Elaphe guttata

Cornsnake from Grimes County, Texas
Corn Snake from Grimes County, Texas

Cornsnakes are generally uncommon in the Brazos Valley.  However, they can be locally common in some areas.  They appear to prefer wooded slopes along watercourses.

Corn Snake
another Corn Snake from Grimes County, Texas

Although cornsnakes are generally a slender species of ratsnake, the cornsnakes in our area are heavier bodied than is typical for the species in other parts of the range.  They are also quite defensive and most adults will not hesitate to bite if disturbed or handled.

This Cornsnake (from south of Carlos, Grimes County, Texas) shows the characteristic spear point pattern associated with this species. 

The Cornsnake is similar in appearance to the Prairie Kingsnake in our area and it can take some practice to separate the two species.  In general, the cornsnake has a dark spear point on the top of its head which points forward over towards the nose.  A Prairie Kingsnake has a dark blotch reminiscent of a tuning fork on the nape which opens forward towards the head.