Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Declared Class 1
American corn snakes could be in your area.
Call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 if you see this pest.
• It is illegal to keep them in Queensland.
• They may carry new diseases.
• Colour patterns may vary, but normally vivid reddish or orange blotches with black edges.
• Predate on small mammals and reptiles.
• Early detection helps protect Queensland’s natural environment.
Photos courtesy of John White
American corn snake (Elaphe guttata)
Description Class 1 pests are not commonly present or established
in Queensland and have the potential to cause impacts
The American corn snake is an attractive reptile that is to whole of part of the State. The introduction, keeping,
primarily nocturnal and highly variable in colour. Most releasing and supplying of a Class 1 pest is not possible
adults display vivid reddish or orange blotches edged without a permit, for special purposes, issued by
in black, on a grey or orange background. The colour Biosecurity Queensland.
intensifies with age. The snake reaches its adult length
of 1–1.5 m within 3–5 years. Albino or light-coloured What should I do?
specimens are readily available in the American and
European pet trade. The colouration pattern on the Biosecurity Queensland encourages people to report
snake’s underside is similar to a variety of multi-coloured, this Class 1 pest animal and to take actions to help stop
ornamental corn. the establishment, prevent the spread, and to control
In its native region, the American corn snake lives in
dry fields where it hunts for small mammals (e.g. mice), If you have seen this pest, please contact your local
reptiles and insects. The snake is harmless to humans but government officer or Biosecurity Queensland.
will strike if disturbed to scare off predators. Corn snakes
are constrictors, wrapping one or two coils around their Further information
prey and squeezing until the victim suffocates. Further information is available from your local
government office, or by contacting Biosecurity
Declaration details Queensland (call 13 25 23 or visit our website at
The American corn snake is a Class 1 declared pest
animal under Queensland legislation.