The diamond python (morelia spilota spilota) is a medium-size snake and that is typically found in the coastal habitats of southeastern Australia. It is a subspecies of carpet python. Diamond pythons are one of those snakes that occur at high elevations. The isolated population is also found in New South Wales.
Diamond Python Facts
- The diamond python is mostly distinguished by its dark olive to black body. There are creamy yellow spots all over its body.
- The python’s tail also displays clusters of creamy scales. These clusters look like diamonds and that’s how the snake earns its name.
- They have white undersides with some creamy shades.
- Adult pythons grow up to 2 m (6.6 ft) in total length. The longest specimen measured at 4 m (13 ft).
Range & Habitat
- Diamond pythons are native to Australia. They are thought to occur in the forests of southern Australia including Victoria, and New South Wales.
- The python makes home in many different habitats such as forests, heaths, urban areas, and woodland.
- In the suburban areas, diamond pythons live on the roofs of the homes.
- The Victorian population is threatened as they face some serious challenges in the habitat reduction. It is also found in the eastern Great Dividing Range. Sometimes diamond python also lives on the range far off from the coast.
- During winter, pythons live on the rocky lands.
Feeding Ecology & Diet
- Like a typical python, diamond pythons also kill their prey by suffocating it. They will consume lizards, mammals including possums, mice, and rats. Sometimes they also eat birds.
- The diamond python is not very aggressive by nature.
- They have got large territories which sometimes also overlap with each other.
- Diamond pythons are regarded as ambush predators. Pythons hibernate in winter.
- They have a home range of about 50 – 100 ha.
- During the broad daylight diamond pythons become most active but in summer they also come out at night.
- Pythons are usually sit-and-wait predators. They are likely to stay in one posture for as long as 14 days.
- The adult pythons will move 100 m (330 ft) from the position where it remained still.
- There are 25 eggs in one clutch but females are capable of laying as many as 54 eggs in one session.
- Like most other pythons, females are likely to defend her eggs against every possible predator. She guards the eggs by coiling around them. She is present almost all the time during the incubation period.
- Adult females also bask in the sun to increase their body temperature. Once the eggs hatch the young are on their own.
- Young pythons show brownish body.