Small and robust, but shorter than some of their python relatives (such as the coastal carpet python), the spotted python is a snake species commonly found on the north-east and eastern coasts of Australia. Their docile nature and lack of venom makes these snakes popular as pets!
These small snakes can sometimes make their way into gardens and homes, taking refuge in ideal hiding places like pool pump covers and garages. Keep an eye out for a spotted visitor in your garden!
Pythons are famous reptiles, and over 10 species of python exist in Australia alone. Of these, the spotted python is a favourite, due to its docile nature and lack of venom, making for great pets and companions!
The spotted python is a non-venomous snake species that grows to lengths of between 1m and 1.4m long. Despite its name, the ‘spots’ on this snake are more like blotches: olive or light brown in colour, with lightly coloured bellies, the spotted python’s back is marked with dark patches that will cover most of its body for its entire life. They have large, angular heads that are distinct to their body, and are solidly built – but are still smaller than their cousins, the coastal carpet python.
Spotted pythons can be found on the north-east and east coasts of Australia; they are usually seen anywhere from Cape York in Queensland to northern NSW. Their ideal habitats include wet forests, dry woodlands, riverbanks and other rocky areas, and even caves.
Despite their large size, the spotted python is not venomous and only bite when they feel threatened. Bite wounds can cause punctures or lacerations, but this docile python is unlikely to become aggressive enough to strike out – unless provoked.
Always treat unfamiliar snakes as though they were venomous, even if you suspect you know the species in question. While the spotted python is not dangerous to humans, keep children and pets well away from wild or stray snakes.
Spotted pythons are nocturnal hunters, and their diets change as they age and grow. Juvenile spotted pythons will prey on small lizards, but as they get bigger, they will move on to bats and other small mammals, as well as a selection of small lizards and birds. Like all pythons, the spotted python kills their prey by constriction.
The spotted python has an unusual but impressive way of catching bats. Hanging from their tail from rocks in the cavern ceiling, they will hang in wait until bats exit the cave and then snatch them up, mid-flight, before getting started on their meal!
If a spotted python has entered your garden or home and you would like it moved to a more suitable location, simply call the Snake Rescue Sunny Coast team. We’ll drive out to your location, safely capture the snake, and relocate it to a better, permanent home.
While spotted pythons are not venomous or particularly aggressive, keep pets and children well away from the snake until our team arrives.
When we’re looking for a snake, the first places we look are along the walls and under debris. Snakes try to avoid predators by moving along the walls and beneath cover. Unless they are going from concealment to cover or seeking warmth from the sun, it’s unusual to observe a snake moving out in the open.
We study their body language once we discover the snake, before we attempt to catch it. This tells us what the snake is thinking and indicates what it might do. We can tell when they are going to run, stand up and fight, or simply be apathetic toward our presence based on their body language. It’s critical for us to understand how to capture and handle snakes using this information.
After they’ve been captured, they’re put in a bag and kept quiet in a dark, tight space. This keeps us safe while handling the snake, as well as allows the snake to calm down.
Following the capture of the snake, they are relocated to suitable bushland and set free. Each snake is assigned its own habitat and food. As a result, we release them into areas that are ideal for each species. Keelbacks and Red-bellied black snakes enjoy frogs and lizards, so we put them in areas near water sources such as rivers or dams.
During an operation, we always want to double-check the snakes for health and remove any external parasites like ticks before they are released. If the snake is not healthy enough to be released, it may be due to injury or sickness; they are taken to Australia Zoo’s wildlife hospital for further evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation.
As snake catchers, all the snakes we catch are logged with the department of wildlife and science. This is so they can keep track of where each snake has been caught and released, to monitor and maintain the biodiversity in the area.
We have also been keeping a personal log of all the snakes we have caught on the Sunshine Coast that you can view on our website. This way you can see the species and location of each snake we have caught around the sunshine coast and in your areas.
It can be easier to differentiate a python from other snake species due to their size, but the spotted python is notoriously small. Spotted pythons have a distinctive brown color with black or dark brown spots on their body. They are small in size and have a slender body. They are often confused with other python species such as the coastal carpet python, but the spotted python is much smaller and more slenderly built.
If you come across a snake you suspect may be a spotted python, look out for the following characteristics:
Remember to keep a safe distance from any wild snake you encounter and to call the experienced snake catchers here at Snake Rescue to safely identify, catch and relocate unwelcome snakes from your home or garden.
One of the most common questions we receive about spotted pythons is whether they are venomous. The answer is no, spotted pythons are not venomous. They are constrictors, which means they kill their prey by wrapping around them and squeezing until they can no longer breathe. Spotted pythons are non-venomous and pose no threat to humans.
While spotted pythons are not venomous, any snake can be dangerous if they feel threatened or are handled improperly. Spotted pythons are typically non-aggressive and will avoid confrontation if possible. However, if they feel threatened or cornered, they may bite as a defensive measure.
The bite of a spotted python is not generally considered dangerous to humans, but it can be painful and should be treated promptly. Basic snake bite first aid knowledge comes in handy for any snake bite, even if not from a venomous species.
Yes, like all pythons, spotted pythons have teeth. Their teeth do not contain any venom and are only used for grasping and holding onto their prey. Spotted pythons have a row of sharp, recurved teeth that help them to hold onto their prey as they constrict it.
Spotted pythons can make good pets for experienced snake owners. They are relatively small and easy to care for, but they still require proper housing, diet, and handling to ensure their health and wellbeing.
As with any pet, it’s important to do your research and make sure you can provide for the snake’s needs before bringing one into your home. At Snake Rescue Sunny Coast, we always recommend that people consider the requirements that come with owning a snake before making a commitment.
Arboreal refers to animals that live in trees or spend a significant portion of their lives in trees. Arboreal snakes are those that are adapted to living in trees and are often characterised by their slender, elongated bodies and prehensile tails that allow them to wrap around branches and other structures – such as the carpet python, the green tree snake and the brown tree snake.
The spotted python is considered to be semi-arboreal, though they are still excellent climbers and can be found in trees and other elevated locations in search of prey or shelter.
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