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Back to Education IndexThe Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis) or GTP or Chondro's fro the former gunus name Chondropython is a species of python found in New Guinea, islands in Indonesia, and Cape York Peninsula in Australia and is one of the most visually stunning arboreal snakes around.
The green tree python is characterized by a relatively slim body. The relatively long tail accounts for about 14% of the total length. The head is large and clearly defined from the neck. The snout is large and angular. The body is triangular in cross section with a visible spine. The species usually reaches a total length of 150-180 cm (4.9-5.9 ft), but large females may reach 200 cm (6.6 ft). The size also varies depending on the region of origin. The weight is highly dependent upon the nutritional status of the animal. Males can weigh about 1100-1400 g (2.4-3.1 lb), females up to 1,600 g (3.5 lb). Especially large specimens up to 2,200 g (4.9 lb) are females, which like most snakes are slightly larger and heavier than males.
Green Tree Pythons or GTP’s are not always green. They come in a wide array of colours found in both wild and captive-bred designer forms. Only one recessive morph, the albino, currently exists. Juvenile green tree pythons are typically yellow, red or dark brown-black. As they mature, their colour changes to the bright green many adults display. Some individuals keep their bright-yellow juvenile colours, and some turn straight to blue. Each colour is unique and stunning in its own way. Watching the colour change is one of the most exciting things about these beautiful snakes.
Morelia viridis is a tropical rainforest species inhabiting mainly low montane and lowland rainforest habitat ranging from 0 to 2000 m. They may also be found in secondary forests and areas of re-growth. When young, green tree pythons restrict themselves to canopy gaps or along the edges of forest where light can easily reach the ground. As adults, they are generally found in closed-canopy rainforests. Primarily arboreal, these snakes have a particular way of resting in the branches of trees; they loop a coil or two over the branches in a saddle position and place their head in the middle.
The diet consists mostly of small mammals, such as rodents, and sometimes reptiles.
This page is about the stunning Green Tree Python (Morelia Viridis)
Click HERE for a Green Tree Python care sheet.