Is It Dangerous?
The Coastal Carpet Python is a species of Pythonidae which means it uses its powerful muscles to constrict prey and it does not have any venom. Despite this, the Carpet Python has razor sharp teeth which can inflict severe lacerations to whatever may be foolish enough to antagonize the Carpet Python. Carpet Python bites also contain various germs which require sanitization, and Tetanus shots are recommended for anyone bitten by a Carpet Python.
Where Would You Find It?
Carpet Pythons prefer forested areas but can be found all throughout South East Queensland. Areas close to Bushland are favourites of the Carpet Python. They frequently enter homes in search of food, and are the most common Snake to find inhabiting your roof where they will often eat Possums, Rats and Mice and take shelter through winter.
How Do They Behave?
Coastal Carpet Pythons are active both day and night, though usually spend night time hunting for prey and being generally more active. Like all Snakes, Carpet Pythons always prefer to escape rather than confront a threat. Being large and heavy bodied, carpet pythons often find it difficult to succinctly evade threats as they are quite slow. When confronted, the Python will hiss loudly and may head- butt the attacker. Following this is usually what is called a ‘tag bite’, which is fast and painful. If grabbed or without option the Python will bite and grab onto the attacker, not letting go for several minutes.
What Does It Eat?
Carpet Pythons prefer warm blooded mammalian prey such as Possums, Rats, Bats, Flying Foxes, Mice and Birds. Once mature, their preferred food becomes Bats and Flying foxes. They are typically fluid in their feeding habits, and will readily eat reptiles if they are on offer.
How Big Do They Get?
When they are hatchlings Coastal carpet pythons will be around 30cm long, and from here they begin to grow quite quickly. The largest reliable record is a whopping 4.2 metres long, though this is an anomaly. The Carpet Python will typically be found between 1 and 2.5 metres, Snakes over 3m are noteworthy.
How Common Are They?
Coastal Carpet Pythons are far and away the most common Snake top encounter in South East Queensland, owing to their large size, slow moving nature and naturally occurring frequency. They are very commonly encountered around the home, usually in gardens or roofs. They are also often seen crossing roads and sadly are candidates for being hit by cars.
What Are Its Similar Species?
When young, Coastal carpet Pythons can be totally brown in appearance and resemble a Brown Snake. Their markings and colours can differ greatly from Snake to Snake and so identification can sometimes be tricky.
Did You Know?
- Coastal Carpet Pythons are the only species of Carpet Python native to SEQ.
- Coastal Carpet Pythons can range in colour from dark brown with no stripes to black with vibrant yellow stripes.
- A Carpet Pythons favourite place to nest is in mowed grass clumps.
- Pythons are basic Snakes that have leftover hind limbs that can be seen externally as a pair of bumps near the base of the tail. Some studies suggest that the Coastal Carpet Python can live over 100 hundred years!
- Coastal Carpet Pythons make fantastic pets, and grow to have exceptional temperament if handled frequently in their formative years.
- Carpet pythons are typically the earliest Snake to start breeding of a season.
A Snake Catchers Story…
‘I had caught a big Carpet python, probably 2 or so years ago now, and I got a bit cocky as I was putting him in the bag. He was a large Snake, probably around 2.6m. He seemed like quite a chill fellow, so I was pretty nonchalant with how I got him into the hoop-back. In the blink of an eye, he whipped around and latched onto my chest. He had me for 10 or so minutes, twisting and turning. The pain was pretty immense, but pulling the Snake of would have only hurt us both more, and you don’t want a broken Snake tooth in your flesh! Eventually he decided he had had enough and he let me go. A nice little reminder that even the non-ven Snakes require your full attention.’