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Native Snakes

Native Snakes
Several pythons native to Australia can be found lazing about at the Australia Zoo. Bert and Ernie, two black-headed pythons, are both 8 years old. They are very quiet and well-behaved, traits not often associated with wild black-headed pythons, which can be quite aggressive. Black-headed pythons live in the dry coastal forests, rocky hills and peripheral desert regions of northern Australia. They are commonly found sheltering in burrows, hollow logs and beneath ground debris.

They tend to be nocturnal, especially during the warm season. Unlike other pythons, they feed mainly on cold-blooded animals, especially lizards and snakes even venomous ones.

Emerald and Kato, the zoo's green tree pythons, are both 4 years of age. They are very shy and secretive, and do not like to be disturbed.
Green tree pythons live in a variety of wooded habitats in northeast Australia, including rainforests and bamboo thickets.

They are the most arboreal of all the pythons, spending the majority of their lives in trees. With tight, muscular coils and a prehensile tail, the green tree python can wrap itself tightly around a branch, its vivid green skin melting in with the surrounding leaves.

It both rests and hunts from the same position: coiled around a branch with its head hanging down, ready to strike at prey.

Pamela, the zoo's 17-year-old scrub python, is another very shy snake that does not like to be disturbed. She will hiss loudly when aroused but will not bite unless she is severely provoked.

Scrub pythons live in a variety of habitats in Australia, preferring rainforests, agricultural lands and dry forests.

They are nocturnal, feeding mainly on bats, wallabies and other small mammals. They may also take the occasional ground-dwelling bird or kangaroo.

Able to grow 20 feet in length, the scrub python is one of the largest snakes on the Australian continent.
Name: Black-Headed Python (Aspidites melanocephalus)
Primary Classification: Boidae (Constrictors)
Location: Northern Australia.
Habitat: Dry coastal forests, rocky hills and peripheral desert regions, sheltering in burrows, hollow logs and beneath ground debris.
Diet: Mainly reptiles, including monitor lizards and venomous snakes. Also frogs, birds and small mammals.
Size: Up to 8.5 ft in length.
Description: Jet-black head and neck. Cream to dark brown body with dark, wavy bars. Large, symmetrical scales on narrow head. Small, black eyes. Rounded nose. Slender-bodied. Smooth scales. Lacks heat-sensitive pits around the mouth, which are seen in all other pythons.
Conservation Status: Common
Name: Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis)
Primary Classification: Boidae (Constrictors)
Location: Northeastern Australia, New Guinea and surrounding islands.
Habitat: A variety of wooded habitats, including montane rainforest and lowland swamp forest.
Diet: Mainly small rodents and birds. Also lizards, amphibians and other small mammals.
Size: Up to 7.5 ft in length.
Description: Vivid green skin with patterned white and/or blue scales. Broad, triangular head covered in numerous, small scales. Long, straight teeth. Prominent heat-sensitive pits around the mouth. Slender-bodied. Finely scaled skin. Prehensile tail.
Conservation Status: Common
Name: Scrub Python, aka Amethystine Python (Morelia amethistina)
Primary Classification: Boidae (Constrictors)
Location: Equatorial Africa, Asia and Australia.
Habitat: A variety of habitats, including dry woods, open savanna and wet tropical rainforest.
Diet: Bats, wallabies and other small mammals. Also ground-dwelling birds and kangaroos.
Size: Up to 20 ft in length.
Description: Yellow-brown or purple-brown crossbars and blotches on cream to brown body. Large, symmetrical head plates. Head wider than neck. Heavily pitted lips. Long teeth. Large, slender body.
Conservation Status: Common


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