and black-headed pythons are the
sole members of the Aspidites genus.
This genus lacks the labial heat
pits found in other python genera,
which this group has forgone as an
adaptation to burrowing through the
sandy soil throughout Australia.
They do posess a heat pit in the
rostral scale at the front of the
nose. While the black-headed python
is a reptile specialist, the diet of
the woma python is more evenly split
between reptiles, mammals, and
Range: These snakes have an extensive range through the interior of Australia with some coastal range in Western Australia. There is a disjunct population of womas in the southwest of Western Australia, but these are fairly rare in this area due to human encroachment for agricultural purposes. Much of this area has been cultivated for wheat, which has displaced much of the native flora and fauna.
Habitat: There are several different habitat types across their extensive range, but one thing is very important to supporting a strong population of womas; sand. These pythons are sandy soil specialists and will readily utilize mammal burrows or constuct burrows of their own.
Natural History Notes: These pythons have developed some interesting ways of hunting that at first seem counterintuitive for a sand-loving burrowing snake. A radiotelemetry study following womas that had been surgically implanted with a radio transmitter was located high in a tree, stalking a sleeping bearded dragon in the upper branches. Womas have also developed a method of hunting within burrows. They will press a prey item against the side of the burrow with their bodies, potentially suffocating more than one small animal at a time. This is evident in captive specimens that will throw their body at at anything that touches it, attempting to pin the item to the side of the cage.
These snakes are generally docile captives, but they have one of the strongest feeding responses of any snake. They will bite and constrict any perceived food item, including a keepers hand, a glove, or a rag used to clean their cage. Once they grab on, they will not easily give up on their desire to feed. This makes them great feeders in captivity and they generally do not skip a meal. It is important not to overfeed them, as they will always seem hungry.
Amazing beauty! A 2010 female woma
High contrast woma
Red woma breeder male
Woma habitat near Eighty Mile Beach, WA
A nice red female woma
Wild woma python found near Port Hedland, WA
Close up of the head scalation