Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Green tree python

By MSA 2005 Map showing rainforests habitats in New Guinea, northeastern Australia


Class Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Boidae
Genus and species: Morelia viridis

Despite their name, green tree pythons can sport a variety of colors. Adults are generally bright green with flecks of white, yellow, black, or other colors along their backs. Juveniles are almost never green, instead adopting vibrant shades of yellow and red.

Green tree pythons are one of the smallest pythons reaching only about five or six feet in length.

As a nocturnal snake, the green tree python catches its prey at night. It uses infrared heat sensors on its lips to track warm-blooded prey in the dark. The green tree python feeds on insects, other snakes, lizards, frogs, birds, bats, and occasionally small rodents.

Breeding season for the green tree pythons begins in late August and lasts until December. Eggs can be laid from November to February. Hatchlings will emerge after an incubation of anywhere from 39 to 65 days.

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