A nice surprise in Chapel Hill for our catcher Jasmine and the aptly named snake, Jasmine.
For the last few days, residents of a home in Chapel Hill noticed a very large carpet python coming in and out of a small hole at the base of their night jasmine tree. Having a small, curious dog, this was making them quite nervous as the snake was not moving on as expected and had made itself quite at home there in Chapel Hill.
At the same time each day, this snake would come out of the hole and bask on the ground nearby before returning back to the hole.
As soon as I heard about this I said there is no way that this snake doesn’t have a clutch of eggs with that habitual behaviour.
They had told me they named her Jasmine because of the tree she kept disappearing under and funnily enough, I am also a Jasmine…so it was meant to be!
While I was on my way to the job the snake had disappeared back into the hole, but we decided it was worth seeing if I could get access to her.
Well, she had found herself the perfect spot.
The hole itself was rather inconspicuous, but once I began moving bark and cutting through the liner, I found a huge cavity with a big old broken tree stump and a lots of nooks and crannies!
I finally found ‘Jasmine’, and as I expected, she was sitting on a beautiful clutch of 25 eggs!
Female carpet pythons will incubate their eggs for roughly two months. During this time, she won’t eat and will only ever move off the eggs to bask in the sun close by and return the heat to the eggs. She will also curl around the eggs and shiver to generate heat, this is known as shivering thermogenesis. As you can imagine, due to this dedication, they end up looking quite emaciated towards the end of the incubation period
Once the young begin to hatch and disperse, there is no further parental care.
Carpet pythons will generally try and seek out a site that provides a suitable microclimate for them to maintain ideal body temperatures. There are a number of features of the yard that can be seen as desirable locations for egg deposition. Common examples include piles of grass clippings, compost bins, mulch, rock retaining walls, or even just under some dead/fallen plant material.
Whenever we recover eggs from a job, they are incubated and the young are released into the wild once they have hatched
For more information about carpet pythons, please visit out identification page.