- Common names: green tree python.
is a non-venomous python species
found in New Guinea
, various islands in Indonesia
, and the Cape York Peninsula
. Completely arboreal
with a striking green color in adults. No subspecies
are currently recognized.
Adults average 90-120 cm (3-4 feet) in length, with a maximum grow to about 213 cm (7 ft). The supralabial scales
have thermoreceptive pits.
The color pattern is vivid green with a broken vertebral stripe of white or dull yellow. Spots of the same color, or blue spots, may be scattered over the body. Cyanomorphs (blue morphs) are also known to occur. Juveniles are polymorphic, occurring in reddish, bright yellow and orange morphs.
Found in Indonesia
, Aru Islands
, Schouten Islands
, most of Western New Guinea
), Papua New Guinea
(including nearby islands from sea level to 1,800 m elevation, Normanby Island
and the d'Entrecasteaux Islands) and Australia
along the east coast of the Cape York Peninsula
). The type locality
given is "Aroe-eilanden" (Aru Islands, Indonesia).
This species is sympatric with M. spilota and the two often compete in the same ecological niche.
Although the Morelia Viridis can be expensive, it is highly recomended for the first time owner, and any children who are looking to get a snake as a pet.
The Morelia Viridis is most known for its bright green coloring when mature and its bright yellow and sometimes even bright red coloring when juvenile.
The Morelia Viridis is also known because it is a short but fat snake, they enjoy being handled, but they may be heavy for young children.
Rainforests, bushes and shrubs.
The Morelia Virdis, or as it is commonly known, GTP, (Green Tree Python), inhabits Papa New Guinea and Australia, and other small islands around that area, they enjoy humid conditions.
The largest threat to the species is habitat destruction, particularly in Western New Guinea
, which is currently occupied by Indonesia
and is being logged by the Indonesian government. Many of these old growth forests that they live in are also inhabited by native papuan tribes who eat the snakes.
Primarily arboreal, these snakes have a particular way of resting in the branches of trees; they loop a coil or two over the branches in a saddle position and place their head in the middle. This trait is shared with the emerald tree boa, Corallus caninus
, of South America. This habit, along with their appearance, has caused people to confuse the two species when seen outside their natural habitat.
The diet consists of small mammals, such as rodents, and sometimes reptiles. Despite many references in the literature, it does not include birds. Switak conducted field work on this issue and in examining stomach contents of more than 1,000 animals he did not find any evidence of avian prey items. Prey is captured by holding onto a branch using the prehensile tail and striking out from an s-shape position.
, with 12-25 eggs per clutch. The eggs are incubated and protected by the female, often in the hollow of a tree. Hatchlings are usually lemon yellow with broken stripes and spots of purple and brown, although golden or orange individuals may appear in the same clutch. In all cases, the color soon turns to green as snakes mature.
These snakes are often bred and kept in captivity, although they are usually considered an advanced species. This is due to their specific care requirements, but once these are met they thrive in captivity. The second reason they are considered advanced is from wild caught individuals that often carry parasites and rarely tame down, although captive bred individuals usually calm down.
The Morelia Viridis is generally docile and good with young children, therefore it makes the ideal pet snake.