Sometime in late April or early May this year, Laura caught this pretty little green snake just outside our house. Jacob had been running around and messing with the maple saplings, and probably he shook it down. Since then, snakie has been living with us in a terrarium. Snakie seems to be doing very well on the gutt-loaded gray crickets we're supplying. Occasionally we also throw in a juicy spider or a daddy-longlegs. Snakie will even take a cricket from my hand - I just hold it carefully and wiggle it a bit under her nose, and zoing - snakie grabs it and gulps it down.
Snakie is a Rough Green Snake ( Opheodrys aestivus). See below for some references.
Dec. 14 - Today No's 2 and 3 joined No 1and their momma in the terrarium. They proceeded to explore their new environment with what looked like great curiosity. No 1 was very "curious" about his siblings. During several encounters he sniffed them with his flicking tongue, and followed them as they slithered away.
No 1 had joined momma snakie a couple weeks ago, during the Thanksgiving holidays. He appears to do well. He was chasing and eating the baby crickets with such enthusiasm that he was the obvious choice for the first baby to move in with momma. We were concerned about his his ability to locate the tiny baby crickets in the relatively large terrarium.
We experimented with different cricket containers inside the terrarium, to make it easier for the little guy to find them. Eventually we figured out the best solution was to keep cricket food in an obvious spot and to keep the cage well-stocked with crickets. He really had no trouble locating the crickets.
Seeing how well No 1 did, we decided that it was time to have them all move in. No 2 is doing almost as well as No 1 - chasing and eating the crickets. I don't think No 3 has eaten a cricket yet. He must be eating the fruit flies we dump in the cages once in a while. I have seen No 3 come eye-to-eye with a juicy baby cricket - just the right size - and he would just flick his tongue, the cricket would wiggle its antennae, and then either jump away or proceed to scurry about. No 3 would seem either confused or scared. I am not sure he "gets" that he's supposed to eat them. We'll see if No 3 maybe figures it out eventually.
So, there was no obvious advantage of keeping them separate any more and we decided to put them all together today.
Sept. 28 - I just noticed that No. 1 ate his first cricket! This is obviously an important milestone. He also pooped - which is great :).
Some other observations: looks like within a few day the hatchlings shed. Their eyes turned gray and dull, just like we observed with momma snake, when she shed. Yesterday, no 1's eyes had cleared up, and since yesterday he ate his cricket.
Also, for the first time since we had our green snake, I was able to observe her drinking from the water dish. Usually she licks the droplets when we spray her moss. Today, I fed her a cricket and after she gulped it down, she went to the dish and took several gulps of water.
And yes, I fed the cricket to her. Much to my delight, she still sometimes takes crickets from my hand! I hold the cricket between two fingers and wiggle it under her nose, head first. If she's hungry, her tongue starts flicking, and I wiggle the cricket some more. After about a Minute, she lunges for it and grabs it from my fingers to gulp it down. Once the cricket passes past her head, she crushes the cricket with her neck muscles, by squeezing tight and making wavy movements to push it further down. That process takes about another couple of Minutes. After that she usually has some water.
Sept. 24 - 11:30 PM - No 3 made it! He had a bit of a hard time, though. He was stuck to his yoke sack, and the cord had wrapped around his body. So I played midwife, and used a pair of scissors to cut the cord and helped him/her get unstuck from the yoke and the shell. After that, he was fine.
I started putting together a page with baby pics - check it out.
Sept. 24 - 8:00 PM - Hatchlings number one and two are out and about. They seem healthy and are very curious about their world. Each is in a 5x7 "critter box" with reptibark and moss. The little guys are about 7 inches (17 centimeters) long and still very skinny.
The third hatchling is not out yet. I noticed the shell drying out a bit and a tiny crack, so I carefully enlarged the crack and saw that number three is indeed in there. He is moving around, and he stuck his nose out a couple of times. Seems like he'll come out any time now.
Sept. 24 - 9:00 AM - After roughly 24 hours, the first two baby green snakes are out! Both broke through their eggs yesterday and spent roughly 24 hours adjusting to the light, practicing to breathe and resting. At 8:15 this morning the first one to poke her head through finally left the egg. It took her about 5 Minutes, then she startled a bit and slithered into the moss next to the container.
After that, I moved the eggs to a second container. An hour later the second one was out, also hiding in the moss.
The third egg is still quiet - we'll see what happens. The fourth did not make it (see below).
Sept. 23 - 10:00 AM - The big day is here - right on time. Around 8 AM a baby snake poked its head through a tiny crack in one of the three remaining eggs. For almost two hours he's been at it now, slowly enlarging the crack, carefully checking out his environment.
In early August, a cricket ate a tiny hole in one of the eggs and it started leaking. We removed the eggs at that point from the terrarium and placed them in a tall plastic container with lots if moist reptibark.
July 23 - Today, I removed the skink, so it won't mess with the eggs (at the recommendation of a Herpetologist). I also made sure the eggs are in a nicely padded spot that can be kept moist. I also took a picture of the four eggs.
When I let snakie back into her home, after she settled back in, she climbed right back down under the moss to check on her eggs - at least that's what it looked like.
July 22 - Snakie is a mom! Today she laid four shiny white, oblong eggs (roughly 1 inch by 1/4 inch or 2.5 cm by .75 cm). She laid the eggs in a corner of the terrarium, in loose dirt under a patch of moss that we keep relatively moist.
Also, snakie has a room mate - a five-lined skink that I caught the other day.