Sexual maturity is reached in the first 2 - 4 years. Males breed at 7 - 9 ft, while females are typically 11ft. before they become receptive. Breeding usually takes place between the months of September - March. Reduction in the photo-period and overall temperature declines are the primary driving factors that stimulate breeding behavior in these snakes. Both male and females may fast during this time, so appropriate weight is necessary. Fasting may last up until the eggs are laid in the case of females and most probably until the eggs have hatched (McCurley 1999). Females usually lay 25 - 80 plus eggs, which are then maternally incubated at 88-90 degrees F, for 80 - 90 days. Eggs are also large in size, greater than 250 g (Shine 1999). Female Reticulated pythons show maternal care for their offspring only in that they brood the eggs. While the eggs are developing females will coil around them and "shiver" producing muscle contractions which serve to increase the overall temperature of the eggs. Females will also defend their eggs against predators, however once the eggs hatch, they are on their own.
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