Carpet Python in the hedge

Our neighbour alerted us this morning to a snake in the hedge between our properties so we went out for a look. It turned out to be a Carpet Python (Morelia spilota, also known as the Diamond Python), resting comfortably about shoulder height in the tangle of Brazilian Cherry and Mock Orange.

carpet python
Draped through the hedge

carpet python head
A closer look than we usually get

This one was 1.5 – 2 metres long, so it still has some growing to do before reaching full size, 2.5 – 3.5 m.

They areĀ our commonest large snake, but we still don’t see them very often; we had one (considerably bigger than today’s) living in the garage when we moved into this house a year ago but it didn’t enjoy the disturbance and moved somewhere quieter.

I don’t seem to have posted a portrait on Green Path at the time, perhaps because I didn’t get a very good shot, so here it is.

carpet python Morelia spilota
Carpet Python at home in the garage

2 thoughts on “Carpet Python in the hedge”

  1. Yesterday (i.e. a fortnight after seeing the python in the hedge) I discovered a shed skin and a pile of droppings in the garage. The skin is about the right size to have come from the snake in the hedge, although it’s hard to tell its owner’s length because the top half of it was scrunched up, concertina-fashion.

    The poo merits a mention mainly because it reminded me of gecko droppings (on a far larger scale of course) in that most of it was dark but one end was whitish. This is characteristic of the droppings of reptiles and birds, which excrete uric acid in a nearly-dry form to reduce their need for water. (Naturetracking.com has a good collection of photos if you’re curious.) We mammals, of course, flush out similar wastes with lots of water in our urine.

  2. This morning we discovered a much smaller Carpet Python, around half a metre long, lying very still in a shaded garden bed. A gentle prod revealed that it was dead rather than merely lethargic in the cool of the morning, but we couldn’t see any cause of death.

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