Surprise Western Hognose eggs?

Last winter I paired my normal female Western Hognose with an Axanthic male. They locked in November and by January she was swelling up. I thought it was an ovulation, but then months went by and nothing happened. So I figured I was wrong, she must’ve just been building and decided to reabsorb.

Fast forward to today, when I found these in her lay box (which I kept in her cage, just in case):

At first I thought they were slugs, but I decided to candle them and each egg has a small speck of red near the top. Possibly an embryo?

So I got an egg box ready for them and fired up the incubator. I’m new to breeding Western Hognose snakes. Can anyone with more experience weigh in on whether they’re slugs or not?

On top of that, the female looks as though she isn’t done. She still has a noticable lump in her. So I put the egg box back in and left her alone. She has been folding herself at weird angles. Trying to get the rest out, I think.

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Hard to tell for sure in the pictures. Definitely incubate them just in case. You should see a lot of vein development soon if they are good.

Hopefully they aren’t old eggs she wasn’t able to get out in time since that can spell trouble for her. A lot of times those stuck/retained eggs will have the remnants of a dead embryo the can look a little like what your are candling.

Keep us posted how she does.

Thanks for the reply. She laid two more last night. They’re full and round, but not as white as I’d like. My camera’s battery died before I could get a picture. They’re all in the incubator now.

She looks fine. She’s alert and active when I check on her. It feels like there’s more in her still and they’re closer to her cloaca this morning than they were last night. I’m hoping the first few were just laid early and the rest will be okay. She was all over the place yesterday and now she’s hunkered down in her hiding spot, so hopefully she’ll push the rest out on her own.

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That’s great, congrats!

We’re at five for now. Sadly, one of the older ones is already starting to mold.

Looking pretty slug-like in that picture but no harm in keeping them going just in case. For mold you can use a q-tip to brush off some of the mold and then sprinkle some athletes foot powder on the spots that had mold. To do this with more precise control that the athletes foot powder container I typically put some into a small deli cup and use a new q-tip to scoop some up and then tap the q-tip while holding it over the part of the egg I want to target.

Other tricks I do to try to prevent is adding some baking soda to the water I mix with my vermiculite and then also microwave the vermiculite mix before putting in an egg box. I have no idea how much this helps since the occasional egg still gets mold. Moldy eggs can still go the distance and produce healthy offspring too.

I already brushed the mold off. I don’t have any athletes foot powder. Do you think an anti-fungal cream would be okay, or should I go get the powder?

I have never tried a cream so I don’t know for sure, but my guess would be no. Brushing them off should be fine for now, to see if any veins build.

Welp, this is where we’re at. She laid most of these sporadically over the last few days and then I came home to a bunch of them in the lay box last night. I think she’s empty now.


Pretty sure they’re almost all slugs. Only two have any calcification, and only one is more than half calcified, though it still has windows. So likely lots of slugs and potentially one boob egg.

The first two look dead inside when candled and are molding rapidly, so I’ll probably throw them out. I’ll keep the rest until I’m absolutely certain nothing will hatch from them. Not expecting much. Maybe one baby hognose if I’m lucky. I wonder what went wrong.

That sucks, I have a female about to double clutch so I’ve been throwing my male at her until she ovulates. She is getting dusted mice every 5 days and just chowing down on them.

I’m glad to hear she is empty. Retained eggs can cause a lot of issues. If you have a different male you may want to see if you get different results. Sometimes these things are just mysteries, for example I have a female that slugs out and then produces a great second clutch every year. It could be a timing thing that I am doing wrong that is specific to her, even though all the other females are on a similar schedule and produce like clockwork. Keep at it - better luck next time!

That sucks, I have a female about to double clutch so I’ve been throwing my male at her until she ovulates. She is getting dusted mice every 5 days and just chowing down on them.

I’ve been wondering if maybe I didn’t throw my male in long enough. I had them in together off and on for several months, but I only saw them lock once. I just assumed they did it plenty while I wasn’t watching, but I could be wrong.

If you have a different male you may want to see if you get different results.

Unfortunately, I don’t. Just the one. I do have another female though, so I’ll give him a chance with her before I think about buying another male. As for the normal girl, I’m probably going to give her some time off, unless it looks like she’ll double clutch. What are the signs in case she does? Same as the first?

Think of double clutching more like piggy-backing on the first clutch. There may be exceptions to this, but I don’t think they will start a brand new cycle in the same year they already did.

If she still has good weight and an appetite after laying then I let them tell me if they want to double clutch by offering a very small meal the day after they lay. If she takes it then I’ll put in the male after another day and then feed her normal a few days later and then try the male one more time after a short break. It seems like if they don’t get it done in this short time it probably won’t happen. I’ve only ever gotten 2nd clutches laid while the first clutch is still incubating, so it happens quick.

When we noticed the girl building we asked some of the breeders in our area for advice. We put the same male in and they haven’t separated. It’s crazy, their pairings before the first clutch would last 3 or 4 days before they would move to opposite sides of the tub. This time they have been coiled up together and locking A LOT. I’ve been separating them for feeding and the male starts going crazy once he has some food in him.

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She’s about 300 grams right now and looks really good. If I hadn’t picked the eggs out of her enclosure I wouldn’t have known she’d laid. She only lost about 50 grams. So I think she could go again, though I’m not sure I want her to.

I haven’t tried feeding her since she laid, but tomorrow is feeding day. I’ll see if she takes a meal and take it from there. @Critters_Creatures, what are you dusting your mice with?

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Calcium powder. I sprinkle some on a plate and roll the mouse on it.

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Quick update: she took the mouse without hesitation. So I put the male back in a few days later. She started bobbing her head right away. Figure I might as well give it another shot, since she seems happy to see him.

The slugs she laid earlier are all very yellow now. I don’t think even the one that had some calcification will hatch.

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The ones I paired up for a double clutch finally separated after a week and a half. I saw them lock a lot while they were together.

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She’s locking with the male right now. They’ve been together for several days now, but I’m not sure if they locked earlier or not as I’ve been trying to distubr them as little as possible. This girl gets anxious and pulls away from him whenever I open the tub.

So things are looking good for her! I also decided to throw the slugs out. Here’s how they looked before they went:

Perhaps it was a hasty decision, but I couldn’t bare the smell anymore.

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Didn’t catch them locking, but I caught them cuddling afterward.

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