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Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
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Carpet Python

Carpet Python
Photo: C & D Frith
Australian Tropical
Reptiles & Frogs

Carpet Python (Morlelia spilota)

  • The carpet python is one of the most commonly known snakes.
  • It is variable in colour and pattern and it can grow up to a length of 2 metres.
  • Sometimes it can be confused with the Amethystine Python which has larger more tortoise-like scales on its head.


  • The carpet python lives in a habitat range from the wet tropics to near arid desert.


  •  it is a crepuscular and nocturnal hunter with its prey consisting of ; mammals, birds and some reptiles


  • between 15 and 20 eggs are laid, and the young hatch at a length of 30-40 cm.

      Viewing Opportunities:

  • If you have a keen interest in viewing them, please let John Chambers know and he will advise you of any sightings during your stay.

Additional Information:

  • The 'Carpet Python' is the most widespread of the Australian pythons, and is found in variety of habitats, from grassland to rainforest in Australia and New Guinea.

  •  It is also easily the most variable python, although it generally has lighter blotches on a darker background, and a large head that is very distinct from the body (Torr 2000). They can grow to a good size of and are capable of eating birds and mammals up to the size of a small wallaby (Torrr 2000).

  •  Here in the jungle of the north-eastern Australia there is the 'jungle' version, a strikingly coloured and patterned animal with yellow and black.

Script: Courtesy of  Damon Ramsey BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide

Pythons: Family Pythonidae

  • Pythons are mainly found in the Old World tropics and subtropics, including Africa, Asia and Australia.

  • They are best developed in Australia (Shine 1998) where they are found from the rainforest, to the woodland, to the desert, and range in size from the Amethystine Python, one of the world's top five biggest snakes to the tiny 60 centimetres `Pygmy Python' Antaresia perthensis (Shine 1998).

    Pythons have a very interesting reproductive cycle that sets them apart from the related Boas.

  • First, they lay eggs. Then the mother curls around these eggs and incubates them with it's own body heat. Of course, being ectothermic, pythons do not have a naturally occurring high body temperature, thus they have to produce this.

  • This is done by gathering it from the sun by basking, or by a process known as shivering thermogeneisis.

  •  Essentially, the python vibrates it's body with it's muscles, in effect it is shivering to provide warmth for the eggs to develop (Shine 1998).

  • During this time the mother does not eat, uses up much energy and may loose up to half her own body weight and be another few years until she is sufficiently recovered to mate again (Shine 19998).

  • After the eggs hatch, the parent no longer looks after them (Shine 1998).

Script: Courtesy of  Damon Ramsey BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide

Additional Carpet Python Photos

Carpet Python of the Lamington National Park

Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges
Lake Eacham, Atherton Tablelands
Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
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