How Big Are Baby Snakes When They Are Born?

How Big Are Baby Snakes When They Are Born?

There are 3,000+ species of snakes in the world. Snakes come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, colors, and temperaments, depending on their species. Unsurprisingly, the baby versions, regardless of whether they are live young or hatch out of an egg, are all different.

Garter snakes are between 6-9 inches long and weigh only 1.5-4g each when they’re born. Whereas, reticulated python hatchlings can emerge from their egg at 24-30 inches long and weighing 110-170g.

We’ll look at the size of baby snakes, covering the most common wild and captive species. We’ll discuss how each snake is born, their average size at birth, and what they look like.

What Size Is a Baby Snake?

Without having the snake professionally examined by a herpetologist, the easiest way to determine a snake’s age is based on its size.

Some snakes are oviparous, meaning that they hatch from eggs. Others, like garter snakes, are viviparous, giving birth to their young. But no matter how a baby snake enters the world, hatchlings are always going to be significantly smaller than adult snakes.

Length And Weight of Baby Snakes

SpeciesLength at Birth/HatchWeight at Birth/Hatch
Ball Python: 10-16”50-100g
Corn Snake: 10-15”6-8g
Kingsnake:8-11”9-14g
Milk Snake:5-10”4-8g
Hognose Snake:5-9”6-8g
Boa Constrictor:14-22”50-60g
Garter Snake:6-9”1.5-4g
Gopher Snake (Bull Snake):12-18”30-40g
Reticulated Python:24-30”110-170g
Copperhead Snake: 7-10”15-30g

A baby reticulated python would look like a giant if you placed it next to a newly-hatched hognose snake, despite being the same age.

Baby Ball Python Average Size

Ball pythons are only found in sub-Saharan Africa. They’re docile, gentle-natured, and stay relatively small throughout their lives.

Female ball pythons are gravid for a month before laying about 6-12 eggs. They usually mate in the spring, but can lay eggs year-round in captivity. Female ball pythons protect their eggs until they hatch. After almost 2 months, ball python hatchlings emerge.

Baby ball pythons are 10-16 inches long and weigh 50-100 grams.

They look exactly like their adult counterparts in terms of shape and color. They are born with the characteristic pits along their top lips, used to sense the body heat of prey.

At 1 year of age, male ball pythons are 30-40” long while females are 30-50”. They weigh between 500g and 1000g.

baby ball python growth rate chart

Baby Corn Snake Average Size

Corn snakes are a species of rat snake, in the genus Pantherophis. They’re related to black, grey, and yellow rat snakes. Endemic to North America, wild corn snakes can be found in the southeastern United States.

Corn snakes breed in the spring, and lay 10-30 eggs in May or June. When she’s finished laying, the mother vacates the nest, leaving the eggs alone.

Hatchling corns are 10-15 inches long. Their bodies are light and thin, weighing 6-8 grams.

Baby corn snakes have the same body shape as adults. However, they lack most of their orange pigmentation, appearing grey between their dull red saddles. As they age, they become brighter and their colors more vivid.

Yearlings measure around 24-40”. Males weigh 35 to 80g. Females are slightly heavier at 50-100g.

Baby Kingsnake Average Size

Kingsnakes are colubrids, like corn snakes, though they belong to a different genus – Lampropeltis. They get their name from their eating habits – they eat other snakes.

There are several different species. The most common are the California kingsnake, eastern kingsnake, and scarlet kingsnake.

All kingsnakes are endemic to North America. California kingsnakes can be found along the west coast. Eastern and scarlet kingsnakes reside in the eastern half of the U.S.

Kingsnakes breed in the spring, after coming out of brumation. Like most colubrids, the mother abandons her eggs after laying them. A clutch contains between 3 and 13 eggs on average.

Each baby kingsnake measures between 8 and 11 inches long, weighing 9 – 14 grams.

This may vary depending on the species. Hatchlings look very similar to adults, with the same pattern, coloration, and body shape.

By the time that they’re 1 year old, most kingsnakes are 24 to 30 inches, and weigh up to 300g.

Baby Milk Snake Average Size

Milk snakes are closely related to kingsnakes. They’re part of the same genus, Lampropeltis. There are many subspecies of milk snake. Most of them have red, black and white (or yellow) bands. They can be found across most of the U.S. and some parts of Canada.

Milk snakes lay their eggs in the summer months, after mating in the spring. They lay around 3 to 15 eggs at a time. The mother leaves the eggs after laying them.

When baby milk snakes hatch, they are 5-10 inches long, weighing between 4 and 8 grams.

The babies resemble the adults in terms of color, pattern and body shape. Some, like the eastern milk snake, are slightly less colorful than adults.

Yearling milk snakes can reach between 15 and 40 inches long and weigh up to 500 grams.

Baby Hognose Snake Average Size

There are 3 species of hognose snake in the US: western, eastern, southern and Mexican hognoses. They’re all small, with an upturned nose and keeled scales. Hognose snakes often lay large clutches, of up to 40 eggs at a time.

Baby hognose snakes are 5-9 inches long, weighing no more than 8 grams.

They’re born with the characteristic “snout,” and brown spots along their backs. Because of their keeled scales, baby hognoses are often mistaken for rattlesnakes.  They’ll even vibrate their tails if they feel threatened.

Baby Boa Constrictor Average Size

Boa constrictors are native to South America. They grow up to 13 feet long, and are non-venomous, constrictor snakes.

Boas are viviparous: they give birth to live young. The babies develop fully inside the mother, emerging when they’re ready to fend for themselves.

Up to 60 babies can be born at once, usually between April and August (South America’s dry season). Newborn boa constrictors are born in a thin, transparent sac, which they soon break out of.

Baby boas are 14 to 22 inches long at birth, weighing between 50 and 60 grams.

Baby boas are born with their adult coloration and body shape. After a year, boas can reach up to 50 inches long, and weigh up to 1000 grams.

how big is a baby boa constrictor?

Baby Garter Snake Average Size

Garter snakes are among the most common wild snakes in the U.S. They often appear in people’s yards, hunting bugs, lizards, and rodents.

There are many species of garter snake. Most are dark in color with at least one light-colored longitudinal stripe running down their back. Like boa constrictors, garter snakes give birth to live young. Some species may have as many as 80 babies at once.

Baby garter snakes are 6 to 9 inches long and weigh between 1.5 and 4 grams.

Even as adults, garter snakes rarely weigh more than 150g. They average from 16 to 35 inches when fully grown.

Baby Gopher Snake Average Size

Gopher snakes are non-venomous colubrids, but have evolved to mimic dangerous rattlesnakes. Gopher snakes can vibrate their tails and widen their heads to appear more triangular when threatened.

Gopher snakes breed in the spring. They lay between 2 and 26 eggs per clutch, which hatch after around two months.

Hatchling gopher snakes are 12-18 inches long, weighing 30-40 grams.

They closely resemble adults in color – cream to tan, with dark brown saddles along their backs, and spots along their sides.

Gopher snakes can reach 84 inches (7 feet) long and weigh almost 2000g.

Baby Reticulated Python Average Size

Reticulated pythons are among the world’s largest snakes. They are endemic to South and Southeast Asia.

Because the females are so large, they lay the most eggs of any snake species – up to 80 at a time. They take almost 3 months to hatch, and are independent the moment they’re born.

Reticulated python hatchlings are 24 to 30 inches long, weighing between 110 and 170 grams.

They hatch with their distinct net-like pattern, which is where they get their name. At just 1 year old, retics can be between 70 and 118 inches long (almost 10 feet). Fully grown, they can reach lengths of up to 30 feet.

Baby Copperhead Snake Average Size

Copperheads are pit vipers, closely related to water moccasins. They are a type of venomous snake that can be found across the eastern U.S. Copperheads give birth to up to 20 live babies at one time.

Newborn copperheads are 7 to 10 inches long, weighing 15 to 30 grams.

Baby copperheads have the same hourglass-shaped bands as their adult counterparts. However, their colors are different. Baby copperhead colors become brighter and more coppery as they age.

Baby copperheads have a fluorescent yellow-green tail tip, which they lose as adults. This is called a “caudal lure.” According to the British Ecological Society, they wiggle their brightly-colored tails to attract frogs and lizards.

Adult copperhead snakes can reach 24 to 26 inches in length and weigh up to 340 grams. Baby copperheads are more likely to envenomate than adults as they haven’t yet learned to moderate the use of their venom.

The size of baby snakes is species-dependent. For example, the babies of a reticulated python will be significantly bigger than adult snakes, such as hognose snakes. Most baby snakes resemble their adult counterparts.

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