The Australian Reptile Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
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Green Tree Python

Scientific Name: Morelia viridis

Proudly Sponsored by

Robert Webster, Armidale, NSW
Stuart Hawkes, Sydney

Did You Know?

The end of the tail of the green tree python is a different colour from the rest of the snake and is used as a lure to attract potential food. It is held in front of the snake's head and wriggled to resemble a writhing worm.

An unmistakable arboreal or tree-dwelling python, the adult green tree python is emerald green in colour with a yellowish belly. Occasional specimens also have small white markings along the back. Hatchlings on the other hand, are quite different, emerging from the egg a bright sulphur yellow or sometimes reddish-orange, changing into the adult colouration after 1-2 years. Green pythons are relatively short, stout-bodied snakes rarely exceeding 1.5-1.8m in length. Like all pythons they are non-venomous bat are armed with an impressive set of long recurved teeth to enable them to maintain a grip on their struggling prey amongst the branches.

Habitat:

In Australia the species is restricted to the rainforests of eastern Cape York Peninsula in far north Queensland. It is also widely distributed in Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya.

Diet:

Most of the diet comprises small mammals and birds. Ground-dwelling rodents are a favourite prey, the snakes lying in wait on a branch a metre or so from the ground grabbing the unsuspecting animals as they pass below. Juvenile snakes feed mostly on small lizards and frogs.

Reproduction:

Female green tree pythons locate a suitable tree hollow in which to lay their clutch of 8-25 eggs. Once produced, she will wrap herself around them to maintain the correct incubation temperature until they hatch around 6-8 weeks later.

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