Animal Diaries Archive
4 March 2005Hi from everyone from the roving crew at Australia Zoo! Now as you all know, we think we have the best job in the world and even though we know we shouldn't have favourites, it's hard not too. Aspidites melanocephalus more commonly know as the Black-Headed Python would have to be one of my most loved snakes we have at the Zoo.
Their Latin name, once you break it down, actually makes a lot of sense. Aspidites, meaning "shield bearer" (referring to their enlarged head scales forming symmetrical shields) and Melanocephalus meaning "black-headed". They have a narrow head, barely distinct from the neck and small black eyes that match the head colour. The snout is rounded helping them move through loose soil and may be often found in unused animal burrows.
Native to Australia, Black-headed Pythons occur from the sub-humid forests in the north, to the arid interior of the country. They are medium sized pythons with muscular bodies. Females are generally larger than males and can reach ten feet in length.
They like to bury themselves entirely underground leaving only the black portion of their head and neck exposed. This behaviour is assumed to assist thermoregulation and also provides a wonderful camouflage for hunting prey in burrows.
We pride ourselves in the job we do here at the Zoo in keeping up with Steve and Terri's motto of 'Conservation through Exciting Education'. When we are roving in the Zoo we bring an up close and personal experience for our visitors, especially the children, who are amazed with how the animals feel when they touch them.
We invite each and everyone to come and say hello to us when you visit the Zoo, and learn about our lovely animals. We have four resident Black-headed Pythons, Darth and Midnight who are 5yrs old as well as Dusty and Akubra who are 2 years old. All of them are just waiting to meet you!
Our Amazing Black-headed Pythons
The most obvious characteristic of the Black-headed Python is its black head and neck. This species of python is a long slender snake patterned with dark bands ...more