What animals are up to this month… June 2019 edition
Keep a look out for one of our native snakes this month, the grass snake, as we head into summer. Adults this month may be seen sloughing off their old skin to allow new growth – individuals may appear quite dark before sloughing occurs and can be seen to have cloudy, opaque eyes during this time. The old skin is discarded in one single piece through movement of the body and coming into contact with vegetation.
Eggs may start to be laid this month as, unlike our other native snake the adder, grass snakes do not incubate their young inside their body. Eggs are commonly laid in rotting vegetation or compost heaps where the temperature can rise and speed up development whilst offering cover from potential predators. Eggs are oval in shape and white in colour with females laying up to 40 eggs in a clutch, each measuring 23-30mm. These will hatch in late summer to reveal young grass snakes that are 15cm in length and similar to adults in appearance.