Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis)

Reptile

The Green Tree Python is found primarily in the rainforests of eastern Cape York Peninsula in far north Queensland, Australia. They are also found throughout Indonesia, western New Guinea and Papua New Guinea. They make their homes primarily in trees and bushes where they can camouflage easily in the foliage, and find suitable prey.

These gorgeous snakes coil onto branches in two loops in a saddle position placing their head in the middle, similar to the Emerald Tree Boa (Corallus caninus) of South America.

This arboreal python is relatively short bodied; 1.5-1.8m in length. It has a angular snout, and it’s body is triangular in cross-section. Hatchlings emerge from the egg a bright yellow to burnt orange, to even blue in colour, changing into the adult coloration after 1.5 years. Adults are a striking emerald green in colour with a yellow under belly, often times possessing small white flecks along their backs. Being a python, they are non-venomous, but do possess an impressive set of long, curved teeth used to grip and hold their prey.

The diet of the Green Tree Python includes small mammals including ground rodents. They acquire their food by lying in wait out of sight from their prey, silently stalking them until they are approximately 1 metre from them, at which point they strike the unsuspecting animals. Younger snakes feed on small reptiles and amphibians, such as frogs and lizards. There is speculation as to whether the Green Tree Python eats birds, as a recent study examined the contents of 1000 specimens and did not find any avian remains.

Female Green Tree Pythons lay their clutch of 8-25 eggs in a tree hollow. Once she has laid her eggs, she will wrap herself around them to maintain the correct incubation temperature for 6-8 weeks until they hatch.

Currently, the number one threat to this species is the forestry and logging industry through loss of habitat.

Epicentre Environmental specializes in the safe handling of a range of different species just like this one, through effective fauna management solutions.

For more information contact Epicentre Environmental today.