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Posted by dwight on May 02, 2003 at 16:48:15:
For those of you who remeber my posts about a 5.5ft. redthroat female who has retained eggs for over a year, here is the story. One year ago this last February she bred with a male. When time came to lay, nothing happened.( Some of you might remeber the chewing out I got from Fred A. about breeding such a small snake. She was one of those snakes that was never going to be 6-7ft. long and had already produced 10 eggs previoulsy, which all hatched.)Anyway she continued to feed and thrive through the summer, gaining weight and was looking superb, you know, that shinny look that Easterns get when they are at their summer peak. Towards last Jan/Feb ( this year) I noticed substanial swelling in the animal. She continued to feed and got huge! I decided that there was nothing to lose by introducing her to my males. The males went crazy trying to breed with her but she would have nothing to do with it. Tried a couple of times but it was not in the cards. By now you could feel large eggs in her. I provided her with nest boxes and she started laying eggs on April 13/03!! Over the course of a day she deposited 8 eggs(6 which looked fertile!!) She ran out of steam and retained 2 plus four small grape like slugs (tan colored). She died 2 days later. I cut her open and found the slugs in front of the two large eggs. One large egg was fertile, one was a slug. Everything in the same oviduct! Six eggs were set up in the incubator, three remain viable at this time. The three that collapsed were all fertile. The three remaining are huge and firm and I am hoping for the best. It would be great if everything was not a waste. She almost made it to the finish line. A great case of retained sperm and delayed fertilization.
Dean, All my females fed very close to laying time this year and the fertile result was very poor. A total of six fertile eggs were produced between two large females. The rest were slugs. We also have another female Eastern (belongs to a friend of mine) with retained eggs (slugs I think) at day 28! Seems to be the thing this year. On a happier note, the Yellowtail Cribos are due to start hatching in the next 2-5 day.