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Blackhead Pythons
Blackhead Python (Aspidites melanocephalus)
About: The blackhead python is the largest member of the Aspidites genus. This large snake is an iconic Australian python that is found over a large range. Like it's relative the woma python, the blackhead python also lacks heat pits, typically found in pythons. These snakes can be quite large, reaching sizes of 250 cm (8' 2"). Western blackhead pythons tend to be much smaller.

These snakes are found across the top third of Australia, including Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland. They can be found fairly far inland in areas of the NT and QLD, while they are somewhat restricted to coastal areas of WA. A smaller, distinctly banded variant is found in the Pilbara and coastal regions of WA.

Habitat: Aspidites melanocephalus prefers grasslands, woodlands, and scrublands. They can be found in arid, humid coastal areas or seasonally dry tropical climates. 

Natural History Notes: Blackhead pythons are reptile specialists and feed primarily on lizards and snakes. They are notoriously fierce predators and can take down impressive prey such as large goannas (Varanus).

The black head is somewhat of a mystery and many have hypothesized that it is colored such to blend in with the environment like a burnt stick. This is somewhat reinforced by the habit of these snakes to bask with their head slightly raised in a stick-like manner. Other ideas are that the head serves a function in thermoregulation and the black coloration results in a more rapid warming of the head to quickly get their brains functioning in the cool morning.

These snakes will also combat during the breeding season and males can be quite aggressive towards one another. Eggs are laid in the early spring in October-November.

General Notes: We were fortunate to acquire some western blackhead pythons that originated from Casey Lazik's western bloodline. These impressive specimens are very boldly patterned with a nice cream background color and maintain this contrast throughout their adult lives. These snakes are like giant colubrids and have a somewhat rapid metabolism. They can be a bit difficult to get feeding on rodents as babies, so getting hatchlings feeding can be a challenge. Once they start, however, they are solid feeders on anything that crosses their path. What an amazing species and just another way to Get Addicted!

Blackhead python Range

Western blackhead
                    python (Aspidites melanocephalus)
Female blackhead python (A. melanocephalus)

Western blackhead
                    python (Aspidites melanocephalus)
 Male blackhead python (A. melanocephalus)

Western blackhead python
                    (Aspidites melanocephalus)
Head detail of female BHP
NT Blackhead python Dorat Road
Northern Territory BHP found near Darwin
Blackhead python head
Up close and personal with a NT BHP