The Carpet Python, more commonly known as the Diamond Python or Morelia Spilota (scientific name), is a large tree-dwelling snake that belongs to the family Pythonidae.
It lives mainly on the eastern coast of Australia, but also in New Guinea and Indonesia.
It is composed of six subspecies which are :
- Morelia spilota spilota
- Morelia spilota mcdowelli
- Morelia spilota cheynei
- Morelia spilota imbricata
- Indoor carpet Morelia spilota metcalfei
- Morelia spilota variegata
What Does a Carpet Python Look Like ?
The color pattern of the Carpet Snake is varied. Its hue can be black with gold, white, cream or olive color. On this pigmentation there are numerous irregular light spots or bands, beige, beige-orange, yellowish-brown or pale green, bordered with black.
Its patterns are arranged transversely on its back and meet on the sides of the front half of its body to form two clear longitudinal stripes. Some specimens can be striped along their entire length.
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These patterns are an advantage for it because they make it difficult to spot when it is in its natural environment, allowing it to be discreet for its predators and preys.
The shape can be a diamond or a complex pattern of markings composed of dark and light bands on a gray or brownish base.
Its body is particularly massive and slender. Its thin triangular head with a rounded snout stands out well from its neck.
On the top of its upper lip is a row of thermoreceptors that allow it to detect heat variations.
Carpet Python Size
The Carpet Python is a large species of python in the genus Morelia that measures between 6.5ft and 13ft long (2m and 4m) and weighs up to 33 lbs (15 kg) for the largest specimens.
Like many species in its family, the male is often smaller than the female. In some areas, females can weigh up to four times more than males.
As mentioned above, this snake is semi-arboricolous, meaning that it spends its time both in trees and on the ground.
It frequents urban areas and does not hesitate to enter them to look for food.
Its activity depends on the season and subspecies. This ophidian is mainly nocturnal, although it is possible to see it coming out of its hiding place in the middle of the day, especially during the spring. During the warmest days, it likes to take advantage of the sun to warm up.
It is an excellent climber that likes to move from tree to tree, and cross open areas such as rocky areas, forest floors and even roads.
Although it is considered irascible, the Carpet Python’s temperament is rather docile. The juvenile tends to be more lively and aggressive, but becomes calm if quickly accustomed to being handled.
Are Carpet Pythons Venomous ?
Although this snake has fairly long and sharp teeth, the Carpet Python is not venomous. Its bite can be painful but is not dangerous.
Carpet Python Diet
The Carpet Python is an opportunistic hunter often seen feeding at dusk. In its natural environment, it feeds mainly on mammals and birds, although the young prefer to feed on lizards.
This reptile is particularly useful in regulating rodent populations.
In captivity, rodents (of a size adapted to the specimen) will be its favorite food. It is necessary to accustom them as soon as they are young to eat small rats, so that when they are adults, it will be easier to offer them a large rat rather than several mice.
The frequency varies according to the size of the Python : while a juvenile must eat every 5 days, an adult can be fed every 7 to 10 days.
To locate its prey, this snake uses its heat-sensitive receptors located above its upper lips. Once detected, it will ambush its prey and wrap itself around it to suffocate it with its rings.
Where Do Carpet Pythons Live ?
This snake lives all over the Australian continent, except in the central and western regions. It is distributed over a wide geographical area, from the forested regions of southwestern Australia to Papua New Guinea in the Port Moresby area of the Central Province, south of the Western Province), through Indonesia (south of Western New Guinea) and onto Yule Island.
This snake lives in a wide variety of habitats, ranging from tropical forests in northeast Queensland to the arid Nuyts Islands, via the Darling and Murray rivers.
It is sometimes seen near houses in urban areas where it hunts rats and other rodents.
The Morelia Spilota is also known to be one of the few species to be found in snowy areas.
This species is oviparous, meaning that its eggs develop outside the female’s body.
The breeding period takes place around February/March. After mating, the female looks for a place where she can incubate her eggs.
Her favorite shelters are decomposed tree trunks. To produce heat, she wraps herself around and shakes if necessary.
The hatching occurs in the 4 months after the mating. At birth, the juveniles measure about 1.5ft (40cm) and become very quickly autonomous.
If you are interested in adopting a Carpet Python into your home, there are a few basic rules to follow to optimize your pet’s well-being.
As explained earlier, this reptile is arboreal, so it will need a terrarium with more height than length. For juveniles under 2.5ft (80cm), a 17in x 17in x 23in (45cm x 45cm x 60cm) terrarium will suffice.
The recommended terrarium type is the Exo Terra. Its top grill allows for heating systems to be placed outside. This keeps the aesthetic effect natural and prevents your ophidian from getting burned.
An optimal heating system would be to place a 100w ceramic heater on top of the screen at a temperature of 89°F (32°C). We recommend that you connect a thermostat to the ceramic to easily regulate the temperature and lower it to 77°F (25°C) at night.
You will also need to place a large water bowl for him to drink from and to immerse himself in.
For his well-being, add lianas and tree branches to allow him to get up high. He will also need elements to hide, so you should put plenty of artificial plants in his terrarium.
There you go, you now know this snake in all its aspects. We hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, you should know that we publish at least one article per week and that you can receive them in preview by subscribing to our newsletter. Don’t hesitate to share your questions, remarks and suggestions about the Python Carpet in comments. We will be happy to discuss with you.
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