One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A long North American rat snake with a spear-shaped mark between the eyes.
Elaphe guttata, family Colubridae
- ‘Youngsters at Just Learning Nursery, in Paxcroft Mead, Trowbridge, were visited by a company called Zoo Lab with a corn snake, giant millipede, land snail, rabbit, guinea pig, rat, stick insect and a frog.’
- ‘At the San Diego Zoo a two-headed corn snake named Thelma and Louise produced 15 normal offspring before it died.’
- ‘He took the snake's body to nearby pet shop Supreme Animal Foods where it was identified as a Texan corn snake, which had probably escaped from someone's home and had died in the cold.’
- ‘On the way to the second level the stairs are lined with some excellent live displays; a huge green iguana, some very curious and playful red-cheeked turtles and, for snake lovers, an American corn snake and a reticulated python.’
- ‘The couple rang the RSPCA and one of its officers identified the reptile as a corn snake which, although not poisonous, could have inflicted a nasty bite. She then took it away to be rehomed.’
Late 17th century: so named because often found in cornfields.
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