Coastal Carpet Python
Morelia Spilota McDowelli
Colours and patterns of the Coastal carpet 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.
Average size of an adult Coastal carpet python is around 2.1 metres but large specimens exceed 3 meters with the largest reliable record at 4.2 metres in length.
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. 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 diet of Coastal Pythons includes mice, rats, birds, flying foxes, possums wallabies and just about anything too slow to avoid capture. As a constrictor and a non-venomous snake this snake kills its prey by restriction and suffocation.