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Pythons: Pythonidae

Black-headed Python (aspidites Melanocephalus): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: The black-headed python has a shiny black head and neck on a beige body. Its body is striped with medium-to-dark brown bands. Adults usually reach no more than 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length.

Geographic range: This species lives across northern Australia.

Habitat: This snake usually remains in wooded areas, but some travel into rainforests, grasslands, and dry and rocky areas.

Diet: Black-headed pythons eat mostly lizards and other snakes, including venomous (VEH-nuh-mus) or poisonous species. They will also eat birds and mammals once in a while.

Black-headed pythons eat mostly lizards and other snakes, including venomous species. (Illustration by Brian Cressman. Reproduced by permission.)

Behavior and reproduction: Active at night, this species spends part of its time in tunnels, or burrows, made by other animals. It is also able to dig burrows itself. The females, which are usually larger than the males, lay up to eighteen eggs at a time. Each egg measures about
3.5 inches (8.9 centimeters) long and hatches into a baby snake of approximately 2 feet (61 centimeters) in length. The babies look much like the adults but are more brightly colored. After four or five years, the young are old enough to have their own babies.

Black-headed pythons and people: Because it lives far away from people, the black-headed python and people rarely see or bother one another.

Conservation status: Although the World Conservation Union (IUCN) does not list it as threatened, scientists know little about the number of these snakes or how well they are surviving. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesPythons: Pythonidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Black-headed Python (aspidites Melanocephalus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, PYTHONS AND PEOPLE