Distribution: S Angola, N Namibia
Type locality: Catumbela, near Lobito, Angola.
Habitat and Ecology
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- Common names: Angolan python, Anchieta's dwarf python.
Python anchietae is a nonvenomous python species endemic to southern Africa. No subspecies are currently recognized. They may grow up to 183 cm (6 ft). The color pattern is a reddish-brown to brown to almost black ground, overlaid with irregular white or cream colored bands and spots. The belly is yellowish. A rare species seldom seen in the wild or in captivity, it is the only python to have "bead-like" head scales. It has heat sensitive pits, five on each side of the head, on the upper lip. The smooth dorsal scales are arranged in 57-61 rows.
Habitats are rocky outcrops or areas strewn with rocks in open brush or grassland. Diurnal, they shelter in small caves, overhangs and crevices. They exhibit similar temperament to their closest cousin, the ball python. They hiss, but this is mostly bluff. Diet consists of small mammals and birds.
They are oviparous, with small clutches of four to five eggs being produced at a time. It is not known whether the females "incubate" their eggs as is typical for the members of this family. Hatchlings are 43–46 cm (17-18 inches) in length.
Angolan Pythons are rare in captivity due to the long civil war in Angola. Although the war is over, the fields and forests are covered with land mines, and few dare to risk catching these pythons.
It is named after the Portuguese naturalist and explorer José Alberto de Oliveira Anchieta.
- McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
- Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
- "Python anchietae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
- Branch, Bill. 2004. Field Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Third Revised edition, Second Impression. Ralph Curtis Books. Sanibel Island, Florida. 399 pp. (Python anchietae, p. 59 & Plate 17.)
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