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Children's Pythons
Childrens Pythons (Antaresia childreni)
About: Children's pythons were named for J. G. Children's, a British naturalist. They come in as the second smallest python. Another name for these snakes are faded python, due to the faded pattern observed in most adult Children's pythons. 

Range: These pythons have a similar range to the Darwin carpet python, extending across the center of northern Australia with the majority of the range occurring in the Northern Territory.

Habitat: Children's pythons are found in eucalypt woodlands throughout their habitat. They are generally found near rocky outcrops. These snakes will utilize termite mounds like their smaller cousin the pygmy python.

Natural History Notes: An interesting regional form of Children's pythons are found in the escarpment country of the Northern Territory. They are somewhat similar to the Oenpelli pythons that are found in the same habitat, and have tricked a few herpers into thinking they have found a juvenile Oenpelli python. They have a narrower head and a ghostly faded pattern, also similar to the Oenpelli python. This variant can be found in the same area as normal Children's pythons, with separation of habitat. It may well be the beginning of divergence, but initial genetic studies did not find any differences in the regions investigated.

Children's pythons have a varied diet, and feed on frogs, reptiles, and mammals. As I was herping with some friends in the Darwin area we came across an individual that had recently been hit by a car and had a recent meal. We massaged the meal from the belly, which turned out to be a rodent.

Children's pythons are very similar to Stimson's pythons and it is difficult to tell the difference between the two species in the overlap zone. Recent genetic analysis support the validity of these taxa.

General Notes: There are a few morphs associated with this species. In Australia, a caramel albino has been produced. In addition, the land down under also has a marbled morph that has a light base color with scattered darker speckling. We are working with a black-eyed morph and the ghost morph. Black-eyed Children's are a subtle morph, with the main trait being a dark ring around the edge of the eye that darkens the overall eye in low light conditions. The ghost morph is generally normal in appearance, but at certain times, especially at night, the background color fades to nearly white making the pattern stand out. This is likely a polygenic trait.

Children's python

Children's python
Typical appearance of Children's python adults at AAR

Ghost Children's python

Children's python
Children's python female on eggs. My first clutch of pythons!
Children's python
Wild Children's python, unfortunately a DOR
Children's python
Black-eyed Children's python 
Children's python
Habitat for A. childreni in Kakadu NP
Children's python
Adult female Children's python