Squamata (amphisbaenians, lizards and snakes)
Pythonidae (boas and pythons)
Habitat & Range
The woma inhabits the dry, desert regions of central and southwest Australia.
A woma can grow up to 5 feet long. They are characterized by bright yellow scales on the ventral side and alternating bands of brown and cream on the dorsal side. The genus Aspidites translates from Latin to "shield-bearer", which refers to the two large black scales found on the top of its head.
Womas prefer to feed on small terrestrial vertebrates, specifically small burrowing mammals, lizards and birds. As members of the Boidae family, they are powerful constrictors. However, since they often hunt within the burrow of their prey, there is limited space for them to wrap their body around their victim. Instead, they expand their bodies and squeeze the prey against the burrow wall.
Reproduction & Lifespan
Little is known about the natural reproductive habits, all information is based on captive individuals. Mating seems to occur between May and August and eggs are deposited in late September and early October. Average clutch size is 14 eggs, which hatch after an average of 57 days of incubation.
The lifespan of a woma living in the wild is unknown, but Boidae generally live about 30 years.
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