National Zoo & Aquarium

Hi! I’m a Reticulated Python

Reticulated pythons hold the world record as the longest snake, sometimes reaching lengths up to 10meters. The Anaconda holds the record as the heaviest snake. While their size makes them slow movers, they can still strike at lightning fast speeds. Like all pythons, they are non-venomous. Instead they have backward curved teeth which grab their prey like a fork. The python then wraps around the prey, not crushing but suffocating it. Each time the prey breathes in the python constricts tighter until the animal can no longer take a breath. Reticulated pythons will eat small mammal, birds and larger animals such as deer and pigs. After a large meal, they may not eat for several months.

Reticulated pythons are found in moist environments such as rainforests and wetlands. Ideally this python prefers temperatures between 24 and 34 degrees celsius and high humidity. These snakes often spend time in bodies of water as they provide the perfect hiding spot to ambush prey. It is also easier for a large snake to move in water rather than land. Smaller reticulated pythons retreat to trees and sometimes crevices in caves.

Like most pythons, the reticulated python is oviparous meaning it lays eggs. Unlike most snakes, the reticulated python female remains coiled above the incubating eggs in order to provide warmth. She will basically ‘shiver’ her body to create warmth.

The National Zoo and Aquarium is home to 2 reticulated pythons.

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Reticlulated Python Facts

Conservation Status Least Concern
Distribution Southeastern Asia and western Bangladesh, Indo-Pacific islands.
Length 4–10m
Weight 100–270kg
Life Span 18–27 years
Gestation 70 days

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Scrivener Dam, Yarralumla, Canberra, ACT 2611

Open every day from 9:30am to 5:00pm

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