August has passed and now the terrariums reserved for new-born snakes have been populated in the Hungarian Meadow Viper Conservation Centre.
This summer 38 females gave birth to a total of 494 offspring (253 males and 241 females) during August, summing a total of 4,896 snakes born at the Viper Center since the operation of the program started in 2004.
After the observed matings in April, the average gestation period was 108 days. As a result of the cold weather period and heavy rains experienced in the first week of August, the births were shifted 1 week later than usual.
This year, the average litter consisted of 13 offspring, the average weight of the new-born vipers was 2.6 g, with an average body length of 14.4 cm.
As a practice for decades, new-born vipers were individually registered right after their birth, during which they were photographed for identification, and their body weight and body length were also recorded.
Hungarian meadow vipers are ovoviviparous, meaning that eggs without any protective shell are retained after fertilization and incubated inside their mother, who provide optimal thermal conditions by extensive basking. The young are usually born encased in a transparent sac from which they must free themselves as a first real trial of their life. Following that new-born snakes immediately start shedding their skin and when finished with that they start to disperse individually.
Viper tour information (in Hungarian): click here