Corn snake photoperiod?

Hi, I’m just wondering if light cycling corn snakes is important for successful breeding. I have all my breeder corns in a black rack with semi-clear tubs, I moved them next to my window to let more light in but I am wondering if monitoring and controlling light is needed for good success breeding corn snakes. I have them with hotspots of 89-90 degrees if that matters at all.

Depends on who you talk to. Some people believe it is light cycle, others believe it is cooling the animals.

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I think it definitely plays a part in them knowing it’s that time of year but I think it’s only one part of the whole picture. Shorter days with colder temps and no food for an extended period of time all tell the animals it’s winter time. Could you cycle them without the photoperiod changing? Probably but it’s also as easy as buying a black sheet or a few towels to cover up the rack.

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I mean I cooled them for over two months at 55 degrees in a completely dark room. I was just wondering if it was important to give say 9 hours of light when you first wake them up and then increase it overtime or not. As they are in a black rack with semi-clear tubs it is hard to get much light in there without adding lights to the rack.

Very good question. I’m unaware of any solid scientific consensus on this with corn snakes. Photoperiod is important to mammalian cycling, as numerous studies have shown. I personally keep my breeding adults near windows and/or use artificial light on the principle that it certainly won’t hurt and very well might help.

On another fertility note, you should adjust your hot spot down a few degrees. 90°F is too warm. There is a definite correlation between very warm temps and a drop in fertility. They do need to be 80°F or above for digestion, but over 85° is not necessary for adults and can in fact be dangerous.

Really? I thought you were supposed to give them an 88-92 degree hotspot, I guess this is wrong then.

Yeah, that’s wrong. It’s frustrating as heck how challenging it can be to figure out which sources to trust when researching something new. There’s a lot of good info out there but also a lot of incorrect and even potentially harmful info out there. On this point, above 87° is risky. At 90°F and above, there’s a serious risk of causing potentially irreversible neurological damage. Think of it as similar to a heat stroke or very high fever in humans, 105°F and above.

Practically speaking, of course if your snake had the option to relocate away from the too-hot sara in order to cool back down, it would. Happens in nature all the time. With a pet snake, part of joy is seeing the snake so if we put a visible basking spot in their viv, we usually want to see them there.

Generally speaking, the community here is an excellent resource. For corns, there’s also which is forum style. Usual social media groups are great for looking at pics, not always reliable for info. Hope that helps! And kudos to you for putting in the research time!