Burmese Python Lays Record 96 Eggs in Florida

Burmese Python in Florida lays a record clutch of 96 eggs, with 83 of them hatching.

Burmese Python Lays Record 96 Eggs in Florida

A Burmese phython in Florida laid an amazing clutch of 96 eggs. Photo: iStockphoto.com/LagunaticPhoto

A female Burmese python laid a record clutch of 96 eggs, officials said, the largest number recorded in a nest in the state. A study published in the research journal Reptiles & Amphibians said pythons typically lay an average of 22 to 84 eggs. 

The female was tracked via GPS radio transmitter implanted by researchers at the Fort Collins Science Center and USGS Science Center in south Florida. The python began creating a nest in Big Cypress National Preserve, one area of the Everglades where the snakes have grown significantly in number during the past 25 years. She laid the eggs on May 23, 2022. Officials found and monitored the nest, in which 83 eggs hatched and 13 were non-viable. 

Burmese pythons are native to southeast Asia and have been known to exist in Florida since the 1930s. A confirmed breeding population was recognized in the early 2000s, and since then they have spread through the Everglades. The snakes are opportunistic, preying on birds, small animals such as rabbits and also large game including deer and alligators.

The pythons are among the apex predators in the area. They compete for food with alligators, while also eating them when possible. Other predators target pythons, such as bobcats and the Florida panther. Pythons are believed to have spread more prolifically after Hurricane Andrew hit Homestead and south Florida in 1992. A python breeding facility was destroyed and its snakes escaped amid the flooding into the Everglades.

Pythons spend most of the day hiding amid vegetation or in burrows. They move and hunt at night when their sense of smell and ability to hide gives them a greater advantage. Professional trappers and hunters participating in the Florida Python Challenge each August, primarily seek the snakes at night for better success rates.

The biggest python on record is a 19-footer caught in the Big Cypress National Preserve in eastern Collier County. The prior record, set in October, 2020, was a snake measuring 18 feet, 10 inches.


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