Carpet Python (Morelia spilota)

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DESCRIPTION – Highly variable colour, usually olive brown with lighter, creamy blotches and stripes bordered darker black/brown, often with greenish hues and creamy yellows. Juveniles reddish/brown. Infra-red (heat sensitive) pits line the lower jaw scales and snout. Reaching over 3 meters in length, though carpet pythons have been known to reach over 4 meters. 40-65 mid body scales, 240-310 ventral, 60-95 sub ventral, anal single. Family: Pythonidae.

DISTRIBUTION – Occurring in most wooded habitats such as rainforest, sclerophyll forests, woodlands and heathlands, common in suburban environments including the roofs of houses. Carpet pythons are found from northern Victoria to Cape York, QLD, across to the Kimberly region, WA, avoiding the arid center, western and southern central regions (central and WA are home to the Western and Centralian Carpet Pythons, M. imbricata and M. bredli). A number of geographical races and sub-species occur. Also found in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

ECOLOGY – Largely nocturnal. Arboreal and terrestrial, feeds on mammals and birds, using heat-sensitive pits to ambush warm blooded prey and occasionally large lizards. Oviparous, 5-56 eggs, females known to coil around and brood their egg mass.

VENOM – NON-VENOMOUS. Powerful constrictor.

Updated November 2019 from Eipper, S. & Eipper, T. (2019) A Naturalists Guide To The Snakes Of Australia. John Beaufoy Publishing.