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Maternal incubation temps of pythons....

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Posted by: Kelly_Haller at Tue Nov 16 22:29:20 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Kelly_Haller ]  
   

Most colubrid eggs are incubated at around 80 to 82, or with some species just slightly higher, and they will withstand even long term variations of a few degrees with no problems. However, python eggs require a minimum of 85 to 86 for normal development, and based on field studies, even this is a little low. Non-physiological thermoregulating species like the smaller Australian python species, ball pythons, etc, control the egg mass temps by periodically basking and then coiling about the eggs to radiate the absorbed heat back into the egg mass. Egg mass temps of these species measured in the field while being maternally incubated showed temps ranging from 87 to 89 degrees.

Maternal incubation by true physiological thermoregulating species such as burmese and reticulated pythons show temps even slightly higher. Burmese python females maternally incubate their eggs at the highest temps of all python species and are probably the most consistent with regards to temp control. They hold the egg mass temp at an average of 92 degrees, allowing only slight variations. Not only is this well documented in various studies, but I have personally measured intra-coil temps with dozens of brooding females and can verify that fact.

The optimum incubation temp for ball python eggs is probably about 88 to 89 degrees. While they can withstand short-term fluctuations of a few degrees either higher or lower without issue, they would not survive temps below 85 or above 92 if they were over an extended period of time.

Kelly


   

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