I took some Boy Scouts on a field herping trip for the Reptile and Amphibian Study Merit Badge this past Saturday. I am an ‘official’ BSA Merit Badge Counselor and currently I am working with seven Boy Scouts from Troop 1070 on this merit badge.
We herped in Southern Maryland and one of the boys spotted a Rough green snake, Opheodrys aestivus, on the crawl.
I picked it up and quickly determined that it was gravid. Wow! What a find!
Rough greens have zero value in the “hobby”: but I don’t understand why they are not more popular. They are very small and eat insects and I believe are easy to care for. They also do not bite and are not especially “wriggly”.
I brought her home to witness the event and enjoy incubating the eggs and releasing the babies.
She cooperated by laying her eight perfect eggs last night.
I set them up to incubate at 80F. I do not know how long they will take to incubate and hatch but I am going to enjoy the experience.
The place we caught her – a burned-out home site near Waldorf, MD – is at the intersection of a couple of main roads.
When these hatch I am going to release seven of them at a more remote spot — probably a few miles east near Mattawoman.
The eighth will stay with me and I am already planning an awesome natural display in an unused ten gallon aquarium.
The mother will be cared for by the Boy Scout her caught her for one month (to satisfy the requirement of the merit badge) and then she is headed to a nature center near Baltimore as a display animal.