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Posted by deathstalker on February 28, 2003 at 21:43:31:
In Reply to: TJ - a question for you about something..... posted by chrish on February 28, 2003 at 02:06:28:
Okay, let's see...
To start, 90+ percent of snake genera and species are in fact sexually mature by age, not necessarily size. However, a female should be at optimum weight for breeding and more over, egg-laying, which will be discussed briefly at the end.
So, yes, female (western) hognose snakes should be of optimum weight before breeding, BUT...but what I am trying to say is, is that hognose snakes' reproductive systems are sexually mature by two (2) years of age.
I mean, c'mon...a five-year-old or even a ten-year-old female hognose snake can't breed either if she's not of optimum weight, so of course weight matters--you are 100% correct in this (sub)area.
"Please understand, I am not challenging you personally on this issue, I have just never heard this statement made so emphatically about a snake before."
Hey, don't worry about it. Please challenge me, as maybe I can learn something new; I do NOT know everything, you know! :)
"Would an significantly undersized female who is two years old be sexually mature (from what you seem to be saying, that would be the case)?"
As I stated above in a different way, yes, a female hognose snake is ready to breed by two (2) years of age in reproductive system-development terms no matter what, however, NO, an undersized female would not be ready to breed...or more over, an undersized female should not be bred due to the dangers of being underweight.
So...to conclude, no matter what, (North American) hognose snakes are ready to breed by two (2) years of age because their reproductive systems will be fully developed. But if females are underweight, they are NOT ready to breed in that if they are, they could lose too much fat and too many nutrients from egg-laying and thus possibly die before any possible recovery.
I hope this clears stuff up for you!