Green Tree Python
Green Tree Pythons are very similar to the emerald tree boa. They are bright green in color with a broken vertebral stripe of white or dull yellow. They may have spots of blue, white or yellow scattered over their body and they reach lengths between 1.6 and 2.2 m (5.2 - 7.2 ft).
They have a slender shape and a prehensile tail which enables them to move around between the branches of trees. They spend much of their time coiled over branches with their head resting in the middle of the coils.
Their head is large and is much wider than their body. The supralabial scales are the scales around their mouth and these have thermoreceptive pits.
Green Tree Pythons are found in the rainforests, bushes and shrubs of New Guinea, its surrounding islands and the very north of Australia. They are solitary and they spend their life among the branches of trees, only descending to the ground to move between them.
Green Tree Pythons are non-venomous carnivores that feed on small mammals and occasionally reptiles.
20 - 24 days after mating, female Green Tree Pythons lay 6 - 30 eggs in a tree hole or among epiphytic plants. Females incubate and protect the eggs and after 45 - 52 days the eggs hatch. When they hatch the young snakes are immediately independent.
Hatchlings are usually yellow in colour but occasionally they can be orange or red. As they mature they turn green which usually occurs between 6 and 8 months old. They reach sexual maturity at 2 years of age and they have a breeding interval of 1 year.
Young Green Tree Pythons are hunted by birds of prey.
Green Tree Pythons can live up to 35 years old (in captivity).
Green Tree Pythons are popular with reptile collectors and are kept as pets.
Habitat: The green tree python of the rainforest is native to the northern part of the Australia, New Guinea and Indonesian rainforest and is part of the Boidae Pythoninae family. Green tree pythons spend most of their time in the trees. They have a very interesting way of hanging in the tree branches by coiling up their body then looping it over a branch like a saddle resting their head in the middle.
Diet: The green tree python of the rainforest has a diet that consists mainly of small mammals such as rodents. However, when scientists examine the stomach contents of these snakes they have found more than 1000 different animals this python as preyed upon. They catch their prey by holding onto a branch with their tail then striking out from an s-shaped position. As a part of the python family they constrict their prey to death.
Fun Facts: The green tree python of the rainforest has a relatively slim and not necessarily long body for a snake usually reaching somewhere between 5 and 9 feet. They are various shakes of green and/or yellow with a diamond shaped head. Some have spots of blue or white and they are one of the more visually beautiful snakes. Their lifespan can exceed 20 years and they can lie anywhere from 1 to 25 eggs per clutch. No one has ever recorded the green tree python breeding in the wild but in captivity the hatchlings are a lemon yellow color with spots of purple, brown, gold or orange-red. Their color changes at 5-10 days old. The largest threat to the green tree python of the rainforest is the threat to their habitat due to logging and a lack of rainforest preservation.
PYTHONS Pythons live near the equator, in Asia and Africa, where it is hot and wet and their huge bodies can stay warm. They make their homes in caves or in trees and have become used to living in cities and towns since people have been moving in on their territory.
Being closer to people means that not only will the snakes hunt the livestock (pigs, goats, dogs, cats and chickens), it also means that they may attack people when feeling threatened, although this rarely happens.
Speaking of feeling threatened, one of the biggest reasons that pythons are killed is for their large, beautiful skins. Some people actually like to wear snakeskin pants, vests, cowboy boots, and shoes!
Pythons are constrictors, which means that they will ‘squeeze’ the life out of their prey. They coil themselves around their prey and with each breathe the creature takes the snake will squeeze a little tighter until they stop breathing completely. Once the heart stops the prey is swallowed whole. The entire animal is digested in the snake’s stomach except for fur or feathers. What do you think happens to the fur, feathers, beaks, and eggshells? The ‘extra stuff’ gets passed out as… you guessed it…snake POOP!
Along with farm animals, pythons will feed on wild animals such as lizards, caiman (small alligator-like animals), monkeys and antelope. The larger the meal, the longer it takes to digest. This means that a python may only need to eat 4-5 times a year!
The Green Tree Python is around 7 feet long and lives in…you guessed it...the trees! It waits in the leaves of the high forest branches and strikes out at birds as they fly by.
Pythons lay eggs and will coil their bodies around the eggs to keep them warm and protect them until hatching.