It’s possible to breed morphs that contain two, three, four, five or even six separate genetic traits. Every corn snake carrying a multitude of characteristics will have a unique appearance. Some have sold for as much as $10,000.
Whether you spend $20 on a “normal” colored snake or $1000 on a designer morph, you’ll still end up with a beautiful reptile. Here’s our complete guide to corn snake care.