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Blackheaded python.jpg
Black-headed python, A. melanocephalus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Pythonidae
Subfamily: Pythoninae
Genus: Aspidites
W. Peters, 1877
  • Aspidiotes Krefft, 1864
  • Aspidiotus W. Peters, 1876
  • Aspidites W. Peters, 1877[1]

Aspidites is a genus of pythons endemic to Australia. The name can be translated as "shield bearer" and pertains to the symmetrically shaped head scales. Currently, two species are recognized.[2]


These snakes lack the heat sensitive pits between the labial scales that most other python species have.[citation needed]

The head is slightly wider than the neck, and the eye is small, with a vertically elliptic pupil.[3]

Geographic range[edit]

Found in Australia except in the south of the country.[1]


Both species are nocturnal,[4] and terrestrial.[5]


Oviparous. The females stay with their eggs until they hatch.


Species[2] Taxon author[2] Common name[4] Geographic range[1]
A. melanocephalusT (Krefft, 1864) Black-headed python Australia in the northern half of the country, excluding the very arid regions.
A. ramsayi (Macleay, 1882) Woma Australia in the west and center of the country: from Western Australia through southern Northern Territory and northern South Australia to southern Queensland and northwestern New South Wales. Its range may be discontinuous.

T) Type species.[1]


Two new subspecies, A. ramsayi panoptes, the western woma python, and A. r. richardjonesii, the desert woma python, were described by Hoser (2001).[6] However, these descriptions are questionable, as they do not include proper diagnoses and seem to be based only on distribution.[6] [7]


  1. ^ a b c d McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ a b c "Aspidites". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 9 September 2007. 
  3. ^ Boulenger GA. 1893. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume I., Containing the Families...Boidæ... Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, Printers.) London. xiii + 448 pp. + Plates I.- XXVIII. (Genus Aspidites, p. 91.)
  4. ^ a b Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
  5. ^ Goin CJ, Goin OB, Zug GR. 1978. Introduction to Herpetology, Third Edition. W.H. Freeman. San Francisco. xi + 378 pp. ISBN 0-7167-0020-4. (Aspidites, p. 319.)
  6. ^ a b Aspidites ramsayi at the Reptile Database. Accessed 9 September 2007.
  7. ^ Wüster W, Bush B, Keogh JS, O'Shea M, Shine R. 2001. Taxonomic contributions in the "amateur" literature: comments on recent descriptions of new genera and species by Raymond Hoser. Litteratura Serpentium 21: 67-91. PDF Archived 9 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine. at Wolfgang Wüster Archived 25 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed 10 September 2007.

Further reading[edit]

  • Krefft G. 1864. Description of Aspidiotes melanocephalus, a New Snake from Port Denison, N.E. Australia. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1864: 20-22. ("Aspidiotes, nov. gen.", p. 20.)
  • Peters W. 1877. Über die von S.M.S. Gazelle mitgebrachten Amphibien. Monatsberichte der Königlichen Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin 1876: 528-535, 914. (Aspidiotus melanocephalus, p. 533; and Aspidites, p. 914.)

External links[edit]