Carpet python

The Northern Territory (NT) carpet python is found in the Top End. 

It is one of the largest, most familiar snakes in Australia, mostly due to its popularity as a pet.

There are six subspecies of carpet python in Australia, with various colours and patterns. 

The NT form, Morelia spilota variegata, is different from the other subspecies because it is a beige or brown colour with blackish or grey blotches and bright gold, yellow and rust colour forms in regional areas. 

This subspecies is about 2.5m long on average. 

It is non-venomous and is an important predator that kills its prey by constriction.


Carpet pythons mostly live in trees and are generally nocturnal. They will also often come out during the day to bask in the sun. 

Their diet includes bats and other small mammals, as well as birds and lizards. The NT carpet pythons will often eat brushtail possums. 

Females lay between 10 and 50 eggs. Once these have hatched the mother no longer cares for them.


In the NT the carpet python is not currently under threat, unlike other sub-species in Australia that are vulnerable or endangered because of habitat destruction.

The biggest threat posed to the NT carpet python is cane toads. If carpet pythons are exposed to the cane toad toxin, they die very quickly. It is possible that soon cane toads will threaten the population of carpet pythons in the NT.

Report a carpet python

If you find a carpet python around your home, you can report it.  

If you find an injured carpet python contact a wildlife services office in your area.

Last updated: 01 September 2015

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