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  • Boca Raton Educational Article of the Month - What is a snake's mating habits, when do they have babies, or lay eggs?

What is a snake's mating habits, when do they have babies, or lay eggs?

What is a snake's mating habits, when do they have babies, or lay eggs?

Mating season
Snakes in colder climates usually start their mating season as soon as they finish their hibernating period. This is roughly during spring after the Florida winter months. However, in tropical regions, snakes can mate any time of the year. Mating may also depend on their ability to find food in their Boca Raton area.

The mating process
The mating process begins with selection. Often, male snakes try to attract female Boca Raton snakes by doing a sort of "play fight" to see which one is the strongest. In other snakes, the male may also engage the female snake, the snake that does not back down from the fight is usually awarded the opportunity to mate with the female. When the female chooses its mate, they will mate for roughly an hour but may take as long as a whole day. As soon as this is over, the female and male will go their separate ways and will no longer be in contact with each other.

Birthing period
Female snakes may give birth to her young once or twice a year. For some species this may occurring as soon as the mating process is over. But depending on circumstances, snakes may end up reproducing only every three years. As soon as the female is able to lay her eggs, she leaves the nest and never returns. However, there are some species of snake that stay near the Boca Raton area of the nest in order to ensure the young's safety. This is called "brooding". But as soon as the baby snakes emerge, the mother snake will leave them to fend for themselves.

Live young or eggs?
Most snakes lay eggs but there are some species of Florida snake (boas, rattlesnakes, garter snakes) that give birth to live young (ovoviviparous). This means the eggs develop inside the mother. When they are born, baby snakes are covered in a thin membrane and in order for them to get out, the baby snake has a special egg tooth to help them rip open the membrane before slithering free.

For egg-laying snakes, these snakes will lay their eggs in a safe, warm place such as:
• Hollow logs
• Underground

It may take a few weeks for the baby snakes to hatch and when they do will use that special egg tooth to pick their way out. When they first come out, most snakes look little carbon copies of their parents. Baby snakes are instantly subject to their Florida environment and will be on their own to defend themselves from would-be predators such as:
• Birds
• Foxes
• Lizards

South Florida has a documented problem with Pythons. However, it's never the big animals that are a problem, like sharks or snakes. It's the small animals like mosquitos or pine beetles that cause real damage. The Florida Python hunt is ineffective and unethical. Read more about it here:

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