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Jungle Carpet Python Fact File

Morelia spilota cheynei

Weight

Insufficient

Data

Length

1.5m

(4.9ft)

Lifespan

Wild 15 years

Captive 30 years

Diet

Carnivore

Small Mammals

Conservation Status

IUCN

Least Concern

The jungle carpet python is a smaller subspecies of the carpet python. Their range is restricted to the north of Australia in an area known as the Atherton Tablelands.

These animals are carnivores which will feed on small mammals and birds. Due to being non-venomous they must wrap around and squeeze prey to kill it before swallowing it whole.

Females deposit large numbers of eggs in to a pile and then wrap around them and shiver to keep the eggs warm.

They are threatened by vehicle strikes, habitat loss and some small amounts of poaching for the pet trade.

Read on to learn more about these reptiles.

Appearance

Jungle carpet pythons are covered by scales. These are colored yellow and patterned with black patches across the body. Their coloration is an adaptation which helps to camouflage them in the sun-dappled habitat.

The darker patches of color help help them to warm up quicker when sitting in the sun.

At the end of the body is a flexible and prehensile tail which can be used to grab on to a tree as they climb through the trees.

Their diamond shaped head is easily distinguished from the head. This features two eyes with a vertical pupil.

The jungle carpet python is a small subspecies of the carpet python. An average adult will have a length of 1.5m (4.9ft) long.

Diet


Jungle carpet pythons are carnivores. Prey consumed by the species include lizards, birds and small mammals.

These animals are non-venomous. This means they must subdue their prey by grabbing it in their mouth and then wrapping around it with the strong muscles to overpower the prey. As an ambush predator they will sit and wait for prey to come to them.

Food is then swallowed whole. To help with this they produce large amounts of saliva to help lubricate the food item.

They can use the forked tongue to help find food using scent. On either side of the head is a heat sensing pit which can help to determine the location of their food.

Jungle carpet pythons require very little food sometimes surviving on as little as 10 meals each year.

Jungle Carpet Python

Range

The jungle carpet python is a subspecies of snake found exclusively in Australia where they live in a small area near the coast in northern Queensland.

Habitat

These animals make their home in tropical rainforest near waterways and creeks. They may live alongside humans in barns, sheds and even homes.

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Reproduction

As a python the jungle carpet python will lay eggs in which the young complete their initial stages of development. Female carpet pythons provide care to their eggs unlike many reptiles. They will wrap around the eggs and shiver to keep them warm.

Each clutch may include 10-25 eggs which are then incubated for 60 days. While this process is carried out the female will not eat.

When they emerge from their eggs they have drab grey and black coloration which develops in to the bright yellows of the adults as they grow.

Behavior

These animals are arboreal and spend much of their time in the trees.

As they grow the jungle carpet python will shed its old skin and a new one is waiting underneath.

Jungle carpet pythons are primarily active by night.

Jungle Carpet Python

Predators and Threats

Natural predators of the jungle carpet python include goannas, kookaburras and owls. Introduced animals such as dogs and cats will also present a threat.

Humans affect their population through habitat loss and vehicle strikes.

These animals are kept as pets in Australia and overseas. Some collection from the wild may occur to fuel this trade despite the species being protected in Australia.

Quick facts

The jungle carpet python is a subpsecies of carpet python (Morelia spilota). These animals are widespread across Australia and in to New Guinea.

Their name, carpet python is thought to come from the scales resembling the pattern of old carpets.

Jungle Carpet Python

Photo Credits

Top

Alfonsopazphoto, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Middle one and Two

Public Domain

Bottom

Kyle Zimmerman, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

References

Burnie, D., 2011. Animal. 3rd ed. London: DK

Swanson, S. and Parish, S., 2011. Field Guide To Australian Reptiles. 2nd ed. New South Wales: Pascal Press.

Tallowin, O., Parker, F., O'Shea, M., Vanderduys, E., Wilson, S., Shea, G. & Hobson, R. 2017. Morelia spilotaThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T62232A21649539. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T62232A21649539.en. Downloaded on 22 August 2021.

Reptiles Magazine. 2021. Jungle Carpet Python Care Tips – Reptiles Magazine. [online] Available at: <https://www.reptilesmagazine.com/jungle-carpet-python-care-tips/> [Accessed 22 August 2021]. Park, A., 2021. Jungle Python – Australian Reptile Park. [online] Australian Reptile Park. Available at: <https://www.reptilepark.com.au/jungle-python/> [Accessed 22 August 2021].

Turtle Bay. 2021. Jungle Carpet Python — Turtle Bay. [online] Available at: <https://www.turtlebay.org/jungle-carpet-python> [Accessed 22 August 2021].

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. 2021. Jungle Carpet Python Attraction | Central Florida Zoo Animals. [online] Available at: <https://www.centralfloridazoo.org/animals/jungle-carpet-python/> [Accessed 22 August 2021].

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