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Reticulated Python


Quick Facts

Scientific name: Python reticulatus
Class: Reptile
Size: 20 feet (6 meters)
Weight: 440 pounds (200 kilograms)
Life span: about 20 years
Number of eggs: 30 to 50 eggs
Incubation: 40 to 100 days
Size at birth: 26 to 35 inches (66-88 centimeters)
Age of maturity: 2 to 4 years
Conservation status: Limited but not endangered


Where they live

This species of python lives in tropical forests of coastal Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Burma, and Vietnam.

The python’s menu

Basically, reticulated pythons eat mammals. They’ll eat mammals as small a rat and as large as an antelope. At the zoo, pythons eat rats and young chickens.

The marks of a predator

Their large tan-brown bodies have dark, hourglass-shaped markings that camouflage the snake in its natural habitat. This camouflage allows the snake to hide and spring on unsuspecting prey that wanders across its path.

Catching prey

Reticulated pythons are nocturnal (active at night) and kill their prey by constriction. Constrictors coil around their prey and continuously tighten their hold to slowly suffocate the prey. Reticulated pythons are agile animals that move with ease through trees and on uneven ground. They can also swim well but they spend more time on land than in the water.

The human threat

Though not endangered, large snakes have become limited due to a worldwide market for their skin, which is made into belts, handbags, and boots.

World’s record holder!

The reticulated python is the world’s longest snake. The longest one ever measured was 33 feet in length. Truly large pythons are now hard to find in the wild.

Don’t forget the eggs

The female lays and 30 to 50 eggs in hollow trees and underground chambers. Reticulated pythons are one of the few snakes that actually incubate their eggs by coiling around them to regulate the eggs’ temperature.


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