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3 hatched; what now?

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: Herpetofauna Native to the UK
Forum Name: Grass Snake
Forum Description: Forum for all issues concerning Natrix natrix
Printed Date: 08 Aug 2020 at 6:37pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: 3 hatched; what now?
Posted By: woodlyme
Subject: 3 hatched; what now?
Date Posted: 12 Oct 2010 at 10:41am

Hi again, I have now found 3 beautiful babies in my tea chest warm compost incubator, but of course others may have made their own way out. I released the 3 into suitable locations (where eggs were found), and luckily the weather has been good for them.

I also found a shed skin! Now, presumably this means that one of the babies had been hiding for a few days, and finding plenty of food in the compost? How long after hatching do they shed? So now I am wondering how many others might still be hiding in there, maybe down near the heater!

Anyway, I am now wondering how long I should keep the heater going? There were about 40 eggs buried in there. I have not disturbed them again to investigate. I can leave the incubator in the carport over the winter if there's a chance more will hatch in the spring and/or hatchlings might hibernate in there.

Suggestions please!

Many Thanks.

Posted By: administrator
Date Posted: 13 Oct 2010 at 2:45am
Hey well done!

Chances are a lot of the hatchlings are going to be hugging that heater. They are still metabolising the egg yolk and don't usually feed. If it's a single clutch and it is likely that it is, I would expect them all to hatch within a day or two of each other. Shedding occurs very soon after hatching. I would make a careful investigation and aim at releasing them.

Posted By: woodlyme
Date Posted: 13 Oct 2010 at 10:14am
Thanks Gemma. It has been over a week since I found the first, so it sounds like any from the same clutch that have not hatched now are duds? I'll investigate very carefully when the sun next comes out!

Posted By: Robert V
Date Posted: 14 Oct 2010 at 1:17am

Hi all,

hey, congrats that's great news. If you do find the other eggs can you have a quick count and see how many remained and roughly how many hatched. If it is say five out of forty, it is slightly less than I averaged but I imagine I was just fortunate. What it would show, is how small a percentage actually make it through to adult hood.




Posted By: woodlyme
Date Posted: 18 Oct 2010 at 11:23am
I emptied the box on Saturday, but found no further hatchlings. I counted 43 eggs. I had also reburied some in another part of the compost heap, so am not sure of the total. Anyway, it sounds like the aquarium incubator is a more reliable method.

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