Scrub Python Fact File
5-8m (16.4 and 24.2ft)
— AD —
Scrub pythons can be found in Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. In Australia they can be found in the tropical northern areas of Queensland. They are also found on the Torres Strait Islands.
These animals make their home in dry sclerophyll forest, vine thickets, scrub, savanna woodland and montane rainforest.
They will live alongside humans in gardens and urban backyards along with plantations.
Breeding takes place from late July to late September. Males may fight one another during these periods to gain breeding rights with the females.
These snakes produce a clutch of between 5 and 21 eggs. The eggs will incubate for between 80 and 90 days.
During the incubation period the female will coil around the eggs and this will generate heat for the eggs to incubate. She may ‘shiver’ to help produce this heat. This serves to protect the eggs from predation by goannas and feral pigs.
At hatching the young are 60cm (23.5in) long.
Sexual maturity is tied to both age and length.
Scrub pythons are primarily arboreal as a juvenile spending much of their time in the trees. Larger adults will spend much of their time on the ground.
These animals are considered nocturnal and will undertake most of their movement at night.
Scrub pythons are capable swimmers and will move around their habitat by swimming when required.
Predators and Threats
These snakes may be killed in retaliation for eating chickens by farmers.
Small numbers of these animals are harvested for the pet trade but this is not thought to present a major threat. Indigenous people in parts of their range will also hunt them for food.
The scrub python is also commonly referred to as the amethystine python. This name comes from the similar appearance of their scales to that of polished amethyst.
Under certain lighting they have an iridescent sheen to their scales.
Along with being the largest snake in Australia they are among the longest snakes on Earth.
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Swanson, S. and Parish, S., 2011. Field Guide To Australian Reptiles. 2nd ed. New South Wales: Pascal Press.
Tallowin, O., Allison, A., Parker, F. & O’Shea, M. 2017. Morelia amethistina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T177501A1489667. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T177501A1489667.en. Downloaded on 03 April 2021.
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Ralph, A., 2021. Amethystine Python – Daintree Discovery Centre. [online] Daintree Discovery Centre. Available at: <https://www.discoverthedaintree.com/amethystine-python/> [Accessed 3 April 2021].
Billabong Sanctuary. 2021. Billabong Sanctuary – Australian Native Wildlife Park Townsville. [online] Available at: <https://www.billabongsanctuary.com.au/pythons/> [Accessed 3 April 2021].
Buttigieg, M., 2021. Huge mating pythons crash through ceiling as shocked couple watch on. [online] Au.news.yahoo.com. Available at: <https://au.news.yahoo.com/snake-breeding-season-huge-5-metre-mating-pythons-crashed-white-rock-cairns-qld-ceiling-080646934.html> [Accessed 3 April 2021].