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Breeding/Egg Production & Care Any topics concerning breeding of the cornsnake, brumation, egg laying, or issues concerning problems in any step along the way.

Male Lays Eggs
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:54 PM   #1
Male Lays Eggs

Koda, my 5 yr old male laid a clutch of eggs today!!! Considering “she” has not been around another snake in 3 yrs, I can confidently say they are infertile. Seeing as I was told she was a he, I never considered this possibility. I have no idea what to do. I hate the idea of taking away her eggs. Will she abandon them? How long should I leave them with her?

I had been concerned that she wasn’t eating, but I guess this explains her appetite. She shed a week ago, but wouldn’t eat after, which was abnormal for her. She’s looking thin. When can I expect her to act hungry? She also is changing color again like she’s going to shed again just a week after doing so. Is that normal?

All advice welcome.

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Old 06-11-2019, 12:00 AM   #2
You can toss them, since they're infertile.
I found out that one of my "males" was a female, when I found eggs in "her" enclosure.

You can try offering a mouse, she might eat.
Old 06-11-2019, 04:06 AM   #3
Rich Z
This sort of thing is normally not as common as finding an animal labeled as a female that turns out to really be a male.

Reason is because sexing snakes is generally simply trying to prove it is not a female via searching for evidence of it being a male. Probing, popping, visual inspection, it's all the same. You are looking for evidence to prove that the snake is a male. Otherwise the default identification is "female". So in a lot of cases, the verdict is reached via "lacking any evidence to the contrary, it is presumed to be a female" simply because you didn't see any evidence proving otherwise to you. IMHO.

BTW, don't be so quick to throw out the eggs until you are certain they are infertile. Female snakes can sometimes store sperm for a surprisingly long time.
Old 06-11-2019, 03:25 PM   #4
3 years?? So how long and what will indicate that they are fertile? Or not. I don’t even know the gestation for snake eggs.

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Old 06-11-2019, 06:53 PM   #5
Rich Z
Lightly spray some water on them and wait a few minutes. If the eggs absorb the water, hang onto them. If they remain wet looking, throw them out.
Old 06-11-2019, 06:54 PM   #6
If you can post a picture of the clutch most of the time one can tell from what they look like whether they are fertile. Slugs have a distinctly look to them.

Old 06-11-2019, 11:43 PM   #7
So per suggestions, I squirted water on the eggs. It was difficult to tell for sure, but there was still some water for sure. But not droplets like you can see on Koda.

I am also posting pics of the eggs. The first laid is separated from the clutch. They are in her damp moss shed box, and as you see she is “guarding” them.

I appreciate everyone’s guidance.

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Old 06-11-2019, 11:58 PM   #8
Those look like slugs (infertile). Can you get a better pic of the lone egg in the second photo?
Old 06-12-2019, 12:09 AM   #9
Rich Z
Yeah, they certainly look like slugs to me. If they didn't absorb the water, that would clinch it for me.
Old 06-12-2019, 05:09 PM   #10
Whew, glad they were slugs as breeding was not my plan. I tossed everything, gave her fresh moss and she did eat, so all seems to be back to normal. Thx for your assistance, as I didn’t even get a reply from my Vet!

Is there a health concern in not allowing a female to breed? Do breeders use other peeps females? She does not appear to have any unique genes, and while I think she’s pretty, her coloration seem unremarkable to what I’ve seen on this forum.

Thx again for walking me through this surprise event.

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