Green Tree Python


Scientific Name:
Morelia viridis

New Guinea and extreme northeastern Australia

Rainforest trees bushes and shrubs

Average Size:
62 to 72 inches long

Lifespan in Captivity:
15 to 20 years

Wild: rodents, birds and bats
Zoo: rodents, specifically mice

Incubation: 45 to 52 days
Clutch Size: between 6 and 30 eggs

Adults are bright green with very small, irregular white spots in down the spine and yellow belly scales.  Hatchlings are usually bright yellow, with occasional bright orange or red individuals.

Birds of prey, carnivorous mammals

Population Status:

About the Animal: 
This beautiful rainforest resident is an excellent example of parallel evolution (unrelated species that evolve in similar habitats and fill the same niche show similar habit and forms), looking and behaving much like the Emerald Tree Boa of South America

Green Tree Pythons are completely arboreal (tree dwelling), and rarely descend to the ground.  They are able to dangle most of their length from branches by holding on with strong, prehensile tails.

The young are hatched from eggs and are lemon yellow to a reddish orange.  The bright green color (from which this species gets it’s name) completely fills in by 6 – 8 months of age.

Mating and Reproduction:
Mating and egg-laying occurs from November through January.  Female Green Tree Pythons coil around the clutch of eggs, warming them by shivering and twitching. She will remain coiled around her eggs until hatching in 45 to 52 days.

Amazing Information:
Green tree pythons are well known using their tail to lure prey closer. The snake lowers its tail and wriggles the end to attract a prey. Younger animals exhibit this behavior more often than adults. Captive animals will also use tail luring when hungry.