Species group: Boas, Anacondas and Pythons
Other common names: Queensland Carpet Python; Eastern Carpet Python; McDowell's Carpet Python; Jungle Carpet Python; Tiger Carpet Python
Scientific name: Morelia spilota mcdowelli
Coastal Carpet Pythons are native to Australia and found along the coastal areas of Queensland, westward and up to the northeastern areas of New South Wales. There are a number of morphs of Morelia spilota mcdowelli which are very popular in the trade, including the Jungle Carpet Python and the Tiger Carpet Python.
Appearance / health:
Among the Carpet Python species, the Coastal Carpet Python is the largest. Females grow to an average of 8 feet in length, but record lengths have shown from 9 to 14 feet. Mature individuals are stocky, with large triangular heads. Common colorations are a black base color with various patterns in shades of brown.
Behavior / temperament:
Mostly non-aggressive, the Coastal Carpet Python is a popular pet because it is easy to care for. It doesn’t grow too big like other pythons. It is nocturnal, therefore, activity and feeding happens after sunset. Coastal Carpet Pythons are also known to become tamer as they mature, especially captive bred ones raised with gentle handling. Lifespan is recorded at 10-30 years.
Coastal Carpet Pythons are semi-arboreal, requiring sturdy branches or perches in the enclosure for climbing. The snakes are happy and feel more secure in average-sized tall terrariums. Larger enclosures are recommended for mature snakes. The cage needs to have a hiding place and a stable water dish that is large enough to allow them to soak when desired. Day temp: 85-90F; night temp: 75-80F; moderate humidity.
Coastal Carpet Pythons are said to be not too particular about caging and humidity (except when shedding). The enclosure should be appropriate for the size of the snake and cleaned regularly to avoid mite infestation. Water should be refreshed daily.
As with other Carpet Pythons, the Coastal Carpet Python’s main diet is small mammals. They appreciate live or frozen mice and rats, but also feed on birds, bats, and lizards.
Coastal Carpet Pythons are oviparous, laying an average of two dozen eggs per clutch. Mating occurs from February to May, eggs laid after three months, and hatchlings appear in 50-55 days. The female coils around the eggs to incubate them until they hatch.
pretty snake, great pets, experienced handler, sweet beautiful snake, good eaters
health issues, high humidity animals
Pythons are big people pets.. committed, responsible big people
Frankie is one of three pythons we own but the only Coastal Carpet Python. I sometimes call him 'ol' blondie' because the other two pythons are Centralian and slightly darker/red brick in colour.
I have to say, if not for my husband, I would never be a snake owner. Lets face it, of the list of negatives, for me personally, I like animals that are fluffy. And warm. And recognise you when you approach. Or at least look like they might care..
Snakes tend not to sit up and wag their tales when you approach. But having got the negatives out the way, I can say that three things surprised me about keeping snakes as pets.
1. Each snake has it's very own personality and behaviours - in my household, Frankie is the easiest going babe in the world! Fury was a feisty whipper snapper but has mellowed with age while Gentle would rip the arm off anyone who came near (incidentally, Gentle came from a bad home so maybe this is why..)
2. Snakes can be trained to some extent - my husband is the snake feeder in my house and taught the snakes early on that when he stuck his hand into their enclosure, the next moment something came in for them to sniff, it would be their food! So when they sniffed his hand, they'd reluctantly start moving around with expectation that food was on it's way!
3. Snakes cannot be fed 'wild' rodents - oftentimes wild food is infested with worms and as snakes do not have an acidic digestive system like a dog or four stomachs like a cow, they will inherit worms from their food. Our snakes are only ever fed lab. bred rodents in an appropriate size because they are assured to be clean. They also come euthanased and frozen, so feeding time is not too horrific an experience.
An important point to keep in mind with any kind of reptile or 'exotic' pet ownership is 'where is the closest vet that will see my kind of animal'. We had a snake with a bump under it's skin once and had to drive 1.5hrs across town to find a vet that barely knew what she was doing. In the end, my husband bought an absolute godsend of a book, dubiously titled 'What's Wrong With My Snake' which taught us most things we need to know to keep our snakes healthy.
I will say, when we first got Frankie, he was barely as thick as a pencil and could sit in a neat little coil in the palm of my hand. Now, 10 years on, he's a strapping 5+ meters long and could probably eat a small dog. Which is why I stress that pythons are barely a pet for adults and definitely not for children, even though they start out cute..
From AmandaJane Jul 14 2013 12:43PM
Coastal Carpet Python
Coastal carpet pythons have really beautiful markings, even before you get into all the different morphs. They are just a pretty snake to look at.
Care is easy, whether you're an experienced handler or not. They do need high humidity, and can be prone to health issues if you don't maintain it (like many other snakes). I'm a big fan of misting systems for high humidity animals, they are really worth the investment.
One thing I remember is how quickly they grow. Perhaps because the coastal carpet python came into our lives when it was really young (I seem to get mostly sub-adult snakes, since many of them are rescues), or maybe they do really just grow fast, I can't say. All I know is that the snake seemed noticeably bigger each time I saw it.
As with all snakes, make sure there is a hide available. I usually like to have at least two - one in the cool end of the tank and one in the warm end. A water dish large enough for the snake to soak is important too..
From NomadMorgan Jul 10 2015 3:45PM