Amethystine python

The islands of New Guinea and the north of Australia is the home of the largest snake of this vast region - amethystine python (Liasis amethistinus). It’s one of the largest pythons in the world and it can grow up to 8 m long. However, amethystine python is pretty slim, it’s thinner than the regal python the same length.

You will almost never see amethystine python nearby people’s houses. Most often young pythons are seen in thickets in bodies of rivers, where they are well hidden from enemies. Larger pythons live in coastal parts of forests or savannah where they hunt bigger prey, for example kangaroos. Also they catch goannas. Absorbing capacity of pythons is pretty high, despite their slenderness.

Amethystine pythons are pale brown or gray-brown with dark pattern. Eyes are yellowish with milky shine, tongue is dark. The first five blinds of upper lip from each side of the head have stripe recession with highly sensitive receptors which respond to warmth. They can detect the change of temperature by more than a half degree in environment. Temperature-responsive organ has developed at different snakes in various forms: pythons and constricting snakes have blinds of upper and lower lips, rattlesnakes have it on the side of the head. Zoologists think that Viperidae have it on the outer side of nostrils.

While attacking, python throws the front part of the body far enough and doesn’t wait the prey to be close enough. It’s thanks to good sight. The snake sees the kind of prey when it moves. When it’s a day, a python of 2 m long attacks the prey from the distance of 80 cm. Other species of Liasis don’t have such good sight, at least in daylight.

They wrote about the python’s length of 4 m in older publications. In 1964 Kinghorn wrote about python length of 21 feet (about 7 meters). Worrell in his article about Australian reptiles mentions a python had been caught in the east of northern Australia, its length was 24 feet (more than 8 meters). However, it was thought that pythons more than 15 feet long don’t exist. The female amethystine pythons are a quarter bigger than males like all other pythons. Apparently, those who are bigger than 5m, they are female amethystine pythons.

You should know, that in terrarium they are squeamish unlike Asian or African pythons. They are sensitive to hygienic living: dirt is very dangerous for them, it can cause frequent disease that is called mouthrot and kills the animal quickly.

Amethystine python is unattainable for terrariums, because it’s under protection of the Washington Convention. Protected animals may not appear in price lists of shops selling animals until they are provably bred in captivity.