Ball Pythons VS Corn Snakes – The Ultimate Comparison

Ball PythonsCorn Snakes
SubstrateCypress mulch, coconut husk, orchid barkAspen
Adult Size4-5 feet5-6 feet
Lifespan30+ years15-20 years
FoodMice, rats, other small rodents, birdsMice, rats, other small rodents, birds, frogs, and lizards
Natural HabitatGrasslands, open forestOvergrown fields, open fields, forested areas
Country of originSubsahara AfricaEastern United States
Egg yield1-11 eggs per clutch1-30 eggs per clutch
Ovulation time6-8 weeks4-6 weeks
Incubation time54-60 days59-62 days
SpeciesP. regiusP. guttatus

Ball Pythons VS Corns Snakes

Corn snakes and ball pythons are two separate types of snakes. They even belong to different genus and family.

Corn snakes and ball pythons are not only two different species, but they also act and react differently in certain situations.

Because their breeding, habitats, and eating habits are all different, it’s important to learn about each one before picking which one to keep as a pet.

Corn snakes and ball pythons should not be kept in the same enclosure. Despite the fact that they are unlikely to harm or consume one other, they will both be stressed in that situation.

Ball pythons and corn snakes have similar personalities in that they would rather defend themselves than attack.

A ball python’s defensive response is to roll up in a ball and firmly protect its vital organs and head.

A corn snake will stiffen itself up to “push” you away. Bucking is the term for this.

Although ball pythons will buck when threatened, it is not necessarily their primary defense.
Corn snakes don’t curl up like ball pythons, but they will flee if they are threatened.

Click here to find out the difference between male and female ball pythons

Ball Python VS Corn Snake Bite

Corn snakes and ball pythons are both non-venomous snakes. They usually won’t bite you, but if they feel they need to, they will. Most bites from these animals are caused by accidentally mistaking you for food. 

The top jaw of ball pythons are lined with hook-like teeth. On both the upper and lower jaws together, they have up to 100 .
Corn snakes have approximately 40-60 teeth on both the upper and lower jaws combined.

The biting power of a ball python’s bite is estimated to be around 200 PSI, and while corn snake bites haven’t been widely tested, I can’t imagine it being any stronger.

The head of a fully developed Ball python is larger than that of a corn snake, so it’s likely that it contains more muscle.

We can assume that a ball python’s bite is worse because they have more teeth, larger jaws, and a stronger jaw force.

Ball pythons and corn snakes have one thing in common: they don’t like to bite people, especially when the snakes are older. Both are gentle snakes, which makes them beginner-friendly pets.

ball python

Ball Python VS Corn Snake Intelligence

According to most scientific studies, both ball pythons and corn snakes lack complicated emotions, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t intelligent.

My corn snake has only gotten out of his enclosure a few times and has never gotten more than 50 feet away from it.

Corn snakes are notorious for being escape artists, and getting out of a fully enclosed habitat requires some level of intelligence. 

A video posted by Creatures of Nightshade, shows a snake figuring out a puzzle made for dog treat enrichment. 
On his first try, the snake figured out the food puzzle in about 15 minutes.

Despite being an Eastern Indigo, this snake is a close relative of the colubrid corn snake.

By remembering routines, ball pythons exhibit intelligence as well.

Because they’re on a weekly feeding schedule, our ball pythons, for example, know when it’s eating time.

The ball pythons will appear near the front of their enclosures, where they know they can expect food on feeding days every week.

Ball pythons also show that they are complex creatures with their dietary preferences. Some ball pythons have different dietary preferences, with some preferring rats and others preferring mice.

These preferences prove that ball pythons will not eat the first sign of food they see, but rather the food they want.

There are numerous reports of ball python owners claiming that their snakes only eat white-furred rats or mice.

We are very limited in our understanding of a ball python’s thought processes, but this makes ball pythons much more interesting.

Ball Python VS Corn Snake Behavior

Both ball pythons and corn snakes are known to be gentle, especially when you handle them frequently.

Ball pythons and corn snakes show major differences in their behavior, particularly how they move around.

Ball pythons are recognized for curling into their typical ball shape, and this behavior stays true when you hold them. 

When you pick up a ball python, it will most likely wrap itself around you or somewhere else solid to feel safe. Ball pythons are easier to handle because they tend to secure themselves and you will not have to support their bodies as much as you would for a corn snake.

A corn snake’s behavior is different from that of a ball python. When you hold a corn snake in your hand, it won’t exactly wrap itself around you to keep you safe.

To feel safe, they will let their bodies flop down on any surface. They may wrap their tails around you to make them feel secure, but the majority of their body will roam anywhere they choose.

Corn snakes are much more difficult to control than ball pythons since they have a higher tendency to flee. This is especially true if they prefer to move around a lot. 

Best Friendliest snake to have as pets

Are corn snakes more active than ball pythons?

I have a corn snake as well as several ball pythons, and I can definitely tell that corn snakes are more active than ball pythons.

Ball pythons sleep roughly 20-22 hours every day, according to studies. That means they’re only awake for up to 4 in a day!

A snake sleeps for about 16 hours every day on average. Corn snakes, in my opinion, fall under this category.

Corn snakes are more active than ball pythons even while they are awake. They are inherently curious and will stick their heads into anything that will allow them to do so.

Ball pythons, on the other hand, have a distinct personality and would prefer to hide in a burrow.

Which one is better as a pet?

You might be wondering “which is better as a pet, a ball python or a corn snake?” The answer isn’t that simple, it really just depends on what you like. 

Both ball pythons and corn snakes are great beginner pets, they have long lifespans, they stay relatively small, and most of them are friendly. 

Do the snakes smell? 

Avoid getting a corn snake if you are sensitive to odors.

Corn snake poop has a foul odor despite the fact that they snake itself doesn’t have a bad smell.

Corn snake poo stink worse than ball python feces for some reason, regardless of the fact that they eat the same food.

Spot cleaning is a must for both animals, but ball pythons don’t have as bad of a smell. 

Corn snakes’ and ball pythons’ bodies have no odor but their waste definitely dThe bodies of corn snakes and ball pythons have no odor, but their waste does.


The most odor you’ll get from a ball python is from their substrate since you have to keep it humid most of the time. The actual smell of the substrate isn’t bad at all though, it reminds me of a wet forest. 

How big do they get?

Ball pythons are slightly shorter than corn snakes. Ball pythons average around 4-5 feet long as adults, but they can grow to be much larger

ball python

Corn snakes can reach a length of 6 feet.

There isn’t much of a difference in size between adult ball pythons and adult corn snakes. The most crucial part is that they both mature to a manageable size and can live their entire lives in 15-gallon enclosures.

Although the size difference between the two species isn’t significant, the width of each species may be a selling factor for you.

Corn snakes maintain their slim appearance throughout their lives. My corn snake is fully developed, with a body width of no more than 1.5 inches around at its widest point.
Ball pythons have a distinctive look. Their bodies are broader and can easily reach 3-4 inches around.

Their body type means they get much heavier than a corn snake as adults. 

Corn Snake and Ball Python Morphs

To develop morphs, ball pythons and corn snakes are selectively bred.
For both species, the concept of morphs is the same: the morph represents the colors and patterns of each snake.

Despite the fact that some of the morph names are similar, their colors and patterns are completely different.

Between ball pythons and corn snakes, there are thousands of morphs to choose from. Ball python morphs, however, surpass the amount of corn snake morphs there are by the thousands. 

Corn snakes have around 800 known morphs, whereas ball pythons have thousands of morphs that you can even combine. 

Even though every snake is breathtaking and they all equally deserve good homes, it’s fun to choose what your pet looks like. 

corn snake

Ball Python and Corn Snake HYBRID? 

Ball pythons belong to the Pythonidae family, while corn snakes belong to the Colubridae family, as shown in the diagram above.

Because ball pythons and corn snakes are 2 separate species, they cannot be cross-bred.
Although science may one day get us there, we currently can’t crossbreed snakes from two separate families.

Breeding different types of pythons together, such as the ball pythons and blood pythons, produces Super Balls, which are the closest thing we have to cross-bred snakes.

Colubrids can also be cross-bred, such as corn snakes and California king snakes to produce Jungle Corn Snakes.

A cornball python is far from our imaginations right now, but with advances in science, we’ll surely reach that possibility soon. 

What’s a normal ball python anyway?