Rough-scaled Python

rough-scaled-pythonScientific name: Morelia carinata
Conservation Status: Not Evaluated
Body length: Up to 2 metres
Weight: About 700 g
Incubation: About 70 days
Number of eggs: 8-12

Distribution: North-west Kimberley region
Habitat: Restricted to sandstone caves and crevices in small patches of monsoonal rainforest

Description: This python is dark brown with pale brown blotches. It has a triangular head and skinny neck. Each scale has a ridge along its middle which gives it a rough, sandpaper-like feel and its common name of the Rough-scaled Python.

Diet: Rough-scaled Pythons are carnivores and eat small mammals and birds. Like other pythons, this non-venomous snake kills its prey by constriction.

In the wild: The Rough-scaled Python is one of the rarest snakes in Australia. Very little is known about their habits in the wild. We know it is important for their eggs to be kept at a constant 30°C and in 100% humidity.

At Perth Zoo: Rough-scaled Pythons are on display in the Nocturnal House. In January 2008, Perth Zoo successfully hatched seven Rough-scaled Pythons, a first in Western Australia. Perth Zoo is part of a national population management and research program for this species.

Join the Perth Zoo-coordinated Night Stalk from 1 September to 16 October and spotlight for native animals in your local bushland. Night Stalk is a great way to become involved in community conservation action and to learn about our native animals, their habitat and their threats. Night Stalk is sponsored by Tronox.

Did you know? The Rough-Scaled Python has exceptionally long teeth in relation to its body size. It is thought this adaptation allows the snake to have a better grip of its furred or feathered prey until it has been immobilised in the python’s coils.

Download the Rough-scaled Python Fact Sheet (pdf).

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