What Is This Carpet Python Hiding Inside The Retaining Wall?
The following story is provided by our Site Partner, Blogger and Proud Business Owner "Snake Catchers Brisbane". They provide stories on their non-stop adventures and inform the public on the wide range of snake species they encounter.
Retaining walls are a very common feature of many backyards. Retaining walls provide suitable refuge for snakes at any time of the year, but they are also attractive sites for egg deposition/ incubation as they provide a suitable microclimate for snakes to maintain ideal body temperatures.
The female (picture below) was seen entering a retaining wall between two properties before our catcher arrived and had been seen basking periodically by both neighbours, and never far from the wall. This kind of behaviour at this time of year is a great indicator that the snake has eggs somewhere, so our catcher knew to look for a clutch. Our catcher turned on video recording and squeezed their phone into a small gap into the retaining wall, and as suspected, there was the female python curled around her clutch of eggs!
Female Carpet Pythons will incubate their eggs for roughly 2 months. During this time, she won't eat and will only ever move off the eggs to bask in the sun close by and return the heat to the eggs. She will also curl around the eggs and shiver to generate heat, this is known as shivering thermogenesis. As you can imagine, due to this dedication, they end up looking quite emaciated towards the end of the incubation period. Once the young begin to hatch and disperse, there is no further parental care.
Carpet Pythons primarily eat mammals and birds, although smaller pythons prefer to eat lizards. Often encountered in suburban areas, you couldn't find a better rat catcher. Like most pythons, the carpet python has heat sensitive pits on their upper and lower lips, which help them detect the body heat of their prey.