Black Racer…. very, very good to have around your yard. Why? Well, they eat other snakes, mice and rats!
Juveniles are often mistaken as Pygmy Rattlesnakes.
Breeding: March thru June | Eggs 6-20: May thru August
Like the baby alligators, snakes also have a egg tooth that helps them rip open the egg and falls off within a couple of days. Neonates or hatchlings are on their own once they emerge from the egg, feeding on insects and other small amphibians.
Breeding season ended in May/June, nesting was in July/August and with the incubation period that lasted up to 68 days, hatchlings are breaking out of their shells to make their way into the world while being supervised and guarded by their mother who is close by.
The mother can produce an average of 30-40 eggs… however a good percentage of them may be crushed by their mother or taken by raccoons.
Mother gators are very protective of their young, so keep your distance around any water areas like ponds and lakes and having a good telephoto lens is a good idea.
Raccoons, otters and even birds are main predators for these little ones. It is sad to think that these little hatchlings, as cute as they are, most will not survive to reach a year old.
The nests looks like a mound of grass and other vegetation and usually close to water. The mother gator will continue to use the nest to protect her young from the cold winter months as well as from predators.