It is also called scrub
python and its Latin name is Morelia
It is only found in this
Australia - in Cape York and areas just south of it.
grow up to eight metres
however it is more usual to see a smaller one.
Like other pythons, it is a non-venomous
snake and harmless to humans.
And yes, it
is the species that got famous when a
snake went for a flight from Cairns to
Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) on 11. January 2013.
managed to cling to
of the Qantas plane for the whole trip but had died due to freezing temperatures
What Does the Amethystine
Python Look Like?
The size you most often see is 2-3
It is slender for its
compared to some other Australian pythons.
It has brown pattern
upper side and a paler belly.
The colours turn
in certain light, which has given the snake its name.
Behaviour and Bite of
see them basking in the
sun during the day
time and going hunting
the night time.
always seem nervous and on alert, pythons most often move slowly and calmly.
It moves away if you go
avoiding all human contact possible.
However, the fact that
poisonous does not mean that it does not have teeth to bite!
It can still give you a
cornered or threatened too much, and like most bites it
nasty and get infected (however not poisonous).
The best remedy is to stay
from it and respect it
all other snakes.
Diet and Reproduction of
that it is not
poisonous means that it
means of killing its prey than poisoning (a snake's poison
produced for killing the prey, not for self defence although it ends up
getting used for that, too).
Being large snakes, pythons
their prey by suffocating just like boas - their
Amethystine python mostly eats small
animals like small
reptiles, flying foxes.. but large individuals do take an occasional
larger prey like
wallaby, pademelon or tree kangaroo.
Their mating season
is our Dry
Season (June-September) and female lays up to 20 eggs.
She incubates them for almost three months by curling around them and
shaking her body to produce heat.
Once the eggs hatch, the young are independent and take off after about
Habitat and Where to See It
Pythons are found in tropical and
subtropical areas in Australia, Asia and Africa (but are
developed in Australia).
Amethystine pythons are found in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and north eastern Australia
(Cape York as well as the areas around and south of Cairns and Atherton
Tablelands, even until Townsville according to some sources).
They live mostly in rainforests,
but can also be found in vine and monsoon forest, scrubland, bushland,
open woodland, particularly in
areas close to water. And they do come to suburbia.
Most of the photos on this page are of a wild amethystine python that I
saw near Mulgrave River
Cairns, just south of Gordonvale (which happens to be the
where Australia's largest amethystine python - eight metres - was
Another good place to see it from my own experience is on Atherton
Tablelands, in the rainforests around Lake
Eacham and Lake
You can walk around both lakes. They are mostly aboreal but can also be seen on the
They are more active
but can also be seen day time, snoozing and sunbaking to heat their
If you don't see any on the lake walks, you can take a cruise on Lake Barrine,
they often spot them in the tall grass just on the edges of the lake
(check that tall grass on the walks too). Talk to the cruise operators
and ask if
they have seen one today.
Get this 50 pages guide totally for FREE. It
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my partner Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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