STATUS IN THE WILD: Least Concern
RANGE: Australia and New Guinea
PHYSICAL FEATURES AND CHARACTERISTICS
Green tree pythons are non-venomous constrictors with a lifespan of around twenty years. They have multiple rows of teeth–up to 100 teeth per snake! They can reach lengths of seven feet, but the average is five to six feet. Males are generally longer than females. While green tree pythons are green as adults, they are born a bright yellow or maroon and do not start to turn green until they are six to eight months old.
LIFESTYLE AND REPRODUCTION
Preying on small mammals, birds, and other reptiles, the green tree python uses its tail to lure in prey. Coiled on a branch so that its head lies in the center of the coils, it dangles the tip of its tail, called the caudal luring, to attract potential prey. Once the prey is close enough, the python strikes and constricts.
Reproduction most often occurs between August and late December. Typically, a female can produce six to thirty eggs in one clutch of eggs. She wraps her body around them and uses the muscles throughout her body to shiver and produce heat to keep them warm. Hatchlings are usually eleven to fourteen inches long and take forty-five to fifty-two days to incubate. They move to the trees shortly after hatching for food and protection.
Green tree pythons live in Australia, New Guinea and on some of the islands surrounding New Guinea. These pythons can also be found in rainforests scattered throughout Cape York Peninsula in Australia.
Typically green tree pythons live and stay in trees anywhere from sea level to six thousand feet. They also occasionally hunt on the ground.
Green tree pythons eat tree lizards, birds, small arboreal mammals, and occasionally terrestrial mammals.