lifestyle Science

Green Tree Python Facts.

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As the name suggests, the green tree python has vivid green snake scales and a diamond-shaped skull. Vertebral stripes may be white or yellow; some of these snakes have yellow, green, or blue spots in colouration. The brilliant green hue helps them blend in with the foliage of tall trees in the rainforests of New Guinea, eastern Indonesia, and the Cape York Peninsula in Australia, where they have been discovered.

Aside from its bright green appearance, the green tree python is well-known for its prehensile tail, which aids the snakes in both climbing and grabbing food. Although they are often born red or yellow, the snakes eventually change their colour as they mature. A green tree python may be seen in the wild coiled and dangling horizontally from a limb. They will dangle their tails to entice food and then cling onto the stem as they attack and consume their next meal. Better still, they have heat-sensing pits on their tongue to let them feel when a warm-blooded species is approaching.

These timid snakes make excellent pets since they are low-maintenance (except for the required humidity levels within their enclosure). Despite their beauty and exoticness, these snakes are difficult to manage and may bite if startled, so they may not be the best choice for someone looking for a pet.

KINGDOMAnimalia
SCIENTIFIC NAMEMorelia viridis
FAMILYPythonidae
LENGTH1.5-2 M
WEIGHT1100-1600 G
LIFE SPAN12-20 YRS

Distribution and Habitat of the Natural World

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Green Tree Python (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

The Green Tree Python may be found in New Guinea, portions of Indonesia, and on the Northern point of Queensland, Australia, at the Cape York Peninsula. Tropical Jungles, Rainforests, and Monsoon Forests make up the vast majority of their habitat.

These locations consist of highly dense vegetation and have very high humidity. It is predominantly an arboreal snake and may be found up to 30 meters in trees.

Several more common reptile species are found in New Guinea, including the Bismarck Ringed Python, the Boelen’s Python, the Red Eyed Crocodile Skink, the Viper Boa, and the White Lipped Python.

Green Tree Python Behavior

Green Tree Pythons are non-venomous snakes that prey on birds, lizards and tiny arboreal animals. Adults may occasionally go down onto the ground in pursuit of terrestrial rodents.

It’s not uncommon for them to coil around a limb and rest their head in the centre, although they prefer to do it when they’re in the trees. They tend to become quite irritated and bite when someone or anything upsets them. Females may become highly aggressive while they guard their eggs.

The Green Tree Python is recognized as the most arboreal python species. As adults, they are nocturnal and hunt predominantly at night. In contrast, adolescents tend to be diurnal, targeting smaller prey that is active during the day.

They usually adopt one of two stances. When the snake wants to rest, it will coil itself up and hang from a branch at an angle. This is the signature “pose” the snake is commonly shown in for photos. The snake’s head is stretched from the stem and then folded back like an accordion to catch prey. The snake is now in the ideal position to attack its victim from above with its fangs. The snake’s tail and lower body are tightly wrapped around the branch in this position.

Lifespan

The wildlife lifespan of a Green Tree Python is currently unknown. More research is needed before we can say how long they can live at that rate. In captivity, they likewise tend to have approximately 15 years, with the longest reported example lasting for 20 years.

Food Habits

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Green Tree Python Eating a Mouse (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

As with all other snake species, Morelia Viridis is entirely carnivorous. They are obligate ambush predators eating on tiny reptiles, invertebrates, mammals, and birds throughout their lives. A clear shift in their eating habits correlates with the colour transition from red or yellow into their adult green colour. Carlia longipes and other nocturnal invertebrates are their primary food sources after they emerge from the egg. In captivity, however, hatchlings have been known to consume nest members. Small animals, such as lizards, are typical for young green tree pythons. As they develop in size, their gape grows more considerable, and they are consequently able to consume larger vertebrate prey. In the wild, green tree pythons feed primarily on animals and birds as they mature into maturity. For example, the prey species for populations in the Iron Range of Cape York Peninsula, Australia, are the rodents Rattus leucopus and Melomys capensis. Since they are ambush predators, green tree pythons do not move much and may utilize the same ambush position for up to 14 days, waiting for actively seeking prey to come within range. Caudal luring has been reported, particularly in youngsters, when the tip of the tail is utilized to lure tiny creatures. While an ambush feeding technique may not provide prey regularly, green tree pythons have efficient digestive systems and do not need frequent eating.

Mating Habits

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A green tree python hatching out of its egg. (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

Green tree pythons are oviparous, laying 6 to 25 viable eggs per clutch. There is no evidence of these snakes reproducing in the wild, although captive females incubate and guard their eggs and young. An average incubation period is forty to sixty days. Hatchlings may be orange-red or lemon-yellow with broken stripes and flecks of purple and brown, depending on the kind. During the first two to three years of life, the young do not get any parental care and are not sexually developed.

Related: How do snakes mate ?

Predation

Rough-legged owls, black butcherbirds, and a slew of other nocturnal raptors are the primary predators of green tree pythons. Other predators include mangrove monitors, dingoes, and New Guinea quolls.

Morelia Viridis uses cryptic colouring and concealing behaviour to escape predation, which is particularly successful against its visually-oriented bird predators as its primary anti-predator strategy. The yellow colour of the juveniles allows them to blend in nicely with the surrounding jungle boundaries. In adolescents with brick-red hue, their colouring camouflages them better than yellow morphs against non-leafy backgrounds. It should be noted that red and yellow are standard warning colours to predators in other species. Still, green tree pythons do not seem to have any chemical defences, nor is there a harmful model they would be copying. As adults, green tree pythons inhabit the canopy of the forest and their beautiful green colour blends in considerably better than either red or yellow. This provides an adaptive rationale for ontogenetic colour change in this species.

Population threats

Green tree pythons are popular among reptile lovers and breeders because of their adult and juvenile hues. This has resulted in vast numbers being unlawfully captured in the wild, decreasing the ensuing native population.

Status of Conservation

The status of the Morelia Viridis is unknown since it is neither classified on the IUCN Red List nor CITES. On the other hand, captive pet trade harvesting poses a threat to communities. A majority of the pet trade for the United States and Europe is supplied by populations in Irian Jaya. However, there has been recent success in producing animals in captivity. Collecting green tree pythons or importing individuals from New Guinea is prohibited in Australia. In addition to the pet trade, habitat loss due to deforestation and slash and burn agriculture puts these pythons at risk. Nevertheless, unless their numbers can be reliably measured, it may be hard to evaluate the condition of this species in the wild.

FAQ (FrequentlyAsked Question)

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Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis). Yellow phase. (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

How many green tree pythons are there in the world?

Data about the Python green tree population is currently unavailable.

Where does a green tree python live?

Indigenous to New Guinea and the neighbouring islands, Eastern Indonesia and Queensland Australia, are diverse ethnic groups.

What is a green tree python’s habitat?

The green tree python is an arboreal snake that lives in trees, shrubs, and bushes in humid tropical rainforests.

Who do green tree pythons live with?

Green tree pythons are arboreal and have a solitary existence, only coming in touch with others during mating season as adults.

How cute are they?

Newborns are particularly adorable since they are born with diverse hues, which adds to the charm factor! Even though they are not poisonous, they do not like being handled. Although it is not fatal, a green tree python bite is unpleasant.

How do they communicate?

The communication of green tree pythons is interspecific. To find food, these snakes use their labial pit and keen vision. These green tree pythons communicate via chemical pheromones rather than visual clues while looking for a partner.

How fast can a green tree python move?

Green tree pythons are exceedingly sluggish in nature. On flat terrain, they can travel at a speed of roughly 1 mph (1.6 kph).

What would you call a baby green tree python?

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A baby green tree python (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

There are many different names for young snakes. Snakelet, neonate, and a hatchling snake are a few examples.

Are they aggressive?

Yes, the green tree python is volatile and quite aggressive in nature. They use a few unusual and effective hunting techniques to overcome their target, even though they are non-venomous. Despite their sluggishness, they may be aggressive if provoked. The green tree python disposition may be highly disturbed.

Would they make an excellent pet?

The hues of the newborn green tree pythons range from yellow to brown to red, making them very appealing. However, green tree pythons are notoriously tricky due to their aggressive nature. They are exotic, exhibition animals and simple to care for.

A green tree python habitat or enclosure must be large enough to accommodate your green tree python pet. Care for these pythons is best suited to intermediate-advanced keepers. They are generally maintained for their beauty and regal character.

How do green tree pythons track warm-blooded prey?

Green tree pythons are aggressive predators that follow warm-blooded prey using thermal sensory pits (heat sensors) on their jaw.

Also Read: Banded water snake
Also Read: The Diamondback Water Snake
Also Read: The Diamondback Water Snake

Reference

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2 Comments
  1. Alfred Grippen 4 months ago
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