Amethystine python

Amethystine python

Morelia amethystine

Common name:

Amethystine python

Scientific name:

Morelia amethystine

Alternative common names:


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.

Additional Information

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.

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