olive python is a larger species of
python. There are two species of Liasis
within Australia, with somewhat
overlapping ranges in tropical
northern Australia. There are two
subspcies of olive python, the nominant
olive (L. o.
and the Pilbara olive (L. o.
baroni). The Pilbara olive
python is arguably the largest
species of snake in Australia.
Range: The nominant L. o. olivaceus occurs in the northern parts of WA, NT, and QLD, while L. o. baroni has a limited range in the Pilbara region of WA.
Habitat: The nominant race of the olive python is generally found in woodlands and rocky areas of northern Australia. The Pilbara race is constrained to the gorges and rocky areas of the Pilbara desert. There are permenant water courses in this area, and the snakes are generally not found far from water. Man made habitats, such as reservoirs or water treatment areas have also been utilized by these resourceful snakes.
Natural History Notes: These snakes are one of the larger species in Australia, and the Pilbara olive rivals the scrub python (Morelia kinghorni) in length. Despite their larger size, these snakes are generally gentle giants, although some individuals may have a bit of an attitude.
These snakes feed on many different prey types, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Olive pythons are generally slender snakes, but they have a surprisingly large gape and can take animals much larger than one would expect. One of the most famous images is of a Pilbara olive python dragging a species of kangaroo out of a gorge pool. The snake blends in beautifully with the rock and makes for an impressive image. Another interesting account of olive python feeding behavior was observed in the northern Kimberly region of WA. In the search for the elusive rough scaled python, one of the search party happened upon an olive python halfway through the process of swallowing a rough scaled python. They intervened and snatched the food item away from the olive. Despite it's close brush as a food bolus, the rough scaled python recovered and went on to be an important part of the breeding program of John Weigel.
General Notes: These are fascinating captives with much personality, although they are not commonly kept or bred. An albino morph has been produced and is available.
Closeup of our female olive python
Male olive python
Olive pythons have a fair amount of irridescence
Olive python habitat i n the Darwin area
Wild olive python from Adelaide River, Northern Territory