THE REPTILES OF AUSTRALIA - PYTHONS

AUSTRALIAN REPTILE PHOTOS AND INFORMATION
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Reptiles of the World


(NOT VENOMOUS)

NORTHWESTERN (or DARWIN) CARPET PYTHON
(Morelia spilota variegata)
As 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 is also currently known as Morelia spilota variegata but is sometimes referred to as Morelia spilota harrisoni

Morelia spilota variegata Darwin or Northwestern Carpet Python   
Adult Northwestern Carpet Python (Morelia spilota variegata)


Map below shows Australian Distribution only- Morelia spilota variegata/harrisoni also occurs in New Guinea

Reptiles of Australia
Distribution of the Australian distribution of the Northwestern Carpet Python (Morelia spilota variegata) is Dark Brown in the map above (NT &WA) and is approximate only! This sub-species (Morelia spilota variegata) also occurs in New Guinea where it is sometimes referred to as Morelia spilota harrisoni.

Note that the distribution map is a very rough guide only, in some areas there are intergrades between the subspecies, and snakes from those areas may be hard to categorize as they may have characteristics of more than one subspecies.


Also note that the Centralian Carpet Snake (Morelia bredli), was downgraded to a subspecies for a while but has now regained its full species status and is not shown on this map, - Click here for distribution map of Morelia bredli



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

Morelia spilota variegata Darwin or Northwestern Carpet Python
Juvenile Northwestern Carpet Python (Morelia spilota variegata)

Morelia spilota variegata Darwin or Northwestern Carpet Python
This Juvenile Northwestern Carpet Python (Morelia spilota variegata) 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
Juvenile Northwestern Carpet Python (Morelia spilota variegata) hatching

Morelia spilota variegata Darwin or Northwestern Carpet Python
Adult Northwestern Carpet Python (Morelia spilota variegata)


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 was probably the best known snakes in Australia.

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 normal

het x normal = 1/4 het. 3/4 albino

het x het = 1/4 albino 1/2 het 1/4 normal

het x albino = 1/2 albino 1/2 het

albino x albino = all albino

Note that when you cross a het with an albino 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.

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


Hatchling albino Northwestern Carpet Python (Morelia spilota variegata)


LINKS OF INTEREST

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


Carpet Python Complex
Morelia spilota and Morelia bredli


INFORMATION ABOUT AUSTRALIAN PYTHONS
Australianherpetology.com


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Complete Carpet Python, A Comprehensive Guide to the Natural History, Care, and Breeding of the 'Morelia spilota' Complex

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About John Fowler | About John Hollister | Report Faulty Link | Report an Error | Contact John Fowler Author of the Australian Herpetology Website and Holiday in Kos - Owner of the Adelaide Reptile Forum

Contact John Hollister Author of John Hollister Reptile Collection - Herping the Trans-Pecos & Sweetwater, Texas Rattlesnake Roundup

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Updated September 5, 2021



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