What Do Snake Eggs Look Like? (with Image)

Knowing how to identify snake eggs offers many benefits. If you are a snake lover, knowing what snake eggs look like will curb your curiosity and increase your knowledge base.

If you don’t like snakes but live in a place that is home to venomous snakes, it’s important to know what their eggs look like so you can avoid the area. If you own the property, knowing what snake eggs look like can help deter unwanted intruders.

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Snake Eggs Don’t Look Like Chicken Eggs

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Some people believe that snake eggs are very similar to chicken eggs. But in reality, snake eggs don’t resemble chicken eggs at all. Chickens and other birds lay eggs that are round with a hard shell. The hard protective shell of the bird’s egg holds the mother bird’s weight as she sits on it to keep it warm.

Snake eggs are oval in shape and have a flexible rubber shell. They don’t have hard shells like bird eggs because snakes are cold-blooded reptiles that don’t need to incubate their eggs.

Where You Will Find Snake Eggs

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Many species of snakes bury their eggs in soil, compost, or loose, moist soil. Some snakes lay their eggs in dying trees, under bushes, in compost or manure, and in other warm and humid places.

The mother snake bury its eggs so that nature serves as an incubator. Most female snakes lay eggs and then leave them completely, except for cobras or pythons, which are not snakes found in North America.

If you’re wondering how many mother snake eggs there are, that number can vary a lot. Some species may lay only a few eggs while others lay dozens at a time.

What to Do If You Find Snake Eggs?

If you find snake eggs in the wild, it’s best to leave them alone. If the eggs are from a species you don’t want, contact your local wildlife center or snake specialist to help you remove the eggs.

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Disposing of snake eggs can be risky because you never know if an adult snake is nearby. The last thing you want to happen is to be bitten by a venomous snake. Be on the lookout whenever you come across what you believe to be a snake egg!

Snake Eggs Are Not Easy to Identify by Species

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The tricky thing about snake eggs is that they are very difficult to identify by species. Knowing the snake egg species is nearly impossible unless you are an educated snake professional.

The texture and hardness of the shell is one of the easiest ways to tell the difference between snake eggs and bird eggs. As mentioned above, birds lay eggs with hard shells while snake eggs are softer and more chewy.

As far as color goes most snakes in North America lay eggs that are white, off-white, or cream. Snake eggs are not as large as chicken eggs and can vary in size by species.

A surprising fact about snake eggs is that they increase in size when incubated. The egg that encloses the growing embryo absorbs water, so the egg gets bigger until the hatchlings inside it come out through the shell.

In general, snake eggs tend to be more than an inch long while other reptiles such as lizards lay smaller eggs. It’s a safe bet to assume you have snake eggs if they are light, springy, and about an inch long.

Snakes Reproduce in Different Ways

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It is important to know that not all snakes lay eggs. Many species give birth to their young alive. You may be surprised to learn that there are three different methods of snake reproduction, which we will discuss below.

  • Oviparous Reproduction

The majority of snakes are oviparous which means they lay eggs. Once the eggs are laid, they are kept warm or incubated until the hatchlings emerge from the shell.

  • Viviparous Reproduction

Viviparous snakes do not lay eggs. Instead, they feed their developing babies through the placenta and yolk sac and give birth to offspring without any eggs at all.

  • Ovoviviparous Reproduction

Ovoviviparous snakes are like a combination of an egg layer and a layer that gives birth to offspring. This type of female snake develops eggs in her body. When the chicks are born, they emerge from the egg inside the mother’s body and enter the world fully active with no visible egg shell.

Identifying Snake Eggs

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There are more than 50 species of snakes living in the United States, which means there are plenty of snake eggs in the wild. Of those 50 species, about 20 are venomous snakes which means they produce venom and deliver it by injection using their fangs.

Thousands of people in the United States are bitten by venomous snakes every year. You can become seriously ill from a venomous snake bite and even die if you don’t receive antivenom right away. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep an eye on venomous snakes so you can stay away from these potentially deadly reptiles.

Venomous Snake Eggs Are Rare In The US

Unless you live in the southeast or southwest of the United States, you will probably never find snake eggs that come from a venomous species. What happen? Because only one egg-laying venomous snake lives in the United States and that is a beautiful & elusive creature called the Coral snake.

There are two types of Coral Snakes: Old World Coral Snakes found in Asia and New World Coral Snakes found in America. In the United States, there are East Coral snakes and West Coral snakes.

Eastern Coral Snakes live in the southeastern part of the country in areas from the Carolinas to Florida and Texas. The snake’s body is completely covered in bright bands of black, red, and yellow.

The Western Coral lives in the southwest part of the country and has the same basic color pattern as the Eastern Coral except that it is fainter in color. In particular, the yellow band is paler and can turn white.

Coral Snake Eggs

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Eastern Coral Snakes lay six or seven eggs while Western Coral Snakes lay two to three eggs. Both snakes lay eggs during the summer months and hatch in the fall. So, what are these eggs like?

Coral Snake Eggs are white, oval, soft, pliable, and about an inch long. If you live in an area known to have Coral Snakes and you find an egg that fits this description, it is most likely a Coral Snake egg.

  • Learn more about: 10 Snakes Found in North Carolina

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Final Thoughts

If you are desperately learning how to identify a particular species of snake egg, you have to educate yourself. You can sign up for a college course, attend a workshop hosted by a wildlife organization, or work with a snake expert.

Snakes are interesting creatures that vary greatly in size and color. But their eggs are colorless or easily recognizable because most snake eggs look very similar.

Remember to leave snake eggs if you find them in the wild. Snakes are an important part of our ecosystem. Snakes help control pest populations by eating mice and other small rodents that damage crops and carry disease.

  • See also: 10 Snakes Found in Kansas

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Featured Image Credit: Holm94, Shutterstock