An African Rock Python.
This image is released under Creative Commons CC0. Copyright and related or neighboring rights to this image has been waived. You are free to adapt and use for commercial purposes without attributing the original author or source. Although not required, a link back is appreciated.
Africa’s largest snake, the African rock python has a long, stout body, patterned with blotches that vary in colour between brown, olive, chestnut and buffy yellow, often joining up in a broad, irregular stripe.
There is a large spearhead mark on the crown of the head; dark and light bands radiating from eye to lip. The body is grey-green/-brown, with dark-brown, black-edged bars and blotches on top.
The African Rock Python is found in sub-Saharan Africa through Central and West Africa with the Southern African Rock Python found from Kenya through to South Africa where it is found in the Lowveld, reaching Kwa-Zulu Natal south coast, and extending along the Limpopo valley to Lobatse in Botswana and into the Northern Cape.
It feeds largely on warm-blooded prey like small antelope, monkeys, game birds and dassies, but also takes leguaans and even crocodiles. Attacks on humans are rare and fatalities virtually unheard of.
This snake is largely active at night, but is fond of basking during the day. It is at home in water and can remain submerged for long periods.
Females produce 30 – 60 (but in exceptional cases more than 100) eggs, which are roughly the size of a tennis ball. The female remains with her eggs throughout incubation and the young measure 50 – 70 cm in length.