Mark O'Shea's new softback edition
Venomous Snakes of the World. Also his Dangerous Snakes of Papua New Guinea stamp issue
and all his other books on the new 'O'Shea's Herp Shop'
DK Handbook to Reptiles and Amphibians. Visit the
'O'Shea's Herp Shop'
GREEN TREE PYTHON Morelia viridis
This attractive and highly variable python from New Guinea can only be confused with a similarly patterned Emerald tree boa (Corallus caninus) from the Amazon, even to the point of going through a yellow, orange or red juvenile phase before achieving adulthood green, a case of parallel or convergent evolution.
Green tree pythons grow to 1.5m and feed on mammals and birds. Although primarily arboreal they also hunt on the ground. The northern New Guinea population is genetically separate from the southern New Guinea/Queensland/Aru population and warrants specific recognition as Morelia azurea.
The green tree pythons are found throughout lowland and low-montane New Guinea and also occurs in northern Queensland, Australia and the Aru Islands, Indonesia.
click on the images to enlarge them
Habitat: Rainforest but also gardens
Adult green tree python is classic looped sleep position
Heat-sensetive pits for prey location are visible on the python's lip scales
Juvenile green tree pythons are yellow or orange and only attain the adult livery at 15-18months of age