A nice surprise was waiting for me this morning! My female California king snake laid four eggs during the night. For the past several days she's been moving around her cage quite a bit and exploring the moss-filled laying box (an old whipped topping container). When she started to spend most of her time in the box I knew she was ready.
Here are pictures of the mom and her eggs. You'll notice that in the incubation box three are grouped together and one is by itself. The reason is that the eggs quickly stick together and the lone egg was the only one I could separate without endangering the other eggs. Why separate? Because if one egg goes bad it can make the surrounding eggs also go bad.
The mother is what is called a blue-eyed blonde California king snake. This means that she displays a "morph"--a mutant trait--that alters her color from the normal brown and yellow coloring to the light beige and cream color that you see in the picture. It also changes her eye color from the normal silver-gray to a deep denim blue. Interestingly, none of the babies will look like their mother. They will all be either brown and yellow or black and white (like the father). Why? Because the blue-eyed blonde morph is a recessive genetic trait, which means both parents must carry the gene for the offspring to have a chance of displaying the trait. However, even though they appear normal, all the babies will be special because they will all carry the recessive gene.
Now the waiting begins!