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This beautiful snake is an adult male WOMA, a species of python from central and western Australia.  Due to his distinctive yellow head and the fact that it rhymes, this lovely snake's name is Homer after the TV character Homer Simpson!

Woma
Woma

Homer hatched on July 10th 2011 and at his fully grown size of just over 1.5 metres in length he is a very manageable sized python!

Woma
Woma

As you can see both above and below the woma is a beautifully banded snake species, with high contrast bands of pale yellow/cream and a much darker red/brown colour.

Woma

Homer is an exceptionally friendly snake and has some of the softest skin of any snake I have ever owned, it feels lovely.  Australia has strict export laws to protect their native animals so the only way to buy a woma is to buy one which has been bred in captivity, which is one thing that I insist on with all of my snakes anyway!

Woma

The woma is an unusual python in that it does not have heat-detecting pits on its face, and is one of only a very few species of python without them.  For more information about these pits take a look here at my royal python page!

 

Like most pythons, Homer eats warm-blooded prey including rodents and birds.  Instead of using heat detection to find his prey, he would use the exceptionally keen sense of smell provided by his tongue!

Woma

Like all the pythons of the world, woma pythons hatch from eggs.  A woma breeder friend of mine has very kindly provided me with permission to use the photographs below of some of her own baby womas, including this one actually hatching from its egg!!

Woma

Photograph courtesy of Dawn Shopland, Cheltenham

The white coloured material surrounding the eggs here is called perlite, which is a material often used to incubate reptile eggs due to its high water content.  Reptile eggs need to absorb lots of water during the incubation process, so materials which retain water like perlite and vermiculite (which I use to incubate my own reptile eggs) are very useful!  Here are some of Dawn's woma babies pictured soon after hatching, as you can see they are extremely cute!

Woma

Photograph courtesy of Dawn Shopland, Cheltenham

People often ask me how snakes lay eggs and from where in their body, and Dawn has kindly given me permission to use the following image of one of her females laying her eggs to show the actual process of egg-laying:

Woma

Photograph courtesy of Dawn Shopland, Cheltenham

As you can see here there is an opening through which the eggs are being laid, this opening is known as the cloaca.  Every reptile has a cloaca and it is an opening through which both eggs and waste products are removed from the animal's body, as well as being the opening from which the male reproductive organs are protruded during the mating process.

Everyone who meets Homer absolutely loves him because he is so friendly and has the most wonderfully soft skin! Here are some Year 1 children and members of teaching staff at Cupernham Infant School in Romsey enjoying meeting him during my annual visit there as part of their Australia topic!

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