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Milksnake Eggs Hatching

8-3-15 milk snake IMG_6320Some snakes lay eggs, while others give birth to live young. Milksnakes (which are nonpoisonous) belong to the former group and sometime between April and late June female milksnakes lay 3 to 20 eggs in rotting logs or moist, warm, leaf litter — locations that offer protection from predators and cold weather. Eggs laid in June are now hatching – seven- to ten-inch milksnakes are each using their egg tooth to slice through their egg and enter the world. Newly-hatched milksnakes have especially vibrant colors, including oranges, reds, purples, and yellows, which become duller as they age. Milksnakes are most active during the day but are rarely seen due to their secretive nature. (photo: adult milksnake; insert-newly hatched milksnake)

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9 responses

  1. ELi & Tucker

    We love this post!

    August 6, 2015 at 7:31 am

  2. They are 7-10 inches long as they emerge from their eggs? That seems amazing. I used to find milk snakes quite regularly when I was a kid in rural Central NY, and I would bring them to show my mother. I found out much later that she was quite terrified of snakes, but to her great credit, she never showed her fear to me.

    August 6, 2015 at 8:59 am

  3. I was wondering if milk snakes have the black and white design underneath? I also have read they are nocturnal?? Thanks….love these posts…they make my day!

    August 6, 2015 at 10:16 am

    • Yes, they have a beautiful black and white checkerboard pattern on their bellies. And you’re right, they can be and often are nocturnal, but the ones I have seen have been active in the day, so I think they’re a bit of both.

      August 6, 2015 at 1:24 pm

  4. Tami

    Love these guys! I have at least two living in the crawl space under my house. I never have a rodent problem while they’re active, and I really miss them while they’re hibernating. The larger snake is probably around three feet long and is absolutely gorgeous. They shed their skins under the water heater in the shed and make me the world’s coolest auntie to all my nieces and nephews when I collect the skins and give them to the kids.

    August 6, 2015 at 10:35 am

    • Fantastic! Wish you had been my auntie!

      August 6, 2015 at 1:21 pm

  5. Tamara Lickfield

    So , why are they called “milk” snakes?

    August 7, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    • So many dairy farmers found them in their barns that it was assumed that they were there to latch onto a cow’s teat and drink their milk…needless to say, they were there to eat the mice that were there to eat the cows’ grain! (I should have included this information in the post!)

      August 8, 2015 at 8:37 am

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