Corn snake companion

Asked June 26, 2020, 3:44 PM EDT

I got 2 corn snake from store that grew up together since they were approx 8” long. After 5 years together one snake dies of a prolapse and the other is doing fine. Is it ok to reintroduce another adult corn snake in same tank since they are considered communal? If so how should this be done?

Wake County North Carolina

1 Response

Thank you for your question. Although some reptile keepers do keep multiple snakes in the one enclosure, it's generally not recommended, unless you are trying to breed them.

Other than some species that utilize communal dens in the winter and breeding, snakes don't spend time together. Keeping snakes together presents the following potential problems:

  • Since they generally don't spend time together, placing more than one snake in an enclosure can stress the individuals, which can lead to health problems and feeding issues.
  • Feeding can be an issue. Unless you separate them during feeding, there is always the possibility that two snakes will grab the same prey item. In rare cases, this can result in one snake attempting to swallow the other.
  • In the event that one snake develops health issues, e.g., diarrhea, it's often difficult to determine which snake is having the problem. Also, if one snake has or contracts a disease, the chances are the other snake will contract the disease as well.
If you are going to combine individuals, I would make sure the snake you introduce is approximately the same size as your current one. You will have to monitor them for signs of aggressiveness and feed them separately.

I hope this information helps, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.

Jim