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Black-headed python

Scientific Name: Aspidites melanocephalus

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Finn Langley, sydney

Did You Know?

It is thought that the black head serves as a ‘solar-panel’ for the snake. The black skin draws heat and lets the snake warm up without exposing its whole body.

The distinctive black-headed python does indeed have a black head and neck, which contrasts strongly with the brown banding along its body. The banding is light to dark brown or orange-brown on a base that can be creamy white, light brown and occasionally even yellow. The head is slightly pointed and barely distinct, in shape, from the body. The snakes grow to 3 metres and have a muscular body. Black-headed pythons are non-venomous and harmless to humans.


The black-headed python is found across northern Australia from Western Australia to Queensland. It lives in a variety of warm areas from sclerophyll forests to scrubland and sparsely vegetated desert. It shelters during the day in rock crevices and caves, in hollow logs, abandoned burrows and even termite mounds.


A large part of the black-headed python’s diet is reptiles such as lizards and snakes. But it also eats small mammals and birds.


Black-headed pythons lay a clutch of 5-10 eggs, which the females then incubate for 2-3 months until hatching.

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