The Olive python is Australia’s second-largest snake species. Its high number of dorsal scale rows, makes the skin look smoother than that of other pythons.
Its color pattern is uniform chocolate brown to olive green, while the belly is usually cream-colored.
– Distribution –
Olive pythons are found in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland.
They inhabit rocky areas, gorges, and especially rocky areas near sources of water.
– Habits and Lifestyle –
Olive pythons are solitary ground-dwelling snakes.
They are active at night and during the day typically shelter in caves and rock crevices, or in hollow logs and burrows under rocks.
When hunting Olive pythons prefer to lie in wait next to an animal trail to ambush their prey.
They are also strong swimmers and may hunt in waterholes, striking at prey from under the water.
– Diet and Nutrition –
Olive pythons are carnivores that feed on birds, mammals (including Rock wallabies and fruit bats), birds (ducks and Spinifex pigeons), and other reptiles.
They are also known to prey on monitor lizards and crocodiles.
– Mating Habits –
Olive pythons start to breed in May and continue until mid-July.
When successful, this is followed by a gestation period of 81-85 days, after which the female lays 12-40 eggs in late spring.
The average clutch size is around 19 eggs. The hatchlings emerge after an incubation period of around 50 days, each measuring about 35 cm in length.
– Population threats –
There are no major threats to the Olive python at present. However, it is occasionally confused with the venomous King brown snake and is often mistakenly killed.
– Population number –
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Olive python total population size.
Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.