Saturday, January 8, 2011

Snake pets- Morelia oenpelliensis

Common Name : Oenpelli Rock Python
Location : Australia (North Territory)

Type locality: 6.5 km south-west of Oenpelli (12°21’S, 133°01’E), NT, Australia

A very large and rare species of Morelia, a genus of the Pythonidae family. Adults grow up to 4 m in length. The color pattern is dark olive-brown with darkened blotches. The belly is pale and dull, varying from cream to yellow. It is an ambush predator that remains motionless for long periods, waiting for prey such as possum or large macropods. The mammal becomes asphyxiated as the snake coils itself around it.

The species occurs in a restricted range in the Northern Territory, in the sandstone outcrops of western Arnhem Land. The species is found in habitat is located on a sandstone massif, in the regions surrounding the upper reaches of the Cadell, South Alligator and East Alligator rivers. They are territorial animals who roam between discrete positions, such as overhangs and caves in sandstone gorges or in a shady tree. Sightings are also reported in the region's woodland, heathland, and open rocky plains. It is noted as having an association with the Kombalgie sandstone gorges.

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