THE REPTILES OF AUSTRALIA

AUSTRALIAN REPTILE PHOTOS, DISTRIBUTION MAPS AND INFORMATION
Covering Snakes and Lizards, Crocodiles and Turtles, including Colubrid snakes, Pythons, Elapids (called Cobras or Coral Snakes in some countries), Sea Snakes, File Snakes, Blind (or Worm) Snakes, Sea Turtles, Freshwater Turtles (or Tortoises) Dragon Lizards (Agamas), Gecko's, Legless Lizards, Monitor Lizards (often called Goanna's in Australia), Skinks and Crocodilia.

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Colubrids & Mud Snakes

Pythons Elapid Snakes Sea Snakes File Snakes Blind Snakes Turtles Tortoises Dragons Agamas Geckos Legless Lizards Monitor Lizards Skinks Crocodiles

NORTHWESTERN (or DARWIN) CARPET PYTHON
Morelia spilota variegata
A
s most captive Northwestern Carpet Pythons come from the general area around Darwin, they are usually referred to as "Darwin Carpets" in the Pet trade, however the subspecies occurs in Western Australia and Queensland as well as a large area of Northern Territory and New Guinea.

Note that The Papuan Carpet Python which is sometimes referred to as Morelia spilota harrisoni is also currently Morelia spilota variegata

Morelia spilota variegata Darwin or Northwestern Carpet Python  

NORTHWESTERN (or DARWIN) CARPET PYTHON - Australian distribution map
Map shows approximate Australian distribution. This sub-species also occurs in New Guinea.

Morelia spilota variegata Darwin or Northwestern Carpet Python
Many pythons look at their best when they first get their adult patterning (above).
The snake in the 2 pictures below still has its hatchling coloration, typical for young Darwin Carpet Pythons

Morelia spilota variegata Darwin or Northwestern Carpet Python
©2014 John Fowler and Rachel Barnes


Morelia spilota variegata Darwin or Northwestern Carpet Python
©2014 John Fowler and Rachel Barnes

This young snake has its body in a coil and its mouth open ready to strike. Note the strongly forked tongue present in all snakes and some lizards, and just behind that is the glottis (breathing tube) which can be extended forward when the snake is swallowing large food to allow it to continue feeding.

Morelia spilota variegata Darwin or Northwestern Carpet Python
©2014 John Fowler and Rachel Barnes

Morelia spilota variegata Darwin or Northwestern Carpet Python


©2014 John Fowler and Rachel Barnes

Notice what is left of the egg sac in the video above. It either gets absorbed or dries up after hatching.

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ALBINO CARPET SNAKES

Morelia spilota variegata Darwin or Northwestern Carpet Python

All albino Carpet Snakes in captivity in Australia are descended from this subspecies, however it appears some have been crossed with other subspecies. Note that crossing subspecies in South Australia (and possibly some other states) is illegal. My understanding is that there were 2 original albino snakes. One of those was called Blondie who is probably the best known snake in Australia .The story of Blondie can be found here and pictures here.

If you cross an albino with a "normal" carpet python you will get no albino babies,
but all babies will be carrying the albino gene because the "normal" gene is dominant, whereas the albino gene is recessive.
A normal looking snake carrying the albino gene is called a Het (short for Heterozygous)

normal x normal = all normals

het x normal = 1/2 hets. 1/2 normals

het x het = 1/4 albinos 1/2 hets 1/4 normals

het x albino = 1/2 albinos 1/2 hets

albino x albino = all albinos 

albino x normal = all hets

Note that when you cross a het with a normal , there is no easy way of telling which snakes are normal and which ones are hets,
however the chance that a normal looking snake from this clutch is a het is 66% so the babies are called 66% hets.

If you cross an albino with a het all the babies will look the same, however only half are expected to carry the albino gene so these are called 50% hets.

A snake which known to definitely be a het is often called a 100% het to differentiate it from a 66% het or a 50% het.

As these percentages above are based on probability, in reality the actual percentages could vary from 0% to 100% unless you cross 2 normals or 2 albinos


The Papuan Carpet Python
(Morelia spilota variegata from New Guinea)

OTHER LINKS OF INTEREST

INFORMATION ABOUT AUSTRALIAN PYTHONS
by John Fowler

PYTHON SPECIES OF THE WORLD
by John Fowler

BOA SPECIES OF THE WORLD
by John Fowler

| Report Faulty Link | Report an Error | Contact John Fowler Author of the Australian Herpetology Website, Boas of the World and PetGecko.info |Contact John Hollister Author of John Hollister Reptile Collection - Herping the Trans-Pecos & Rattlesnake Roundup

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Updated January 22, 2015