So, in case you have not figured it out by now, I breed western hognose snakes.
I bought a female back in 2010 from a breeder who instantly dropped contact with me after I purchased the snake. I thought their actions were a bit odd, but ignored them. The snake seemed fine health-wise, and I looked forward to my introduction in breeding snakes.
Two years and eight more snakes later, I notice something odd. The female that I purchased was a very picky eater and would not get above 120g in weight. It is recommended by most breeders to not breed a female under 200g.
Since female hogs tend to mature and reach breeding weight in two years, I found it odd that a 3 year old snake wasn’t much bigger than my male hogs. I decided that the possible reason for the breeder’s shady behavior was that the snake was not a female, but a male.
So when I moved back to Florida, 6 months before today, I had the snake in with the other males. If it was a male, I didn’t want it breeding with my females by accident.
I had a fellow herpetologist inspect the animal, and he and one of his coworkers deemed the snake a male after probing (a method in which a metal probe is inserted in the cloaca of a snake). So I went on with life and thought nothing of it.
Roughly a week ago I opened the snake’s tank for cleaning and discovered eggs in the water dish. So, as it turns out, the snake was a female after all.
To make things even more incredible, the eggs were fertile. Snakes can store sperm internally for years. In this case, the snake managed to store sperm for roughly 6 months. The snake had also happened to knock its bedding into the water dish, giving the eggs a nice humid bed. If she had laid them in the water, they would have died.
It also happened to be just warm enough that the eggs were developing.
They are now set up in an incubator and growing quickly.
I just can’t believe how many things worked out for this to happen. So many things could have gone wrong.
Makes me stop and think of my life, and the things that go wrong versus the things that go right. Quite often I find myself at the bottom of the hole, losing hope, and then suddenly everything will work out.
So I ask you, dear readers, what scenarios work out like this in your life? Do you have a name for such happenings (fate, karma, god)? What other amazing things have you heard of animals doing? What dessert do you eat on Sundays?
Until next time,