Morelia spilota variegata
|Morelia spilota variegata|
|Subspecies:||M. s. variegata|
|Morelia spilota variegata
Adults usually grow no more than 2m, but some have been recorded at 2.5m. There was however, one exception, one M.s. Variegata was recorded at 280cm at four years old.
The color pattern consists of a beige or brown ground color overlaid with blackish or gray blotches, cross-bands or stripes, or a combination of any of these. Regional color variations can include bright yellow, gold, rust and clear grays.
A number of synonyms refer to this subspecies: Morelia variegata - Gray, 1842; Morelia variegata - Gray, 1849; Morelia argus variegata - Jan & Sordelli, 1864; Morelia argus variegata - Mitchell, 1951; Morelia spilotes variegata - Mitchell, 1955; Morelia argus variegata - Stimson, 1969; Python spilotus variegatus - L.A. Smith, 1981; Morelia variegata - Wells & Wellington, 1984; and * Morelia spilota variegata - Barker & Barker, 1984.
Found in New Guinea (Western New Guinea and Papua New Guinea) and Australia in northwestern Western Australia and in the northern portion of the Northern Territory. The type locality given is "North Australia: Port Essington" (Northern Territory, Australia).
The snake is not venomous and kills prey by constriction. Their diet is varied and includes many different birds and mammals. Populations that inhabit forested areas are mostly arboreal and often feed on brush-tailed possums, Trichosurus.
Oviparous, females deposit their eggs in secluded places such as hollow logs and tree boles where they protect and incubate them. Captive specimens have produced up to 18 eggs that hatch after a 40 day incubation period. The hatchlings are about 12 inches (30 cm) in length.
- "Morelia spilota variegata". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 31 December 2007.
- Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
- McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).