Indian Python

Indian Python

Black-tailed python, Indian rock python, Asian rock python

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Python molurus
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
over 20 yrs
LENGTH
3 m

Indian pythons are large nonvenomous snakes native to tropical regions of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. They are usually whitish or yellowish in color with the blotched patterns varying from tan to dark brown shades. This varies with terrain and habitat. Specimens from the hill forests of the Western Ghats and Assam are darker, while those from the Deccan Plateau and the Eastern Ghats are usually lighter.

Distribution

Indian pythons are found in India, southern Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and probably in the north of Myanmar. They live in a wide range of habitats, including grasslands and savannahs, swamps, marshes, rocky foothills, woodlands, open forest, and river valleys.

Indian Python habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Indian pythons lead a solitary life and may be seen in pairs only during the mating season. They are nocturnal and mainly terrestrial creatures. However, they are also very good climbers and can often be seen hanging on branches of trees. Indian pythons are excellent swimmers and are quite at home in the water. They can be wholly submerged in water for many minutes if necessary, but usually, prefer to remain near the bank. They like to shelter in abandoned mammal burrows, hollow trees, dense water reeds, and mangrove thickets. During colder autumn and winter months, these snakes hibernate. Lethargic and slow-moving even in their native habitat, Indian pythons exhibit timidity and rarely try to attack even when attacked. They usually move in a straight line, by "walking on its ribs".

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Indian pythons are strict carnivores and feed on mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.

Mating Habits

INCUBATION PERIOD
2-3 months
INDEPENDENT AGE
at birth
FEMALE NAME
female
MALE NAME
male
BABY NAME
snakelet
BABY CARRYING
100 eggs

Indian pythons are oviparous which means they lay eggs. Around 3-4 months after mating females lay up to 100 eggs which they protect and incubate within 2 or 3 months. The hatchlings are 45-60 cm (18-24 in) in length and grow quickly. They become independent soon after hatching and reach reproductive maturity at the age of 2 to 3 years.

Population

Population threats

Main threats to Indian pythons include habitat loss, collection for the pet trade and hunting for their skin which is highly valued in the leather trade. These snakes are also often killed for food and because of fear.

Ecological niche

Due to their diet habits, Indian pythons are important in controlling their prey species including pests, such as rats, mice, rabbits, and various insects.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • This is a popular snake featured in The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. Kaa is an Indian python; it is one of Mowgli's trusted mentors and friends.
  • Baby pythons make their way out of an eggshell with the help of an egg tooth which is a small, sharp projection; this egg tooth falls off soon after hatching.
  • Pythons are the most ancient snakes. They have tiny projections called spurs; it is believed that in those projections their ancestors used to had legs.

References

1. Indian Python on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Python_molurus
2. Indian Python on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/193451/151341916

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