This interesting looking snake is a baby female PALMETTO CORN SNAKE (Pantherophis guttatus). In the wild the corn snake is found in the eastern and southeastern USA with Florida, Georgia and North & South Carolina being just a few of the states in which they are commonly found.

Palmetto corn snake

I used to keep and breed corn snakes in big numbers many years ago (mostly in the 1990s before I owned a digital camera!) but the ones I kept back then did not look like this particular individual. Corn snakes exist in a huge range of colour and pattern forms (known as morphs), some of which are found in nature and others of which have been created by decades of artificial or selective breeding in captivity. The Palmetto corn snake is an unusual colour and pattern morph which occurs in small numbers in nature and is becoming increasingly popular within captive snake collections. It is unusual because snakes of this type hatch as white to pale pink snakes with just a little colourful speckling on a few of their scales, but as they grow the speckling becomes more widespread and much more vivid in colouration.

Palmetto corn snake

This gorgeous individual hatched in Kidderminster in Worcestershire on July 9th 2021 and I am very grateful to the breeders, Wyre Forest Reptiles, for letting me buy her! They produce large numbers of corn snakes among other snake species at a very impressive breeding facility, which I had the pleasure of visiting to collect this snake in October 2021:

https://wyreforestreptiles.co.uk

I am also very grateful for their kind permission to allow me to share the pictures below. This first image is of my baby when she was just three weeks old – you can see that she already has lots more spots in the pictures above (taken on collection in mid-October 2021) than she did back at the end of July and this will continue to be the case as she grows!

Baby Palmetto corn snake
Photograph courtesy of Wyre Forest Reptiles

The father of the baby is in the picture below – he is a Palmetto corn snake himself and as you can see he has a lot more patterning than my baby – in my opinion he is a strikingly beautiful snake with a pure white background and vivid red/orange speckling!

Adult male Palmetto corn snake
Photograph courtesy of Wyre Forest Reptiles

This is the baby’s mother – her colouration and pattern are far more typical of many wild corn snakes (albeit with very little black outlining to the red blotches) but she is carrying the genetic material required to produce a Palmetto corn snake which is why the combination of this particular male and female was able to produce babies like mine! 

Adult female corn snake
Photograph courtesy of Wyre Forest Reptiles

I am very much looking forward to seeing how this baby grows and changes in the coming months / years and am really hoping that she turns out looking just like her Dad! I will be sure to share updated photographs of her on here.