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Common name:Amethystine python
Scientific name:Morelia amethystine
Alternative common names:
Amethystine, scrub python.
Amethistina python is a non-venomous snake, killing its prey by constriction after grabbing it in its jaws or with its body. It’s Australia’s largest snake, growing to lengths of 8.5 metres, but more commonly 3.5-7.5 metres.
Where does this species come from?Australia (Queensland); Indonesia (Maluku, Papua); Papua New Guinea (Bismarck Archipelago).
What is its invasive status in South Africa?NEMBA category 2
Where in South Africa is it a problem?KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, and Limpopo Provinces.
How does it spread?This species is utilized in the pet trade.
Why is it a problem?They compete for food resources with other species. There is no record of Amethystine Pythons being a danger to human beings and will do everything possible to avoid human contact.
What does it look like?Description: It’s a large snake, growing to lengths of 8.5 metres, but more commonly 3.5-7.5 metres. Although long, it is quite slender with an elongated head. The snakes are light to dark brown and can have a dark brown to black zig-zag pattern that sometimes looks like bands. Their underbellies are white or cream coloured. The snake has a prehensile tail (which means they can use their tail to grip things) and this helps them move through the trees. They often bask in the sun on tree branches. Habitat: They are found in open and closed forests from rainforest to woodland and open scrubland and prefer areas near water. They are good swimmers. Breeding: Mating occurs between June to September and 7-19 eggs are laid. These stick together in a clutch which the female then coils around, shivering her muscles to raise the temperature to keep the eggs warm. Incubation lasts 77-88 days and then the young break through their leathery eggs and after waiting for up to 48 hours, takes off.