COMMON NAME: Diamond Python
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Morelia spilota spilota
STATUS: Rare or insufficiently known
SIZE (cm): 250
Large distinctive python with small fragmented
head shields. Four subspecies are currently recognised though a number
of distinctly patterned populations occur. It remains to be demonstrated
whether these represent additional subspecies or mere colour variants.
M. s. spilota (Diamond Python) (Lacépède, 1804) represents
the species in eastern N.S.W., from Northern Rivers south to north-eastern
Vic: Ground colour dark grey to black. Most scales bear a cream spot.
Clusters of all cream or predominantly cream scales form roughly diamond-shaped
blotches over back and flanks. Lips cream barred with black.
PREFERRED HABITAT: The subspecies and variants of
M. spilota occupy most habitats within their broad distributions.
M. s. spilota and M. s. variegata (Widespread Eastern form) occur
in virtually all terrains including urban environments. M. s. bredli
and M. s. variegata (Eastern Interior form) are commonly associated
with large eucalypts along riverbanks, with M. s. bredli also frequently
dwelling in riverine gorges. While M. s. imbricata is widespread on
the south-western mainland it seems to be most abundant on off-shore
MICROHABITAT: Shelters in hollow trunks and limbs,
disused burrows, caves, rock-crevices and beneath boulders. Often
encountered on rafters and in ceilings of buildings, including those
in many urban areas.
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