What do they look like? The carpet python has a noticeably robust body and large head. The colour and pattern vary greatly, as indicated by its scientific subspecies name, variegata. They range from pale to dark brown and olive green to grey or reddish with darker blotches. This pattern acts as superb camouflage for the snake as it lies in ambush for passing prey, either amongst leaf litter on the forest floor or amongst the branches of trees and shrubs.
Where do they live? Carpet Pythons are found in a number of different habitats across Australia ranging from floodplains and rainforests to open woodlands and rocky mountain ranges. They may be found sheltering in hollow logs, caves or other rock crevices, tree hollows or disused burrows. Carpet pythons are also infamous for making the ceilings of human dwellings their home.
What do they eat? Carpet pythons feed mainly on mammals and birds. Young snakes initially feed on small lizards until they are large enough to catch and consume small rodents and birds. Some larger carpet pythons may even take possums for prey.
Behaviour:Digestion can take anything between a couple of days and a month – depending on prey size and prevailing temperature. A carpet pythons’ digestive juices are strong enough to dissolve bone and teeth. The only remaining item of the once whole prey animal will be some matted hair in the snake’s faeces.
Reproduction: Carpet pythons are egg layers and produce between 10 and 50 eggs in each clutch, which are laid in late spring or early summer. The female coils around the eggs to incubate them and will ‘shiver’ to produce extra heat if the eggs become too cold. Incubation lasts around 10-15 weeks
Threats: Changes in land use, habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation of available habitat, predation by introduced pest animals (European Fox, Cat) have contributed to the decline of this species. Snakes are also still killed by humans due to fear.
Conservation Status: Common and Widespread.