What our animals are doing this month… August 2019
August is the month that young grass snakes are likely to emerge from their eggs. Previously in the year, gravid female grass snakes will have been seen basking more intensively than other grass snakes as they developed their eggs. During this time, females will fast for roughly 45 days whilst eggs develop and are laid.
Grass snakes usually just lay one clutch in a breeding year and do not necessarily reproduce on an annual basis. Eggs are laid in warm, secluded areas such as compost heaps, manure piles, old mammal holes, log piles or under rocks. These eggs need to be incubated anywhere from 22 days to 45 days depending on the environmental conditions. Areas of higher temperature have shown beneficial results for the numbers of eggs developing, with temperatures of 210C to 310C being preferred.
An average clutch size of eggs for a grass snake is 30 eggs, however many females may lay communally with others which can result in areas with thousands of eggs being incubated together.
By August hatchlings should emerge, measuring 15-20cm with the same identification features as adult grass snakes. Hatchlings use an ‘egg tooth’ to escape their egg by breaking the shell – this tooth is lost shortly after emerging.
Remember to report your sightings (including egg sightings) with our FREE Dragon Finder app.