What do snake eggs look like?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

"Oh, no. Are these snake eggs?!" I mumbled to myself when I discovered these near the front gate of my garden last week. "Oh, no. Oh, no! Eeeewww!"

There is a real possibility that they could be snake eggs, given that there were warnings about snakes in the community garden earlier this summer.

"Nah, maybe they are just mushrooms," I mumbled to myself again. It had rained recently, so maybe there was enough moisture in the ground for mushrooms to grow. But then again, I'd never seen mushrooms in my garden after a few days of rain.

So I went home to check the Internet and I found that snake eggs do indeed look something like this, and just before they hatch, the eggs begin to deflate. In the garden this morning, I took another look and... Oh, no! Some of them are deflating! Yikes!

OK, fellow bloggers, are there any snake experts among you? Am I overreacting? Are these really snake eggs? And what should I do about them? Without poking around them too much, I counted at least 20. Twenty baby snakes in my garden?! No thanks. I would really like them to be... somewhere else. Far away.

Should I move them? And if so, how? I have also had the terrible thought of bashing them up with a shovel. But I'm not one for killing things. Even if they are things I don't really want in my garden. All advice is welcome.


Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

No clue, but it would freak me out completely to find a snake in the garden!

10:11 AM  
Blogger Carolie said...

Oh...but...garden snakes are GOOD! They keep away birds, rodents and poisonous snakes! They are cleaner than mammals, and garden snakes don't have "fangs" or poison, and are about as likely to bite you as a deer or a rabbit you might surprise in your garden--and unlike Bambi or Thumper, they won't be eating your veggies or flowers!!

Besides, if there are 20 babies, predatory birds will take care of some...the others will find homes elsewhere. I have a snake who lives under my house. I VASTLY prefer him to a horde of rats or mice!!!

2:36 PM  
Blogger Anita said...

Uuuh, snake eggs??? I have never heard of "garden" snakes in our area. I wonder what will happen to your finding. Keep us up to date!

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I looked to find more information but I still can't tell if they are eggs or mushrooms. The fact that the eggs are desribed as leathery makes it even more difficult to tell by a feel test.

I would recommend calling animal control and asking them if they could help you with identification. If they discover that they are indeed eggs, maybe they could move them for you. I read that baby snakes are oftentimes more aggressive and oftentimes inflict more venom than their older kin. I'm assuming this is for survival purposes since the mothers don't stay around long enough to care for the young.

Hope this helps!

6:22 PM  
Blogger Chris Kreussling (Flatbush Gardener) said...

They look like puffballs, a type of fungus, to me. The texture looks right. Also, these are not all the same size; eggs would tend to be more or less the same size. The deflation is what happens right before they open and all the spores come out (the "puff").

Snake eggs I've seen are elongated, leathery and smooth. There would be no powder or dust on their surface, unless they were moldy and therefore dead. Also, some snakes are livebearing and don't lay eggs.

I would welcome snakes in my garden. I've seen no evidence of any; I would love to come across one. They're beneficial (to us) animals, eating rodents and other potential garden pests.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i actually had the same thing and was wondering this myself! The pictures looks like mine...they were kind of burrowed in the ground- While I was weed wacking I accidently chopped one and it appears to be more of an egg unfortunately...

11:47 PM  
Blogger WashingtonGardener said...

Trying to reply to your 'Vacation' post - but keep getting a blogger processing error.
In any case, have a wonderful trip and wanted to comment on how gorgeous your site photos look. Terrific job esp. with the edibles!

2:09 PM  
Blogger Petunia's Gardener said...

Just wanted to share on Petunia's behalf that snakes can be good fellow gardeners, even if they do keep you on your toes (maybe not the ones that bite)! Your question has probably resolved itself by now. I think the garter snakes, brown snake and copperheads you listed on your "wildlife in the garden" post are all born live, not from eggs. Your extension office might tell you if there are any dangerous snakes in your area that hatch from eggs. Otherwise, lucky you!

12:17 AM  
Blogger Idaho Gardener said...

what the heck happened to the snake eggs? You really really creeped me out with that post. Good Grief! I remember squealing with terror over the big black snakes when we lived in Pax River. Yikes. Yikes!

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My vote is fungus. I've seen lots of these in my gardens and flower beds. Oh, I also agree that garden snakes are our friends. My German granny always told me that they bring good luck to a garden. Ditto spiders. I guess because they eat pests. Like your blog!

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found a single egg today on the side of te road that is identical to those here. I then carried it home to google "Snake eggs photos" and this site was in the top 3, and my first choice. I appreciate you posting pic and will continue searching and report back my findings.
Thank You,
All Rights Reserved, UCC: 1-207
Jack Richardson

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I found this picture on the same page as yours (google search). Just cut/paste into browser window and see it. It's a grass snake or garden snake and appear to be harmless to us and beneficial to lawn/garden. Besides, at the rate most people pu chemicals into the environment they probably wont live too long anyway!

www.arkive.org/species/ARK/reptiles/Natrix_natrix/ARK007223.html?size=medium - 17k -
Thank You,
All Rights Reserved, UCC: 1-207
Jack Richardson
cash4cashflows dot comfrwrdslash jackcash

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

snake eggs can be leathery and some actually are round, have you tried to pick them up? If you have it should be obvious that what it is. I don't blame you for not wanting to open one, but I don't think anything will happen if you pick it up.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

We have a bunch of round eggs, soft and leathery. I thought they were turtle eggs but they look more like these pictures. Good grief!!

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there I was actually trying to find out about snake eggs but got here. I was doing some gardening today when I came accross what look like an under ground nest(it was a nest made into the dirt) at first I thought they were snake eggs but they don't fit any of these descriptions mine are all different sizes, white with a rubbery almost soft plastic feel to them. At first i thought mushrooms Oh Cool then when I picked one up it didnt reall look like one then i squezzed ( I now feel so guilty it didnt dawn on mme)and inside it looked like an embryo with like some brownish stuff surrounded by a slimey outer layer. any one have an I da what this may be? Please tell me!

10:05 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Dear Anonymous and others who've come here searching for information on snake eggs: Unfortunately, I never found out for sure whether these were snake eggs or not. I had left town for a few weeks and when I got back, these mysterious things were gone -- no sign of them. I am not sure if they were mushrooms or eggs. I've since done more research for photos and in most cases snake eggs seem to be more elongated in shape than what I had here. I just don't know for sure, though.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have found similar eggs or fungi in my flowerbed too. I found about 10 of them at the base of some shrubs bundled together down in the dirt. I at first thought they were snake eggs. they were white, of different sizes and soft. I removed them from the base of the shrubs and set them aside to take to a plant nusery. They turned a little purple. We cut one open to see what was inside. we found that it cut very easily (slightly leathery). inside was a layer of slime or gel and the center consisted of a white rubbery substance or form. It did not resemble what I would think was a snake embryo. SO! Does anyone know what these might be...?

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found what seems to be the similiar eggs in the picture above under my shrubs bundled together. I was horrified thinking they might be snake eggs so I remove some of them and took them to a well know pest control place. These are not snake eggs. Snake eggs are oval in shape. These are actually a fungi. They said to just remove them and just put clorox in the dirt. By the way, one had hatch, and the inside was like a yellowish sponge looking with a foul smell. The pest control says that mold smells and this type of fungi will smell. This type just don't look like the normally mushroom type.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would call a zoo and see if they wanted them or i could of keep them as your own pets. (What did you do anyway?)
Answer back....

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our class (grades 2-4) found some things buried in the dirt that look a lot like your description. The difference is that they have slightly deeper and bigger craters, but no holes in them. They are oval in shape and appear to be deflating. We are wondering if they are snake eggs (?) and if so, how do we know if they are poisonous or not? BTW, the kids have brought them into the classroom and are currently "incubating" them with a warming light and dirt which is covering the eggs. They would like to know how warm the eggs need to stay and how deeply they should be buried in the sand. If you or any of the other bloggers have any "wise words of wisdom" for us, please write back. Thank you. Sincerely,
Grades 2-4
Indigo Christian Academy
Teacher: Sharon VandeVere
email: svandevere2004@yahoo.com

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Garter (or so you said 'garden') snakes DO NOT LAY EGGS!!! And those are the COMPLETELY wrong shape and size to be snake eggs in the US.

So, no, you do not have eggs

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have an egg, but we're not sure if it's a snake egg, my friends say it's either a snake or a goose egg.

3:49 PM  
Blogger unknown said...

Our snake(or goose) egg is at least 3 inches tall and about 2 inches wide.Can any of you tell me if it's a goose or a snake egg if you can tell the difference?

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I shake the egg carefully, the egg has something solid in it , can u tell me if it's the snale???

P.S. I like snakes but they kinda freak me out for a really stange reason. The shape of the "maybe" snake egg, is an oval.The egg has a lot of white scratches and is kind of tan and white. Do you want to knoow the strangest part is? My mom was playing golf and her ball went into the bunker (you know that sandy part in a golf coarse) and she went to the bunker and thought this egg was the ball but she didn't hit it so the egg wasn't damaged and her golfball was right near it so my mom took the egg home and gave it to me. My mom thinks it's a goose egg, we're not sure yet if a goose laid it or a snake laid it. whatever laid it, it must have abandoned the egg or something like it.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you phone a zoo?

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found the same eggs in my flower bed. I was told
that they are he eggs of the black racer snake.
They are exactly like your picture. I HATE ALL

6:53 PM  
Blogger randyedmonds said...

Snake eggs are oval in shape. It is hard to tell from your picture, because they are mostly covered by dirt, but I think it some type of fungus... not eggs.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, I GoodSearched snake eggs and found myself here. Yesterday I cut back a climbing rose on my fence and cleared out the ground around the base of the plant. Today as I was watering it I found small, about a quarter of an inch, perfectly white, oval eggs in a circle in the grass against the fence. Some of the eggs were away from the circle. There were about 12 I guess. I didn't count them. I was squimish beccause I had jsut found a dead baby snake in my yard and just knew these were snake eggs. Anyone know WHAT they were? My brother picked one up to feel it and it broke in his hand just like a chicken egg. I think it was white inside. I went in the house. It scared me.


8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We found a similar egg. It looked exactly the same as yours until we sliced it open.

It turns they aren't "eggs" at all, at least not animal eggs. A comment on our blog post infomed us that they are phallus impudicus mushrooms (in the early egg stage).

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of you paranoid people out there need to calm down. You keep saying, "OMG! I found the EXACT same thing in MY garden! GASP!" when they most likely are not the same thing. These do not appear to be eggs, but if they are, do not appear to be snake eggs. Snakes lay eggs that are oblong in shape, almost never rounded. Also, I've seen a lot of people say that they have seen or know that these are "Garden" snake eggs. That is not possible. Garter snakes are the real name, and they do not lay eggs, their young is born live. More than that, these "eggs" are too small to be black racers or rat snakes. They more resemble turtle eggs if anything. Remember, if you find eggs beneath the dirt, they do not belong to a snake, especially in a garden. Another thing to take into consideration is that if they are eggs and not a fungus, do not move them on your own. If you do not wish for them to die, it would be best just to leave them alone or call a professional. Reptile eggs of any sort cannot be rotated or their position altered like bird eggs can. This will kill any reptile. I do not suggest these "eggs" to be killed. It isn't your right to kill the young of another creature, just the same as someone else killing your child. Take that into consideration. Snakes are mostly harmless creatures, and when treated with respect, will do the same for you. They want nothing to do with humans, but unfortunately they have to deal with us a hell of a lot more than we have to deal with them.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

to KaoruX2813 - I agree with most of what you said but I have to differ with you on where snake eggs may be found as we found some in our garden, under the dirt...my husband ran over one by accident with the tiller and it had a snake in it so there was no confusion on what it was. We did move the other 3 and are curious to see if they will hatch.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Conkerall said...

My vote is fungus. I've seen these in my flower beds. I used the clorox.

9:35 PM  
Blogger micky said...

those are snake eggs dont touch or meve if they are already defaulting or they will die I know because i have a snake who layed eggs.

I hope this will help


9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had eggs like that last year and for me they hatched into toads

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they are not snake eggs. i am incubating some right now, they are white leathery bumpy small and oval. also baby snakes dont know how to control their venom flow.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Boy. I found a hatched egg on the top of my kitchen cabinets while replacing an overhead halogen light fixture. Needless to say I was startled! The best advice I got from these comments is that I am going to call Animal Welfare. Thanks.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Oldguy said...

WHY are people so afraid of snakes? unless it's a rattlesnake, copperhead or coral snake it's harmless, and a benefit to your garden. You ought to be happy to have them there. Besides, those look more like turtle eggs, and if you've turned them or moved them, they're probably already dead.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

Wow, if I took a picture of the side of my house it would look just like yours!

I saw some weird stringy thing underneath where the run off from my AC drips and started digging a little... I came across about 12 different squishy egg-like things that varied in size.

I sure hope that they are the good kind of snakes! I have two small dogs that are running around.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found some white things that looked like eggs in my backyard. It was growing out of the dirt like a mushroom and at the top of the mushroom looking stem was the head of a snake. Wierd.

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was filling up some ruts in my yard. There is a pile of dirt that I was digging from for this task. I found one round egg-like something. There was a hole to it that looked like a snake hole. The round egg was underground. It is about 2 inches. I'm not afraid of it, just curious about it. My son's science teacher has had some personal issues and won't be back at school until next year. I live way out in the country and snakes are just a normal part of life. I would love to know what it is. It is more of a brown color. I thought that was because of it being under the dirt. It isn't white at all. It does not seem to be deflating. There was only one. I looked around the same spot and didn't find anymore. Any clues what it might be?

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After some further research, I think that the one egg-like something is a turtle egg. I'm not sure what kind, yet, but I believe it is a turtle. I've never seen one before, so this is very exciting. Probably just a box turtle, but new life is always exciting.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i found one round snake egg and the mother was no where ...there was no other eggs could this be a dud and how do i know if it is venomous???

8:04 PM  
Blogger Miss Mayhem said...

I actually found this post trying to find out if my adorable tiny egg was a snake egg or a lizard egg! I happen to love snakes and I really hope you didn't kill those!

2:57 PM  

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