Morelia (snake)

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Python Australia Zoo.JPG
Morelia spilota
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Pythonidae
Subfamily: Pythoninae
Genus: Morelia
J. E. Gray, 1842
  • Morelia Gray, 1842
  • Simalia Gray, 1849
  • Chondropython Meyer, 1874
  • Aspidopython Meyer, 1874
  • Hypaspistes Ogilby, 1919
  • Australiasis Wells & Wellington, 1984
  • Nyctophylopython Wells & Wellington, 1984[1]
  • Montypythonoides M.J. Smith and Plane, 1985[2]

Morelia is a genus of large snakes in the family Pythonidae found in Indonesia, New Guinea, and throughout Australia. Currently, up to eight species are recognized.[3]

In general, these snakes are arboreal to semiarboreal, spending much of their lives in the forest canopy. Although exceptions occur, most attain adult lengths of 2–3 m (6.6–9.8 ft).

Geographic range[edit]

Species are found from Indonesia in the Maluku Islands, east through New Guinea, including the Bismarck Archipelago and in Australia.[1]


Seven species are recognised at ITIS.[3]

Species[3] IUCN Status[4] Taxon author[3] Subsp.*[3] Common name Geographic range[1]
M. amethistina

High-Yellow Sorong Amethystine Scrub Python (Morelia amethistina).jpg

LC[5] (Schneider, 1801) 5 Amethystine python; scrub python Tanimbar: on the ilsland of Tanimbar, and surrounding islands in the Indonesia/New Guinea Archipeligo

Moluccan: on the island of Maluku (or Molucca), and surrounding islands in the Indonesia/New Guinea Archipeligo

Halmahera: on the island of Halmahera, and surrounding islands in the Indonesia/New Guinea Archipeligo

New Guinea: most of Papua New Guinea, including the Bismarck Archipelago, and surrounding islands in the New Guinea Archipeligo

Australian: on some islands in the Torres Strait, the northern Cape York Peninsula south including the Atherton Tableland, and the eastern foothills of the Great Dividing Range

M. boeleni

Boelen Python 01.jpg

(Brongersma, 1953) 0 Boelen’s python Indonesia (Western New Guinea in the Wissel Lakes region) and Papua New Guinea (the provinces of Eastern Highlands, Central and Morobe, and Goodenough Island)
M. bredli

Morelia bredli3 - Christopher Watson.jpg

(Gow, 1981) 0 Bredl’s python; Centralian python Australia, in the mountains of southern Northern Territory
M. carinata (L.A. Smith, 1981) 0 Rough-scaled python Australia, northwestern Western Australia in the lower sections of the Mitchell and Hunter rivers, just inland from the coast
M. oenpelliensis (Gow, 1977) 0 Oenpelli python Australia, Northern Territory, in the sandstone outcrops of western Arnhem Land
M. spilotaT

Morelia spilota variegata.jpg

(Lacépède, 1804) 6 Carpet python; diamond python Indonesia (southern Western New Guinea in Merauke Regency), Papua New Guinea (southern Western Province, the Port Moresby area of Central Province and on Yule Island) and Australia (excluding much of the center and north west of the country)
M. viridis Morelia-viridis edit1.jpg LC[8] (Schlegel, 1872) 1 Green tree python Indo/Papuan: Indonesia (Misool, Salawati, Aru Islands, Schouten Islands, most of Western New Guinea), Papua New Guinea (including nearby islands from sea level to 1,800 m elevation, Normanby Island and the d'Entrecasteaux Islands)

Australian: Queensland along the east coast of the Cape York Peninsula

M. riversleighensis (Scanlon, 2001 ) 0 n/a Extinct, remains found in Queensland, Australia

*) Not including the nominate subspecies
T) Type species.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d 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).
  2. ^ Scanlon, J.D. (2001). "Montypythonoides revisited: the Miocene snake Morelia riversleighensis (Smith and Plane, 1985) and the question of pythonine origins". In Hand, S.J.; Laurie, J.R. Riversleigh Symposium 1998: Proceedings of a Research Symposium on Fossils from Riversleigh and Murgon, Queensland, held at the University of New South Wales, December, 1998. Memoirs of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists 25. pp. 1–35. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Morelia". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 10 September 2007. 
  4. ^ International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species". 
  5. ^ Auliya, M. (2010). "Morelia amethistina". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Shine R.A. & Allison, A. (2010). "Morelia spilota". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Australasian Reptile & Amphibian Specialist Group (1996). "Morelia spilota ssp. imbricata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  8. ^ Auliya, M., Shine R.A. & Allison, A. (2010). "Morelia viridis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2010: e.T177524A7449431. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T177524A7449431.en. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Morelia (snake) at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Morelia at Wikispecies