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I'm going to have grandsnakes! Update p.4: Pics of fully egg-exited hatchlings!

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  • I'm going to have grandsnakes! Update p.4: Pics of fully egg-exited hatchlings!

    This helps my grief over losing my furry friends--I'm breeding my corn snakes! So excited! I've had the dam since she was 2 weeks old and 10" long--she is now 12 years old and 5+ feet. Her new man has been in our possession about 5 days now, heh, and was purchased specifically for his stud services. I was a little uncertain of his gender, but after their afternoon tryst, I am now very certain he is male...and so is she. Hee!

    She's laid a clutch of infertile eggs the last two years, so I wanted to be sure to catch her this year before she ovulates again (apparently it can be only once or twice a year). WOOT!

    What's super cool is the male is albino, and the female has albino parents--so the babies may be all kinds of everything mixed up. Trivia fact: snakes have more than one set of color genes. Whereas an albino mammal is white, an albino corn snake simply lacks black--the other three color sets remain. That's why her new man is orange, yellow, red, and white.

    She should lay her eggs in about two weeks, and then they'll need to be incubated for two months. SO EXCITED! My students (I teach middle school) will be ecstatic!

    Here's a pic of the happy couple. That's my girl Cleo on the left, and Dr. Zaius on the right.
    Last edited by Lauruffian; Aug. 7, 2013, 07:49 PM.
    SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
    CP Trilogy 2002-2015
    My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie

  • #2
    I'm sooo jealous, my brother has a ball python and I love to hold it. I've always wanted a either a corn snake or a pied ball python (snake colors rock!)
    Of the heart-aching, hard-working, hope-having, horse-loving and horse-less variety. We are a sad species indeed.

    Comment


    • #3
      Does incubation temperature have any affect on the gender outcome? I know it can in some reptile species.

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      • #4
        They are both beauties. I think corn snakes are one of the most attractive breeds.

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        • #5
          Lauruffian - Did you see the pics I posted of the wild corn snakes I saw mating on the tree in my yard?

          StG

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          • #6
            I cannot find snakes attractive.. at all, but I am glad some people do... the idea of baby snakes makes me shiver... puppies... kittens...
            I hope you get the babies you want!!

            Comment


            • #7
              I LOVE snakes (although they give my husband the serious heebie-jeebies), & over the years have enjoyed raising Garters, Red-Bellied, Ring-Necks, DeKay's, & Black Rats.

              I felt EXTREMELY lucky to one afternoon discover a wild Corn Snake enjoying the coolness of the stone block underneath our outdoor faucet. It was such a treat, since we usually only see juvenile & adult Black Rat Snakes around our place, with just an occasional insectivorous species. I'm so glad the Corn was around our place, because I'm sure any/all of my non-snake neighbors would've killed it automatically thinking it was a Copperhead.

              Comment


              • #8
                So many snakes-n-sex questions!

                Originally posted by Lauruffian View Post
                Here's a pic of the happy couple. That's my girl Cleo on the left, and Dr. Zaius on the right.
                What do you mean, "right and left"? They are all in a top and bottom vertical pile.

                Do male snakes wait for the female to be "in season" or do they just take a shot whenever?

                Can you tell when a female snake is in the mood? Does she control whether or not she goes on a date? Or is she a sitting duck?

                Is there any romance to snake sex/demonstration of his worthiness? Did Dr. Zaius have to show her any moves first?
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mvp View Post
                  What do you mean, "right and left"? They are all in a top and bottom vertical pile.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    LOVE snakes here, too..obviously. I also have a ball python named Seymour that I've had for 11 years, and hubby inherited a ball python juvenile for his science classroom when that teacher retired. But corns are awesome-er, in my opinion.

                    Super cool photos, St. Germain! The corns will keep the rodents out of your feed room, so seeing them breed I would see as good luck.

                    carp, I'm not sure about incubation temperatures. I know it affects turtles, but unsure of corns. Everything I've read mentions temperature and humidity, but not the effect temp has on gender. I shall do more reading.

                    My main fear is I'll kill the eggs, but hopefully my reading will help prevent that.
                    SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
                    CP Trilogy 2002-2015
                    My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Ha ha mvp! Okay, look for the position of their heads to determine right and left.

                      Love the questions! Yes, females have to be "in season," which is triggered by warming temps. They don't technically hibernate (they brumate), but usually that first shed after awakening from brumation is a sign that things are rrrrrready. They usually ovulate only once or twice a year. Cleo's infertile clutches both came in the spring, which signaled to me girl wanted a MAN.

                      She is no sitting duck--female snakes are often larger, so the males have to be super nice to avoid getting beat up in return. Dr. Z definitely had to make some moves on her--it reminded me of a stallion warming up a mare. He slides along on top and alongside her, sniffs her up and down, rubs on her and otherwise gets her "in the mood." She will lift her tail (hussy!) when she is receptive, and then, bow-chicka-bow-wow!

                      After she lays her clutch, she might ovulate again so I may be able to rebreed her--rather like a foal heat with a mare. After that, it's just wait until next spring.
                      SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
                      CP Trilogy 2002-2015
                      My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        WOW! I learned a lot about snake breeding that I never knew! Thanks for the lesson, Lauruffian!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lauruffian View Post
                          She will lift her tail (hussy!) when she is receptive, and then, bow-chicka-bow-wow!
                          Nice to know that Snake Porn music isn't better than ours.

                          More questions:

                          So all snakes have that vestigial pelvis.... from when the course of evolution changed its mind and went back to worm configuration.... but forgot to run spell check on every bit of anatomy, right?

                          Does that mean that snake eggs have to fit through that pelvis? Our own species has that problem. Are snake eggs leathery and flexible like those of other reptiles, or hard?

                          And how big is a newly hatched snake? What do they eat at that point?

                          Does mamma have to personally curl up on her clutch of eggs to keep them warm or does she leave them in the sun/light?
                          The armchair saddler
                          Politically Pro-Cat

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ditto!

                            Originally posted by FalseImpression View Post
                            I cannot find snakes attractive.. at all, but I am glad some people do...
                            I hope you get the babies you want!!
                            Ditto this! However, I am learning quite a bit about snakes in this thread, so thank you for that. The pictures are both interesting and disturbing to me, haha.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And to add to MVP's currently unanswered questions, do snakes actually, er, do THE deed like mammals?
                              What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                Nice to know that Snake Porn music isn't better than ours.
                                SNORT!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by oliverreed View Post
                                  And to add to MVP's currently unanswered questions, do snakes actually, er, do THE deed like mammals?
                                  Yeah, it sounds like they do. Mixing DNA, "insert tab A into slot B" and everything.

                                  But more questions!

                                  1. Given the slidiness of snakes (kinda like cats), does the snake penis have any features like barbs that help it stay in there long enough to git-r-done? Or does this all have to come from a sweet-talking male and a pleased female?

                                  2. Now everyone's imagination is going wild re: snake penis. Pictures?

                                  3. And where do they keep their balls? Warmblooded animals keep 'em on the outside so as to lessen heat that would denature proteins involved with the semen. Snakes don't have to mess with that? Balls on the outside would certainly be un-aerodynamic (or whatever the word would be if you are sliding across the ground).
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Temperatures of incubation do affect gender in some reptiles, but I'm not sure about corn snakes. I considered breeding leopard geckos at a time, and temperatures do affect the sex ratios of the babies. Heres a good link for people wondering about cornsnakes: http://www.vmsherp.com/LCBreedingCorns.htm
                                    Post pictures when they hatch! I love snakes, I had a Kenyan Sand Boa at one point - very cool little snake.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Ooh, so many questions! Cool. Let's see if I can tackle most of them.

                                      mvp, as far as I know, the eggs do pass through the pelvis, but don't quote me. A snake can become egg bound--think reproductively constipated--and that is one of the biggest risks to the female.

                                      Snake eggs are leathery, rather than hard-shelled, and a key component of the incubation is maintaining humidity as well as temperature. Eggs that dry out and wrinkle die.

                                      Mama will lie on her eggs for a little bit to guard them, but will eventually abandon them. Here's Cleo lying on top of her infertile clutch last spring.

                                      Normally the eggs are laid in a damp, partially covered area--in the wild, perhaps a leaf pile--so what I'll provide for her is a nesting box of moist spaghum moss. This protects them from the elements, keeps them sufficiently warms, and maintains vital humidity levels.

                                      Newborn snakes are the cuuuuuuute. Yes, I said it. I showed pics to my classes today, and it was hysterical hearing a room full of 12yro girls (well, boys too) who'd normally freak at snakes give a collective "AwwwwWWWW!" at the images. Especially this one and this one.

                                      Hatchlings are commonly fed "pinkies," which are newborn mice (no fur, thus, all pink). You can actually buy pinkies by the frozen dozen, which you reheat in warm water (never microwave--it cooks them, and can dangerously overheat parts of them).
                                      Last edited by Lauruffian; Apr. 9, 2013, 12:14 AM.
                                      SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
                                      CP Trilogy 2002-2015
                                      My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Now, snake sex! Let's talk about sex, bay-bee, let's talk about...uh...Cleo and Dr. Z!

                                        Snake sex is decidedly sexual. The male does have a penis--kept safely inside until needed. (As hubby told his science class, if you crawl around gravel and hard surfaces as a method of locomotion and have external genitalia, you won't have it for long.) Interestingly enough, the snake has a two-headed penis, called a hemipenes, because he enters the female from the side. Having a head on either side means he doesn't have to say, "Wait, baby, wait! Can we switch sides of the bed?"

                                        Male snakes have longer tails (the portion past the cloaca) because they need more room for the hemipenes. One method of sexing is counting scales--males have 140+ past the cloaca, and females rarely have more than 130. Cleo has 128, Dr. Z 142.

                                        Alright, you asked, so here you go! Very clear photo of a young corn's hemipenes. Note most of these inverting photos are of very young snakes--that's because when they get older, it becomes very difficult (and dangerous to the snake) to do. Enter scale counting. God bless digital cameras with high definition.

                                        Here's a diagram of a snake's internal anatomy. I was surprised how far the testes is from the hemipenes--but it makes sense to have it closer to the main organs because it will be warmer.
                                        SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
                                        CP Trilogy 2002-2015
                                        My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie

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