A couple of good eggs

Leopard snake, Zamenis situla, hatching

Leopard snake, Zamenis situla, hatching

A new arrival gets his (or her) first view of the world.  60 days previously he was one of four eggs laid by a female leopard snake.  With very few exceptions, notably the pythons, snakes do not display any parental care.  Once the female has laid her eggs, in a moist, secluded place such as a cavity under a rock or log, or in decaying vegetation, she takes no further interest in them.  

Hatchling number two puts in an appearance.

Hatchling number two puts in an appearance.

The young snakes often remain in their eggs for several hours, or even days, after they have created a slit in the shell, seemingly recovering from the effort of hatching and waiting for an opportune moment to slide out and disperse into the surrounding countryside.

Leopard snake, Zamenis situla with clutch of recently laid eggs.

Leopard snake, Zamenis situla with clutch of recently laid eggs.

Leopard snakes occur in southern Europe, including Italy, Greece and several Mediterranean islands. They are among the most attractive European snakes and feed on small rodents such as mice and voles, which they are ideally equipped to follow into their burrows and nests.

The photographs are of captive animals: the chances of discovering a snake in the process of laying its eggs in the wild are almost non-existent – catching one in the act of hatching is even less likely.

 

4 Responses to “A couple of good eggs”

  1. Nick Benger says:

    Are these from the pair I sold you Chris? Great photos! Nice work, they look amazing.

    Nick Benger.

    • chris-mattison says:

      Hello Nick.
      Yes the same female and an unrelated male. I will try again this year but have been too busy to put them together yet. Beautiful snakes.
      Chris

  2. chris-mattison says:

    Thanks, Nick.

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