Snakes reproduce young in two
different ways. Some snakes develop the embryos in their bodies,
giving birth to live young. These snakes are referred to as
being oviparous. On the other hand, some
snakes lay the eggs. They are referred to as being ovoviviparous.
If oviparous, the eggs will be laid at the end of the development
stage (for the egg, not the young). The eggs are soft shelled
and longer than most eggs. When the young have fully developed
in the egg, they will break themselves free of the soft shell.
In both cases, the snakes leave their mothers as soon as they
hatch, needing no parental help.
If breeding in captivity, you will have success more often
than not. Snakes seem to mate readily when being kept in a
captive environment. Special care must be taken with the female,
as being pregnant is a stressful time for them. Keep in mind
as well that a female snake retains the male sperm. This means
a portion of the sperm is kept inside the body to use again
after the first batch of young.
When breeding snakes, you must pair them
with the same age, and same size mates. Determining the sex
of snakes can be more difficult than lizards. Look at the
vent of the snake. Males of some species will generally have
small spurs on either side of the vent. Gentle pressure on
either side of the vent will normally help (for small snakes),
as this could push the hemipenes of the male outwards. For
larger snakes, the use of a sexing probe is needed.