8 Unique Species Of Snakes That Don’t Lay Eggs: Viviparous Snakes

snakes that don't lay eggs

It is common for reptiles like snakes to give birth to their newborn inside of eggs, but there some snakes that don’t lay eggs. The unique snakes that don’t lay eggs are not so many in snake kingdom, but they are one fascinating creature to know about. There are about 70% of snakes in the world that lay eggs, while the rest give birth to live youngs. For snakes, there are 3 types of birth giving methods that you might want to know about.

That includes Oviparous means egg-laying, Viviparous means live birth, and Ovoviviparous which is the combination of the two. But today, we will only look into the Viviparous and Ovoviviparous type of snakes that don’t lay eggs. So let’s find out with us together of what are the snakes that give live birth to their youngs.

1Adder Snake

image: Pixabay

Here we have a type of shy, timid, and non-aggressive snake with deadly venomous bite that also give live birth. A female Adder usually reproduces once every two years, and these viviparous snakes give birth between 3 and 18 live youngs at a time. After giving birth, the female must feed intensively in order to build up sufficient reserves for hibernation. Also, the mother may stay with her newborn for a few hours before letting her babies to live their independent lives. The fascinating fact is that the young adders don’t feed until the following year, but they live off the yolk sac and fat reserves they are born with.


image: Pixabay

Anacondas are ovoviviporous which means their eggs develop inside the female’s body but they give birth to live young. That means the babies hatch inside the mother’s body, and those shell remain inside the mother’s body. Once the babies are out, they will move around and live their life far away from their mother. The Anaconda newborns are very much capable of swimming and hunting, and they will so right after birth.

There are 4 types of anacondas including Green Anaconda, Bolivian Anaconda, Yellow Anaconda, and Dark-Spotted Anaconda. All of them are ovoviviporous and non-venomous, and they have the ability to hunt both on the ground and in the water. They spend most of their lives in the water where they move more easily, and their preys are fish, turtles, caimans, pigs, etc. You can find them in tropical rainforest, lakes, and swamps of South America especially near Amazon and Orinoco rivers.


image: Pixabay

Boa is the non-venomous constricting snakes that come to the world with more than 40 species. Boa may also refer to two different groups of snakes including the Mascarene aka Split-Jaw Boas and Dwarf Boas. These two are not closely related to each other or the true boas at all. True boas are divided into two subfamilies: Boinae (boa constrictor, tree boa, anaconda) and Erycinae (sand boa, python). Some of them lay eggs, while the others give birth to live youngs.

That includes many types of boas like Boa Constrictors, Emerald Tree Boas, Garden Tree Boas, Rainbow Boas, Rosy Boas, Rubber Boas, Sand Boas, etc. Boas usually grow to a very noticeable size and length, and they are very strong. This type of snake usually hunts by suffocating their prey before swallowing them whole. As for habitats, they usually live in jungles, rainforest, scrubs. Just like anaconda, most boas are excellent swimmers except they prefer to stay on dry land somehow.

4Garter Snake

image: Pixabay

These are among the most common and widespread snakes in North America, and all Garter Snakes are ovoviviparous. The interesting thing about Garter Snakes is that they can give live birth to as many snakes as 80 in a single litter. The greatest number of Garter Snake babies to ever delivered in a single litter is 98. Just like most snakes in our list, baby garters are independent upon birth since they are able to live their own lives without their parents.


image: Pixabay

Apart from being one of the ovoviviporous snakes that don’t lay eggs, Rattlesnakes only reproduce only once every three years. In general, a rattlesnake’s gestation periods last about 90 days or longer which is up to 5 months. A female rattlesnakes delivers between 4 and 10 babies on average brood size, and the babies will live independently after birth.

Baby rattlesnakes are born with only one rattle, and another rattle develops every time they shed their skin. That means you won’t hear the cool noise from the tail before baby rattlesnake strikes at all. Despite their size, baby rattlesnakes have enough venom to harm a human’s life if they bite. If bitten, call the poison center immediately because there are antidotes for rattlesnake’s venom that can save your life.

6Red Bellied Snake

Red Bellied Snakes are one of the non-venomous snakes that don’t lay eggs like common snakes out there. The females give birth in the summer from July or August to early September every year. The litter size varies but on the average between 4 and 9 live babies, some can be up to 23 young snakes. When born, the babies are covered by a rather thin membrane which they break very quickly. This type of snakes feed exclusively on slugs, and you can find them in streams, swamps, and lagoons within forests, woodlands, and grasslands.


image: Pixabay

There are about 224 species of Vipers in the world, and only some of them lay eggs. Most vipers are ovoviviparous, and all of them are deadly poisonous with just a single bite. Generally, vipers are the snakes that don’t lay eggs, only a few like Psedocerastes, Cerastes, and Echis species are oviparous.

The example of Pseudoceraste is False Horned Vipers which you can find in Middle East and Asia. Cerastes’ examples are Horned Vipers and North African Desert Vipers which can be found in the deserts and semi-deserts of northern North Africa. As for Echis, they are Saw-Scaled Vipers and Carpet Vipers that live the dry regions of Africa and Middle East. These snakes are oviparous, so they give birth to newborns in form of eggs.

8Water Snake

There are two types of snakes that live in the water, Water Snakes aka Freshwater Snakes and Sea Snakes aka Saltwater Snakes. Most water snakes belong to the type of snakes that don’t lay eggs while the second type is egg layers. When give live birth, the number can be in a small group of four to a massive group of 100 at a single time. The mother does not protect or care for the young, and the newborn water snakes are capable of swimming, hunting, and finding shelter from birth. So basically, they are independent enough to not require care from their parents at all.


Fact: When baby snakes are born live, they are completely on their own from day one. That means there is no parental protection in the snake world at all. The babies go off on their own shortly after birth, and they must fend for themselves. That is one of the reasons why baby rattlesnakes are fully loaded with fangs and venom right from birth.

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