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Common Name:
Python - African Rock
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Common Name:  Python - African Rock

Other Common Names:  none listed

Scientific Name:  Python sebae  (Full Taxonomy)

Group:  Python

Origin or Range:  Africa

Relative Size:  Much Larger Than Average  
    (as compared to other snakes)

Average Lifespan:  20 year(s)

Compatibility:  Relatively Aggressive   
    (as compared to other snakes)

Category:  Reptiles » Snakes
Animal Description:  

The stunning African Rock Python is an absolutely huge snake! These animals often reach lengths of 15 feet, and thus may make difficult to keep, although impressive, captives.

Usually, African Rock Pythons can become tame with regular handling, although this species seems to vary in temperaments of individual snakes to a great degree. Because of their large size, African Rock Pythons with bad tempers are not desirable as pets, and have earned the species as a whole a rather bad reputation. In order to have a better chance of a tame snake, you should buy a captive bred animal. Many times, captive bred African Rock Pythons can become quite calm. Even captive bred snakes are not appropriate for beginning snake keepers. In the wild, African Rock Pythons remain hidden until prey passes by, when they snatch it. They are usually found near water and prefer to hunt submerged near streams. In the wild, African Rock Pythons prey on mammals, and may take animals as large as antelopes!

By maturity, African Rock Pythons can reach lengths between 18 and 20 feet, and some may grow more than 20 feet long. Lengths of up to 28 feet have been recorded. They are usually tan in color, and are blotched with dark brown patches outlined in black. Usually there is a prominent row of such markings over the back of the African Rock Python, and smaller lines of markings over its sides. The heads of African Rock Pythons are rather broad.

African Rock Pythons are native to Africa, where they are found in central and southern regions of the continent. They are listed in CITES class II, due to the loss of their habitats. African Rock Pythons are also used in the skin trade and hunted for meat, and sadly, they are not often bred in captivity. It is important to conserve the African Rock Python, the largest snake in Africa, in order to prevent it from becoming extinct.

Specific Care Information: Relative Care Ease: Average

It is advisable to have another person present when handling African Rock Pythons. Their enclosures should be atleast half as long as these snakes are, and widths should be atleast a third as long as they are. Because of the lengths of mature snakes, you should be prepared to have plenty of room for its enclosure. Daytime temperatures should be 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit with a basking area in the low to mid 90s. At night the temperature should be about 75 degrees.

Breeding and Propagation: Relative Breeding Ease: Relatively Difficult

Usually, male African Rock Pythons can be bred when they are seven feet long and females when they are nine feet long. The breeding season usually occurs between November and March, and may be simulated by reducing photoperiods to between eight and ten hours. Reduction of daytime temperatures into the low 80 degree Fahrenheit range with a nighttime drop of about ten degrees and regular misting can also help. The female should be introduced into the male's enclosure, and, if impregnated, can produce between 20 and 80 eggs. The female will incubate these eggs, or they can be artificially incubated between 88 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The eggs will hatch in about 75 days.

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Monday, 22 September 2014