GREEN TREE PYTHON

Morelia viridis

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:

NATURAL HABITAT:

Green tree pythons are found in New Guinea, eastern Indonesia, and the northeast Cape York Peninsula of Australia.

They prefer tropical rainforests with thick vegetation and high humidity. They may also inhabit secondary forests and gardens. Most of their time is spent in trees, but they also come down onto the ground, especially at night. 

SIZE:

Green tree pythons can reach lengths of about 5 feet (1.5 meters).

DIET:

Green tree pythons eat mostly small mammals and reptiles. As juveniles, they are diurnal (or active during the day) and hunt smaller animals. As adults, they are nocturnal and hunt larger prey that is more active at night.

These pythons locate prey by sight and use labial pits to identify an animal's heat signature. They may also wiggle their tail like a lure. When curious prey gets close enough, they strike.

At OBX Lizard Land, our green tree python is fed mice and rats.

Green tree pythons have diamond shaped heads with irregular scales and are named for their vibrant green color. They have a white or yellow stripes and many also have yellow, green or blue spots. Juveniles are born bright yellow, red or red-brown, and do not get their characteristic green color until they are 6 to 12 months old.

Their coloration helps them to camouflage and avoid predators. A juvenile's yellow color blends into the edges of the rainforest. Their brick red coloration helps them blend in with the forest floor or tree branches. The bright green of adults helps them hide among the leaves of tall trees.

A prehensile tail helps the green tree python climb and catch prey. These snakes rest coiled up, hanging horizontally on branches. They dangle their tails to lure curious prey, and then hold onto the branch with their tail when they strike.

LIFESPAN:

The green tree python's lifespan in the wild is believed to be an average of 15 years. However, they can live up to 20 years in human care.

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