Carpet python eggs

Friend Peter send me these photos of the eggs of a carpet python (Morelia spilota mcdowelli) on his property at Ashby. The mother was wrapped around the bundle until his dog disturbed it. Note how soft the egg surface is. The stack of mulch heats up and helps keep the eggs warm.

Carpet python eggs Ashby

Carpet python eggs; photo Peter Wrightson

 

Carpet python plus eggs Ashby

Mother carpet python sheltering her eggs. Note the egg in the coil to the right of the snake’s head. Photo Peter Wrightson

The Queensland Museum says of breeding:

10–47 eggs are laid in early summer.  The eggs are concealed in a sheltered site (beneath building materials, between hay bales, hollow stump or a depression in ground) and are incubated by the female who will `shiver’ to generate heat.  The female leaves the nest to bask in the morning sun and returns to her eggs in a pre-heated condition.  Nesting females will defend their eggs.   The hatchling snakes measure around 39 cm from the snout to the base of the tail (snout-vent length).

It’s winter now and we’ve already had one small python leave its shed skin on our roof, so they are out and about even in this weather (first frost last night). Hopefully the little ones at Peter’s place are doing the same.

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2 Responses to Carpet python eggs

  1. janebeau says:

    Do hope mum python returned to her brooding! I wonder what the general survival rate is like? Not too good one would imagine or Aus would be covered with them, which would be beautiful but slightly problematic!

    • Joy Window says:

      I haven’t been able to find that out. There are plenty of these pythons about and they are not listed as threatened or vulnerable. They are also popular as pets so I think there’s no danger of going extinct.

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