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The simple answer to this question (do snakes lay eggs?) is Yes, snakes reproduce using the eggs, but this is not the only way that they reproduce. There are three different types of snakes based on their reproductive systems. There are a lot of species of snakes, most (about 70%) of them reproduce using eggs, a behavior similar to most reptilian species. The remaining species of snakes reproduce like mammals; they either give birth to completely born babies or produce shell-less eggs. These eggs are stored inside the body of the female for protection, after a few days, these shell-less eggs turn into baby snakes that come out of the belly of their mother.

As you know, snakes are reptiles, and most reptiles breed using eggs, but this is not a universal behavior for reptiles as they can breed using other methods as well. According to researchers, this is the result of natural selection and the evolution of the species. Species of snakes that developed the egg-laying method had better chances of survival. So, most of the species of snakes that we see now are the ones that reproduce using eggs. If you have a pet snake and you are not sure if it is an egg-laying species or not, you can check it using the internet as there is a lot of data available about snake species and their breeding habits. 

How Do Snakes Mate/Breed?

It depends on the species of snakes, but most species follow a pattern. This pattern includes the process of mating, producing eggs, caring for the eggs, and once they hatch, looking after the baby snakes. A lot of people think that female snakes eat their babies when they are born, but this is not true. Female snakes only eat those hatchlings that are weak and won’t survive. This is a fact that has been proven through multiple studies. Each species of snake has a different way of mating. Some species of snakes live in cold areas, they mate before and after the winter. Meanwhile, the species of snakes that live in warm areas breed throughout the year.

Before the mating season starts, males become very aggressive. They attack anything that comes their way including other males. It is better to keep male snakes in different vivariums to avoid any issues. Also, during the breeding season, males use specific signals to attract females. These signals include sound and dance moves. Once a female comes near the male, they get tangled and wrap around each other. This mating process can sometimes last for hours. In some cases, males and females mate multiple times during the mating season. It allows the female to produce more eggs and babies.

Eggs Care

In most species of snakes, male snakes leave soon after mating with the females. Also, females become aggressive after mating and try to attack the males if they don’t go away. So, it is better to separate the two after mating is done. Females will leave the place of mating in search of a burrow to hide the eggs. They sometimes keep the eggs in open places or hide behind the tree cover. After that, in most species of snakes females leave that place and never return, but in some species, females stick around the eggs and protect them till they hatch.

After the eggs have hatched, females would go away and let the babies fend for themselves. As mentioned earlier, in some species, females would try to eat their babies. That is why it is better to separate the female once the eggs start hatching. The young hatchlings will fight for themselves. Most of them will die soon after birth and only a few will survive. The survival rate is below 20% in both egg-laying and birth-giving species of snakes.

Do Snakes Give Birth?

Yes, some species of snakes are viviparous. Viviparity is a rare trait among reptiles. Species of reptiles that come under this category do not produce eggs, instead, they give birth to completely formed babies. In this case, baby snakes develop inside the belly and they remain inside until the time of their birth. They come out through the reproductive organ of the female snake. After that the female takes care of the baby for a very short period and then goes away. 

Do Snakes Lay Eggs?

Yes, most species of snakes that are found in abundance lay eggs. However, some species do not. This confuses many new pet snake owners. If you are also one of those owners who are wondering if your snake would lay eggs or not. You should check the species-related information as it depends on the species of snakes.

How Many Eggs Can One Snake Produce Per Season?

It depends on multiple factors, including the species of snake, size, age of the female snake, and duration of the mating season. Young female snakes produce fewer eggs as compared to mature females. Also, the smaller species of snakes produce a small number of eggs as compared to the large ones. In some species, females produce larger eggs and that is why they can only produce a limited number of eggs each time. A single snake can produce eggs between 3 to 100 depending on the species. Some species only produce a few eggs per season per mating. While other species produce a large number of eggs every time they mate. To know the exact number, you should do a focused search based on the species you have.

At What Age do Snakes Start Laying Eggs?

This also depends on the species of snakes. Female snakes start producing eggs once they reach their sexual maturity. In most cases, it takes a snake two years to reach the mature age. But if the growth of the snake has been slow, it can take more than two years as well.

How Many Days Do Snake Eggs Take To Hatch?

If the conditions for the egg hatching are optimal, the snake eggs can hatch within two months. But in some species, this duration can be longer or shorter. It is up to you to maintain the optimal conditions such as optimal temperature, and humidity in their cage, and the eggs will hatch on time.


Snakes produce a lot of eggs, but not all of them survive. Some snake eggs are broken before hatching, and other factors can lower the survivability rate of the snake eggs such as unfavorable conditions, extremely low or high temperatures, etc. There are so many variables that it is impossible to predict any exact numbers. But according to researchers, only a small portion of the snakes that are born reach their mature age.

Breeding Snakes In Captivity

If you want to breed snakes in captivity, then you need to know that there are three different types of snakes based on their breeding patterns. Below are the details about the breeding patterns of snakes.

Oviparous Snakes Breeding

In simple words, the oviparous snakes are the ones that produce eggs. These eggs come out of the female reproductive organs and the female places them in a safe place. If you want to breed this type of snake, you will have to find a male and female from the same species. Keep them in the same cage during the mating season. Allow the male and female to mate, and after that remove the male from that vivarium. Females will take a few days to produce eggs and you should allow them to spend some time with the eggs. But after that, you need to remove the females as well. Eggs will hatch if the conditions in the tank are kept at optimal ranges. Maintain a temperature between 73 F to 78 F and wait for the eggs to hatch. Provide the hatchlings with food and water.

Viviparous Snakes Breeding

It is a type of snake that reproduces through the birthing process. This type of snake does not produce any eggs. Embryos develop within the female and a baby comes out of the belly of the female. It is similar to humans giving birth to a baby. Male and female snakes from this group should be kept in the same vivarium during the mating season. After they have completed mating, you should remove the male from that tank. Allow the female to grow babies in her belly for about 50 days. After that, females would give birth to a large number of snakes. You should remove the female from that tank to prevent it from eating the babies. Most of the babies will fight and kill each other to eat. Afterward, keep providing them food and water and they will grow into small snakes.

Ovoviviparous Snakes Breeding

Ovoviviparous is a special type of snake in which eggs are formed but they remain inside the belly of the female. These eggs do not come out like in the oviparous snakes. Eggs complete their gestation period within the belly of their mother, and when the time comes, the female ejects newly formed babies out of her body. These babies start eating the sacs that are wrapped around them. The mating process in this species is similar to the other groups as well.


There are a lot of myths surrounding the mating and reproductive system of the snake species. A lot of people who have snakes as pets can get confused because of these myths. The article above contains all the information that someone needs to know about the reproductive system of snakes. As discussed above, when it comes to the reproductive system, snakes have three types. One type of snake lays eggs outside the body, the second type of snake forms eggs inside the belly and gives birth to completely formed snakes, and the third type gives birth to babies similar to humans.


Question: Do snakes give birth through the mouth?

Answer: No, it is a myth about the snakes that they give birth or produce eggs through their mouth. Female snakes produce eggs and babies through their vaginal/reproductive organs. But sometimes, they have to carry these eggs or babies to a distance and that is why they put them in their mouths to transport them. It is a rare phenomenon only seen in a few species. But it has given rise to this myth that snakes reproduce through their mouth.

Question: Do snakes lay eggs in water?

Answer: No, snakes do not lay eggs in the water. Most snake species prefer living near water bodies where the soil is moist. They will dig the soil and hide their eggs in the burrows. Even those species of snakes that spend a lot of time in water do not lay eggs in the water. Instead, they keep the eggs in their bellies and release them after they have hatched.

Question: Do snakes eat their babies?

Answer: In some species of snakes, females do eat the babies. But this is also a rare occurrence. According to researchers, females only eat the babies that are not fully formed or the ones that are not strong enough to survive.

Question: How long do snake eggs take to hatch?

Answer: It depends on the species, but in most cases, snake eggs take between 50 to 60 days to hatch. During this time, you will have to maintain the perfect living conditions for the species. Otherwise, the eggs won’t hatch and the babies will die inside the eggs.

Question: Do snakes protect their eggs?

Answer: Not all species of snakes protect their eggs but only a few species of snakes protect their eggs from intruders. It is something that depends on the species. There are snake species in which females stick around the eggs to care for them and to make sure that they are protected from any kind of danger. But once these eggs hatch, females will leave them to fend for themselves.

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