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[top]Overview

This is one half of the Aspidites genus, the other being the Woma. Both lack heat sensing pits unlike other pythons, probably due to a large percentage of their prey being cold blooded. There are not as many Black Headed Pythons in captivity compared to the Liasis or Morelia genus', probably due to its hefty price. Now that they are on a Class one Reptile Keepers Licence in New South Wales, more people are acquiring them.

Quite a beautiful python, they have a glossy jet black head that ends abruptly just behind the neck. The eyes are also black and the pupils are almost invisible. The body is light brown to dark caramel with dark cross bands along the entire body. The bands are darkest dorsally and fade towards the ventral scales. The belly is light cream speckled with darker spots.

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[top]Range and Habitat

They are found in every habitat in Northern Australia, such as temperate forest, rocky outcrops and more tropical areas but tend to stay away from more arid regions.

It is often found in wide range of habitats. Lightly forested, rain forests,open grass lands and in rocky areas. They usually hiding under or in logs, rocks, in burrows and holes in the ground. Availability of water doesn't seem to make much difference. Found in Queensland from Cape York peninsular in the north to south of Townsville, through out Western Queensland and south of Mt Isa in Central Queensland. Usually easy to find west of the great dividing range. They have been find right in suburbs of Cairns. Northern Territory-from central through to the northern tip of the state. Western Australia- from the Pilbra area north to Port Headland.

[top]Diet and Feeding

The Black Headed Python's diet consist approximately of 6% mammals, 2% birds and 92% reptiles. They are extremely cannibalistic and also feed on highly venomous snakes such as the Desert Death Adder. Once they start feeding on a regular basis they will eat all what is offered rats, mice, rabbits, chickens, ducks and quails. Black Headed Pythons in the wild will eat a wide range of reptiles including venomous snakes. They can overeat if amount of food is not controlled and easy get overweight.

[top]Reproduction

Mating occurs in early spring, usually happened afternoon/evening with copulations being as long as 8 hours. Eggs are laid late in October to early November. If incubated, hatching normally coincides with Christmas and New Years. Average size of clutch around 10 eggs. Incubation approx. 30C - 64 to 67 days. Hatching should have first shed after 14 days. Babies are usually assist feed 4 weeks old. Some breeders do wait for longer before first feeding and trying to avoid assist feeding. That is fine if successful. Black headed babies are known to be more difficult to take they first feed then some other more common species like Morelia.

[top]Captivity

Black Headed Pythons are mainly terrestrial and frequent burrows of other animals. They often remain entirely within a burrow only protruding the black head to raise its temperature and also ambush unsuspecting prey. They will also shelter in logs, rocks and deep soil cracks. Males engage in vicious combat during the mating season which also includes biting. It is not advisory to house other species in same enclosure as Aspidites melanocephalus as they will readily eat other reptiles in wild. Some keepers but successfully housing few of them in same enclosure. I would recommend not to try that with different sizes. They do need large floor space, but not climb space needed. Make sure that thy have enough hiding places. Temperature in enclosure 32C - 27C.


  • They can have bad temper as Hatchings but settle down with age.
  • They are usually reluctant to bite, they usually just head butt with open mouth.
  • Sometimes they hiss when approached and put performance, but mostly it is just bluff. Once handled they calm down and are great handlers.
  • They are popular snakes but bit expensive to purchase.
  • Hatchings 50-60 cm long Adults grow usually bit over 8 feet.



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