How long between breeding and egg laying?


Dear VPI, 

Our green tree python has been cycled and cooled, placed with several different males through the  past winter and then warmed. Minimal copulation was observed, but no ovulation. Her last period with a male was the early part of February when we pulled her from cycle and started a normal husbandry routine.

3 weeks ago (early June), she went off food and began to rapidly develop a bluish cast only typically associated with hormonal color changes in gravid GTPs from the Sorong locality. We were pleasantly surprised and happy with the color change, but slightly puzzled. We even remarked aloud about a possible gravid condition, but dismissed the idea when looking at the cycling records. It's been 4 months since she has been with a male.

This afternoon we found her beehived on a small clutch of 2 fertile and 7 infertile eggs! So our question is what is the longest time you have observed between copulation and egg deposition?


Dear Kevin,

The record we've seen goes to blood pythons and is close to a year between breeding and laying fertile eggs. We have seen a number of pythons go four and five months between the last breeding and laying fertile eggs. I can't remember any GTP to do so, but we've had carpets do it.

Something we have observed over the years that is illustrated by breeding morphs is that a female breeds with a male of one particular morph and then for some reason or another, we decide to use a different male of a different morph. The second male will breed the female many times for several months, but when the eggs hatch out, it almost always is the first male who is the dad, even when that initial breeding was even six and seven months earlier. DGB