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How Many Eggs Do Pythons Lay & How Many Survive?

ball python lying on a tree

Pythons are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs. This sets them apart from the Boa family, which are ovoviviparous and birth live young.  After a female python lays her eggs she will incubate them until they hatch.

Whether you are a snake enthusiast that is interested in breeding pythons or you just want to learn more about them, you may want to know how many eggs they lay and how many survive out of a clutch.

The answer isn’t so simple, there are many different species and subspecies of pythons. The female must keep her eggs at a constant temperature for healthy embryo development. Females will not eat during the incubation period and will only leave their clutch to bask and raise their body temperature.

The size of the clutch is highly dependent on the species of snake. Larger snakes also tend to be more prolific egg layers. What we’ve done is broken down the python family by genus and compiled a list of each species and their clutch sizes.

Divider-snake

Number of Eggs by Genus

Antaresia

Species Number of Eggs
Children’s Python 7 – 20
Spotted Python 10 – 18
Pygmy Python 2 – 6

Apodora

Species Number of Eggs
Papauan Olive Python 8 – 30

Aspidites

Woma fire ball python_fivespots_shutterstock
Image Credit: fivespots, Shutterstock
Species Number of Eggs
Black-headed Python 6 – 20
Woma Python 5 – 19

Bothrochilus

White Lipped Python
Image Credit: Milan Rybar, Shutterstock
Species Number of Eggs
D’Albertis’ python 5 – 20
Bismark Ringed Python 5 – 20
White-lipped Python 2 – 6

Liasis

Species Number of Eggs
Water Python 10 – 20
Macklot’s Python 10 – 18
Olive Python 8 – 30

Malayopython

Reticulated Python
Image Credit: Tirriko, Pixabay
Species Number of Eggs
Reticulated Python 20 – 80

Morelia

Species Number of Eggs
Boelen’s Python 10 – 20
Bredl’s Python 20 – 30
Rough-scaled Python 10 – 20
Carpet Python 10 – 40
Green Tree Python 10 – 30

Python

ivory ball python on the stone
Image Credit: Sittisak Ua unnahakit, Shutterstock
Species Number of Eggs
Angolan Python 7 – 10
Burmese Python 50 – 100
Bornean short-tailed Python 10 – 16
Blood Python 12 – 30
Sumatran short-tailed python 7 – 12
Myanmar short-tailed python 7 – 12
Indian Python 20 – 100
Ball Python 3 – 11
African Rock Python 20 – 100

Simalia

Species Number of Eggs
Amethystine Python 10 – 20
Australian Scrub Python 10 – 20
Moluccan Python 15 – 20
Tanimbar Python 7 – 15
Oenpelli Python 10 – 20
Halmahera Python 10 – 20

snake divider 2

How Many Will Survive?

As you can see, the number of eggs in a clutch is dependent on the species of python. You will notice a pattern, that snakes within the same genus tend to lay similar clutch sizes.

The larger the snake, the larger the clutch. The Burmese and Reticulated pythons are two of the largest species of snake in the world and they can lay up to 100 eggs per clutch. Most other pythons typically don’t lay more than 20 eggs per clutch.

Many factors can determine how many eggs in a clutch will survive. There’s no way to give a specific number of likely surviving eggs. If the mother snake is in the wild, it is dependent on factors such as predators, whether the mother can fully incubate all eggs, and whether or not each ovum was healthy, to begin with.

As for captive breeding, most snake handlers will remove the clutch of eggs after the female lays them. They will then place them in a manmade incubator to more evenly distribute the needed heat for the eggs to properly develop.


Featured Image Credit: BikerPhoto, Shutterstock

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