Green Tree Python

Scientific Name: Morelia viridis
Irish Name: Glasphíotón crainn
IUCN Status: Least concern

The green tree python is a bright green snake that can grow up to 2m in length. As pythons go, this species is quite small compared to other species of python. Like all pythons, it lays eggs and hunts prey by constricting (squeezing) it.

Green Tree Python

The green tree python is a bright green snake that can grow up to 2m in length. As pythons go, this species is quite small compared to other species of python. Like all pythons, it lays eggs and hunts prey by constricting (squeezing) it.

General Information

Where do they live? (Natural habitat)

Native to New Guinea and its surrounding islands, Eastern Indonesia, and the Cape York Peninsula of Queensland Australia. Green tree python are an arboreal (tree-dwelling) species restricted to moist forests at low-to-medium altitudes.

How long do they live?

They live 15-19 years

What do they eat?

They eat small mammals, reptiles and birds.

Group name

Normally solitary animals

Zoo location

Zoorassic World

Closest related species / sister species

The green tree python is most closely related to the rough-scaled python (Morelia carinata)

Animal class

Reptilia

Animal order

Squamata

Fun facts

Seperated subspecies

Green tree pythons are made up of two distinct lineages or subspecies, which split around 5 million years ago and don't interbreed well. However despite this separation and difference, the two lineages look pretty much identical.

Ready to strike

They sit on branches by looping a coil or two of their body over the branch like a saddle, then nestle their head in the middle, with their neck spring loaded behind, ready to strike at passing prey.

Identity change

Green tree pythons were once known by the name Chondropython viridis and had its own genus. When scientists noticed that there were similarities between them and Australian and New Guinea carpet pythons, they were placed in the genus Morelia and given the scientific name Morelia viridis. In the pet trade they still go by the nickname “chondro”.

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Family Life

Very little is known about their wild reproduction, they are seasonal breeders but they possibly do not breed every year. An oviparous reptile they lay 1-25 eggs per clutch, and in zoos are incubated by the female. Hatchlings are lemon-yellow or brick-red (or some patchy combination of the two colours), and don't turn green until maturity.

Baby name

Hatchling

Gestation (pregnancy) period

39-65 days incubation

Number of young at birth

They lay between 6-32 eggs.

Age at maturity

2.5-3.5 years

Size male adult

150-180cm in length and 1.1-1.4kg in weight.

Size female adult

150-200cm in length and 1.1-2.2kg in weight.

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Conservation

Least Concern

The green tree python is listed as of 'least concern' by the International Union for Conservation in Nature.

Current population estimate

There hasn't been an in depth survey to determine population.

Threats

Green tree pythons are under heavy collection for the pet trade.

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FAQs

  • Where does the green tree python live?

    Native to New Guinea and its surrounding islands, Eastern Indonesia, and the Cape York Peninsula of Queensland Australia. They are an arboreal (tree-dwelling) species restricted to moist forests at low-to-medium altitudes.

  • Are green tree pythons venomous?

    Green tree pythons are constrictors and ambush predators, they are not venemous, instead striking out from their branch and constricting their prey

  • What do green tree pythons eat?

    They eat small mammals, reptiles and birds.

  • How many eggs does a green tree python lay?

    They lay between 6-32 eggs.

  • How big do green tree pythons get?

    They grow from 1.5-2.2m long!

  • How long does a green tree python live?

    They live 15-19 years.

  • Where does the green tree python live in the world?

    Native to New Guinea and its surrounding islands, Eastern Indonesia, and the Cape York Peninsula of Queensland Australia. They are an arboreal (tree-dwelling) species restricted to moist forests at low-to-medium altitudes.

  • Are green tree pythons good pets?

    Green tree pythons are considered an advanced species to keep in captivity as they have very specific care requirements, however once these needs are met they can do well as pets.

  • How to handle a green tree python?

    Green tree pythons don’t like to be removed from their perch, but if offered an alternative perch they might move themselves, excessive transport or handling can cause them stress.

  • Is the green tree python venomous?

    Green tree pythons are constrictors and ambush predators, they are not venemous, instead striking out from their branch and constricting their prey.

  • Are green tree pythons endangered?

    No, the IUCN has classified them as of “least concern”.

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