Candling Ball Python
eggs, how to;
Visual inspection is all that is really needed to tell if a
python egg is fertile. If it is plump and white then it is most likely fertile.
If it is small and yellow then it is probably a slug. For those breeders that
are still unsure, or for those weird looking eggs, candling is an easy
technique used to determine if an egg is fertile.
Candling eggs is really pretty simple. Use a small
flashlight (a Mini Maglite works well) and place it at one end of the egg. When
the lights are turned off in the room, the egg should appear to be illuminated.
Fertile eggs will have a nice pink glow. Blood vessels
should be apparent.
Slugs can be identified without the candling. They are
smaller, tougher, and have a yellow to tan color. Occasionally a normal looking
egg (a white one) is laid but is not fertile. I have had female ball pythons
push infertile eggs out of their clutches only to coil around the fertile eggs.
Sometimes weird looking eggs are laid. This is where candling helps out. When
candled, a slug (white or yellow) will be illuminated with a yellow glow
instead of a pink glow. Blood vessels will not be present at all or will be
very thin and weak looking.
Candling is not a necessary process when hatching pythons.
Rather it is a technique that gives the breeder a piece of mind. On a side
note, I have used candling to pick out albinos from hets while they are still
in the egg. The eggs with albinos appear normal for most of the incubation
period. When candled during the last few weeks of incubation the eggs with albinos
appear to be much brighter than their normal appearing clutch mates. I am sure
candling can be used to spot many other morphs before they hatch!