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Coastal Carpet Python
(Morelia Spilota McDowelli)

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The Coastal Carpet Python (Morelia Spilota McDowelli) is one of the widest and most commonly distributed python species in Australia. Often mistaken for or confused with the Diamond Carpet, this species occurs further north. It is also known for the Diamond Python and the Coastal Python to interbreed, which is unheard of in most other reptile species.

Appearance and Characteristics

A heavy bodied snake, this species is known to grow up to 14 foot in length, although average length seems to be around 7 - 9 feet. The life span of this snake is unknown, and figures from experts varies greatly, but it is believed that this snake can live in excess of 100 years. Captive bred animals, which grow at a much faster rate have been known to live up to 50 years.

Colours and Patterns of the Coastal Python vary greatly, even within one location. Colours include olives, dark greens, light greens, yellowy greens, browns and blacks. Patterns can be splotches, stripes or rings of colours. Colour and patterns are at their most vibrant immediately after, and within a week of sloughing off of old skin.
Reproductive Cycle.

After mating, a clutch of up to 30 eggs are laid. Females of this species, unlike other snake species, will care for her eggs, and defend her clutch violently. She coils herself around her eggs, and shivers to keep the eggs at a stable temperature. Between 50 and 60 days after producing her clutch, the babies hatch. At this point, the maternal duties of the mother are complete, and she goes to feed, leaving the hatchlings to disperse, and fend for themselves.

Diet and Habitat

Found throughout Northern New South Wales, and all the way to Cape York in Queensland, this species has one of the widest distributions of all snakes in Australia. With a preferred habitat of rainforests or eucalypt forests, it is not unknown of this snake to turn up in the middle of suburbia. They are known for living in the roof of houses, feeding on vermin.


 

The diets of Coastal Pythons includes mice, rats, birds, other snakes, flying foxes, possums and just about anything too slow to avoid capture. As a constrictor and a non venomous snake, he kills his prey by restriction and suffocation.

Information by Rhianna Blackthorn

 

Python hatching

Image by Brett Anderson

Python hatching

Image by Brett Anderson

Carpet Python protecting her eggs

John Stewart

Just out of the egg

John Stewart

Sharon McGrigor
Sharon McGrigor
Sharon McGrigor
Michael McGrath
Sharon McGrigor
Sue Ulyatt
Sue Ulyatt
Alicia Carter
Carpet python consuming a Mountain Brushtail possum
Leslee Hawley

Carpet python consuming a Red-Necked wallaby

 

Carpet python consuming a Red-Necked wallaby

Sue Ulyatt

 

 

A discarded fishing net is a death trap for native animals. This Coastal Carpet python was lucky to be discovered struggling trying to get free of a discarded fishing net, unfortunately the more it struggled the worse the entanglement became.
WIRES snake handler was called and the snake was able to be released straight away after being cut free. Please ensure you take any discarded nets and fishing gear with you when your fishing trip is over, leaving rubbish behind can cause severe damage.
This python is 2.4 meters in length and now safely back in his territory.

 

 

 

 

Cleaning up the yard ended in tragedy for Matt when he accidentally fatally injured a large python curled up in the long grass. The reason she was curled up was soon discovered, eggs were found underneath her. Two eggs remained intact and Matt called WIRES asking could we help.

The eggs were collected by WIRES reptile handler Martin.

Martin took the eggs into care and the waiting game began as the eggs were properly incubated which for reptiles is quite specialised. Martin checked the eggs a few times every day and just 7 days later early in the morning the eggs were hatching.

Both pythons are doing well and will be released back to where they came from in the next few days.

Images shows the tiny pythons having a look at the world for the first time.

Thank you Matt for calling WIRES.

UPDATE

The little pythons were released back at Matts property a week after hatching. We hope they have a long and happy life.

 

 

 

 

 

Updated January 11, 2017  

Webmaster: Susanne Ulyatt

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