The Living Rainforest

Carpet python

Morelia spilota

carpet python cropped 1

Carpet pythons are mainly found on mainland Australia. They live in a range of habitats, from rainforests to deserts. This species spends much of the day up in a tree but also comes down to the forest floor to hunt.

Detecting warm-blooded animals

Carpet pythons have heat receptors along their jaw to detect warm blooded animals even at night. They are “constrictors” and kill prey by preventing the heart from pumping as they squeeze the animal’s rib cage.

Popular pets

Carpet pythons are popular pets due to their attractive markings. Individuals with striking patterns are bred together so that offspring will fetch a higher price.


Quick facts

Scientific name
Morelia spilota
Native to
Mainland Australia
Rainforest layer
Small mammals, birds, lizards
Average length 2 metres
20- 30 years
IUCN conservation status
Not evaluated – learn more
CITES Appendix ii
Trade restricted – learn more


One of the subspecies is threatened with extinction in Victoria. Another subspecies is regarded as near threatened in Western Australia, due to loss of habitat.