Do Snakes Lay Eggs

Did you know that there are over 3,600 snake species globally? Snakes are undoubtedly fascinating to watch and investigate. Some snakes have vivid scales, while others are drabber in color.

Snakes may be found in water, on land, or both. The breeding and egg-laying habits of these reptiles are among the most incredible facts about them.

Discover information about snake eggs, including where they may be found and their size and color. Additionally, learn about the distinctions between oviparous, viviparous, and ovoviviparous snakes.

Like rattlesnakes, vipers, boas, and most sea snake species, most snake species reproduce by laying eggs and giving birth to live young. Learn more about snake reproduction by reading through the following facts.

Do All Snakes Lay Eggs?

No, not all snakes lay eggs. One of those facts that comes as a surprise is this. Oviparous snakes are those that lay eggs. Viviparous snakes, on the other hand, are those that give birth to live young.

A viviparous snake’s fetuses develop inside a placenta inside the female’s body. Mammalian moms and babies are carried in the same way. Boa constrictors and anacondas are two viviparous snakes that come to mind.

Neither oviparous nor viviparous, garter snakes Ovioviviparous snakes are the actual name for these little animals. This means that inside the body of a female garter snake, the eggs incubate as well as hatch. The mother gives birth to her young live after the eggs hatch inside her.

The ovoviviparous snake has several benefits over other types of snakes. Since they are housed inside her until they are generated, a female snake may defend her little from predators. Second, by stopping to lay eggs, she protects herself against predators.

So which snakes Lay Eggs?

The enormous Colubridae family, which includes cobras, adders, mambas, and taipans among other things, lays eggs in the great majority of snake species around the world.

While most sea snakes give birth to live offspring, the oviparous Laticauda genus, which is found on land rather than in water, lays eggs.

Female snakes, in most cases, do not care for their eggs after they are laid. But, certain species will coil around the eggs and help to keep them warm until they are ready to hatch, which is a great benefit.

After the eggs have hatched, the female of Ophiophagus hannah, a very venomous king cobra, stays with them for a period of time.

When is the Breeding Season of a Snake?

The average incubation period for snake eggs is 57 days, however it varies depending on the snake species. After 40 days, some snake eggs hatch, but after 70 days, others do not.

From about August to September, snake eggs hatch in late summer and early fall.

Do Snakes Hatch From Eggs?

Yes, it is. Snake eggs incubate many snakes. The species determines how long it takes a snake to emerge from its egg. It ranges from one to three months for most species. You may be curious about how snakes emerge from eggs now that you know reptiles lay eggs.

Neonates communicate with one another by their heartbeats while they’re developing. They synchronize their metabolisms and hatching times using this communication method. This indicates that all of the eggs in a clutch will hatch around the same time (approximately two days apart).

Snake eggs have an egg tooth, which they use to break out of their shells. This tooth is used by a snake to break the leathery shell and the embryonic membranes inside an egg.

How Does a Mother Snake Care for Her Eggs?

A burrow or a stack of leaves or sticks are used by an oviparous snake to deposit a collection, or clutch, of eggs. So, what follows next?

Just after they lay their clutch of eggs, most snakes abandon them. As a result, most newborn snakes never get to see their moms. Fortunately, shortly after hatching, the very young snakes can live on their own. Of course, animal kingdom exceptions should always be taken into account.

Once the eggs are laid, African rock pythons remain with them for around two weeks. The female guards her 100 or more eggs until they hatch, at which point they shed their skin for the first time.

When predators endanger their eggs or young snakes, female African rock pythons have been known to attack them. An African python snake is wrapped around a clutch of eggs in a photograph that you may have seen.

An adult African rock python can grow to be almost 12 feet long, which is quite surprising. These snakes may also weigh up to 200 pounds. As a result, this snake would likely be comparable in size to a predator threatening a female’s clutch of eggs. He’s also quite fearless!

And which Snakes Give Birth to Live Young?

Snakes may give birth to live young viviparous (no eggs) or ovoviviparous (egg retained inside the female’s body), both of which result in live and fully developed baby snakes.

The majority of viper species, as well as rattlesnakes and Boidae family boa constrictors like the green anaconda, give birth to live offspring.

The venomous cobras, adders, and mambas are all members of the Hydrophiinae subfamily of the Elapidae family.

Most sea snake species give birth to live young, which means the babies are born in the water, with the exception of the genus Laticauda (as seen above).

Since there is no parental care for snakes, the newborn snakes are completely on their own when they are born live.

The hatchlings are born and must survive on their own from the moment they leave the egg. Bites from poisonous snakes, such as rattlesnakes, are “fully loaded” with fangs and venom, allowing them to administer a deadly bite when they are born.

At What Age Do Snakes Lay Eggs?

Once they reach sexual maturity, snakes are unable to reproduce. Nutrition, size, health, and species may all influence when a snake reaches sexual maturity. snakes live for 10 to 15 years after reaching sexual maturity around two to three years old.

The snake is prepared to reproduce and lay eggs once it reaches maturity. When animals are unusually tiny or malnourished, they may take longer to reach sexual maturity.

Some scales may develop on adult male snakes in the vicinity of their anal region, according to research. The presence of a cloacal capsule, which may be seen from the ventral surface, is an indication of sexual maturity for females.

What Do Snake Eggs Look Like?

The identification process might be aided by looking at the form of an egg. The oblong form of a snake egg is characteristic. This permits a growing snake to expand inside its egg.

Snake eggs come in a variety of sizes, from one to five inches. The title of having the biggest snake eggs in the United States is held by a Louisiana pine snake, for example. Its eggs are two inches thick and five inches long. A brown snake’s eggs, on the other hand, are more than two inches long.

Snake eggs have the same hue throughout the species, despite their size differences. They’re either white, off-white, or beige in color. Unlike birds’ eggs, snake eggs aren’t hard. Their leathery texture and flexibility make them ideal for use. Snake eggs may even glue together.

So how do snakes reproduce?

As we’ve seen, most snakes deposit eggs and others give birth to live young, so it varies depending on the snake species. Snakes seem to have just two modes of reproduction, but they actually have three distinct ways of reproduction, learn more about them here.

Oviparous: Snake species, or around 70% of them, are known to lay eggs when they are oviparous. After that, the eggs must be incubated or maintained warm until the hatchlings are fully formed and ready to leap from their shell.

Rat snakes, king snakes, grass snakes, and other species from the Colubridae family all lay eggs. The Elapidae family of snakes is also oviparous, including mambas, cobras, adders, and others.

Viviparous: This reproductive strategy is the most comparable to that of mammals, including humans, because there’s no egg present. The placenta and a yolk sac are used by snake species that are considered viviparous to feed their growing offspring.

Among reptiles, this is a trait that is very unusual. Viviparous snakes include boa constrictors and green anacondas, both of which give birth to live offspring instead of eggs.

The ovoviviparous technique is a “mix” of an egg layer snake species and one that produces live offspring, in the sense that it is ovoviviparous.

The eggs are developed inside the body of ovoviviparous snake species. The female is still carrying the eggs in her body when the infants are born.

The baby snakes eventually emerge fully formed and active with no shell, and the eggs will hatch inside of the female. Hatchlings are born outside of their eggs, albeit alive. The ovoviviparous nature of many rattlesnake species allows them to produce live young after they have generated and retained their eggs within their bodies.

What Are the Differences Between Snake Eggs and the Eggs of Other Reptiles?

When it comes to comparing bird and snake eggs, the identification process is rather simple. Snake eggs are white or off-white, while birds have colorful eggs with a variety of designs. How do you know if the eggs are from a different kind of reptile?

The form of a snake egg and a turtle egg may be used to differentiate them. A snake has oblong eggs, whereas a turtle has round eggs.

It’s possible to tell if an egg is a snake’s egg or another kind of reptile by looking at its size. A turtle’s eggs are typically less than one and a half inches long, in addition to being spherical. Lizard eggs are generally less than an inch long, although they have the same form as snake eggs.

So, what about an alligator’s eggs? Three-inch-long eggs are possible in alligators.

However, as opposed to a leathery shell like a snake, their newly laid eggs have a hard, brittle shell. The surface of the shell of an alligator’s egg gets softer while it is incubating.

An alligator also creates a nest for her eggs, which is unlike most snakes. In addition, a female alligator protects her eggs against predators by remaining nearby.

As a result, while snake eggs and the eggs of different types of reptiles have some similarities, there are a few differences that may be helpful in identification.

Where Do Snakes Lay Eggs?

Two weeks to a month following copulation and fertilization, a snake is ready to lay eggs. After that, she must choose where to deposit her eggs.

As compared to other reptiles, snakes pay less attention to where they lay their eggs. Several kinds dig holes in sandy locations to conceal their clutches, but most do not bury their eggs.

The majority of species lay their eggs in natural cavities. This may include the following: Beneath the logs, surrounded by moist soil, mounds or burrows.

How Many Eggs Does a Snake Lay?

Smaller snakes produce fewer eggs than bigger snakes of the same species. Just 10 or 30 eggs are laid by some small snakes. In some cases, a big snake-like python can produce 100 or more eggs.

Myths About Snake Birth

Snake birth is surrounded by a lot of myths.

Some folks think that snakes don’t breed until the first spring thunderstorm. This isn’t accurate. The reality is that warmer temperatures and a snake’s biological clock encourage it to emerge from hibernation and breed.

Another urban legend states that poisonous and nonpoisonous snakes can breed to produce a mixed offspring. This isn’t accurate. There are two types of snakes: venomous and nonvenomous. These species are unable to breed and produce viable, reproducing offspring.

Some people even think that snakes give birth to their offspring via their mouths. That isn’t correct either. In reality, bigger snakes are known to consume smaller snakes.


Snake births are more complicated than you imagined. Snakes produce eggs in the majority of cases. They are therefore oviparous.

Pliable or stiff leatherlike snake eggs may be found. Most snakes produce pliable shells, but rigid shells are typically tougher. Hatchlings use their egg tooth to smash through the shell when it’s time to hatch.

A snake is either viviparous or ovoviviparous if it does not lay eggs. Snakes that are viviparous do not lay eggs. Babies develop inside the mother’s membranes and are delivered live, much as humans are delivered.

Shelled eggs with an embryo inside are found in ovoviviparous snakes. Neonates, on the other hand, breach the shell before delivery.

The subject of snake eggs and reproduction is fascinating, and the information may be used to create your own morph! Have you ever seen a snake emerge from an egg? In the comments section below, tell us your story.