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Redbelly Snakes Giving Birth & Heading For Hibernation Sites

10-2-14 red-bellied snake2 IMG_0980Redbelly snakes come in two colors – brown and gray, both of which have red bellies. About a foot long, this secretive snake tends to inhabit woodlands with small openings and lots of cover. Mating takes place primarily in the spring after emerging from hibernation, and females give birth to 1 – 21 young in the late summer or fall. Mass migrations of redbelly snakes take place in October and November, when these snakes travel to their hibernation sites. Redbelly snakes often hibernate in groups of their own and other small snake species, taking refuge in anthills, abandoned animal burrows and old building foundations.

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7 responses

  1. Patsy

    Hi Mary–my son found a redbelly when he was young and it was giving birth to live young–with a little placenta with each one! Until then I never knew that some snakes do this. The world is so cool.

    October 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    • What a great experience for both your son and you!

      October 2, 2014 at 1:51 pm

  2. I just discovered one of these this summer. Had never seen one before. I think it was a young one as it was very small (about 8″) and quite reddish, like a salamander, all over. It was hiding under an old, metal sundial!

    October 2, 2014 at 7:18 pm

  3. Very pretty snake.

    October 2, 2014 at 9:58 pm

  4. Kathie Fiveash

    I think it is a yolk sac, not a placenta – only mammals are gifted with that remarkable organ. A live-bearing snake actually carries her eggs inside her body until they hatch instead of laying them and leaving them vulnerable to all the world’s dangers.

    October 3, 2014 at 5:44 pm

  5. Cloe

    In August I was drying my sleeping bag on a cliff in the sun on Cranberry Island. When I picked up the sleeping bag later, I found a redbelly snake resting underneath it! What a surprise!

    October 4, 2014 at 1:56 pm

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