Skip to main content

You are here

Black-headed Python

Solar-powered serpent!

This nocturnal snake powers-up for the night by poking out just its black head to absorb the sun’s energy.

Description: This python is one of the most distinctive in appearance with its shiny black head and yellow to beige coloured body, striped with orange to brown bands.

Diet: The Black-headed Python is a carnivore and feeds on small mammals and reptiles.

In the wild: Instead of basking in the sun to warm its body and exposing itself to predators, the Black-headed Python only protrudes its head out of its burrow. Its black head acts as a solar panel and heats its entire body. Like other pythons, this nocturnal snake kills its prey by coiling around and suffocating it.

Threats: Black-headed Pythons sometimes lay on the road to absorb the heat from the surface and are often killed by unaware drivers.

Did you know?

While this python is often mistaken for a venomous snake, it actually feeds on large venomous snakes like the King Brown. In fact, it often prefers to eat other reptiles.

Precinct
Australian Reptile Encounter
Scientific name
Aspidites melanocephalus
Conservation status
Not Evaluated
Body length
Up to 3 m
Weight
3–7 kg
Class
Reptile
Incubation
65 days
Number of eggs
Up to 10
Distribution
Northern Australia from the north-west coast of Western Australia to Queensland
Habitat
Dry coastal forests, rocky hills and peripheral desert regions
Region
Australia

Where you can find me

Where you can find me

Map of Perth Zoo highlighting the Reptile Encounter