Southern African rock python

The southern African python is very solid and stoutly built, with a triangular head with fragmented head shields. There are heat-sensitive pits on two of the upper labials and 4-6 of the lower labials. The body scales are very small, smooth and in 78-95 rows. There is a large dark spearhead mark on the crown of the head, and dark and light bands radiating from the eye to the lip. The body is grey-green or grey-brown, with dark-brown, black-edged bars and blotches on top, irregularly connected with sinuous dark brown bands that may form isolated blotches on the flanks. The belly is white with dark speckles.
Juveniles are more brightly marked.
They often bask, especially after feeding, and they are fond of water in which they may lie and hunt. They may dive into deep pools and remain submerged for long periods. Prey is ambushed and constricted, usually at dusk or after dark. They can swallow very large prey, but are vulnerable to attack by wild dogs and hyenas when swollen with food. They may fast for long periods of time.
Usually found in open savannah regions, particularly rocky areas and riverine scrub. Absent only from true desert and dense rain forest.


(en) Southern african rock python
(sc) Python sebae natalensis
(nl) Rotspython
(af) Afrika-rotsluislang