Snake Profile: Jungle Carpet Python (With Photos!)

The jungle carpet python (Morelia spilota cheynei) is one of the most beautiful snakes in the world. It has iconic black and yellow stripes that are absolutely jaw-dropping.

Photo Gallery Below! Read on to see beautiful pictures of Jungle Carpet Pythons.

These medium-sized pythons are only found in a small location in North Eastern Australian rain forests.

Also,jungle carpet pyhons are popular pets because of their easy maintenance, docile nature, and east of ability to reproduce in captivity.

This semi-arboreal, non-venomous snakes can usually be found on the trees but will occasionally go on land or water to hunt for larger prey.

For several decades, the jungle carpet python has been protected in Australia and its capture or killing is a criminal offense.

Thus, all the jungle carpet pythons that are found in North America have been raised and bred in captivity, with great success.

Where The Are Found in the Wild

The jungle carpet python is native to the NE part of Australia, along the coastline to the east of Queensland.

Morelia spilota cheynei | u/NonStopKnits

The location of the Atherton mountains with its tropical rainforest is where the snake makes its habitat.

While in Australia these snakes are only found in the rainforest, occasionally one may find a snake that has found shelter in a nearby village.

Other related subspecies of the carpet python have also been found to exist in New Guinea and the northern part of New Zealand. 

What Habitat Do Jungle Carpet Pythons Prefer?

In Australia, the reptile usually remains in the trees where it is safe, but may come down on land or enter the water to hunt.

The reptile is an excellent swimmer and once on land, it prefers to hide in the thick vegetation. However, the snake does prefer to stay coiled on the trees from where it can hunt all types of animals.

Thus, when deciding on this snake as a pet, it is important to have some type of accessory or tree-like instrument where the snake can bask and rest.


In the wild, the jungle carpet python is strictly a carnivore with a wide-ranging diet that includes birds, lizards, other snakes, rodents, amphibians, and other small mammals.

The snake is very powerful, and will even attack larger prey when hungry.

really mean looking python -- Morelia spilota cheynei | u/ophiserys

The jungle carpet python is also known to kill many other species of pythons, which is a rare trait for snakes. Usually, snakes do not kill other similar snakes — especially if they fall under the same family.

When this species attacks, it suddenly grabs the prey and quickly suffocates it with its powerful muscular coils.

Most animals die within seconds because they are unable to breathe. The snake then swallows the whole animal.

Physical Attributes, Size and Longevity

The appearance of the mature snake is striking and even frightening. The jungle carpet python appears fierce with its uniform dark black colored with its intermittent yellowish stripes.

Its oval eyes on a V-shaped and its constantly flicking tail immediately reflect its menacing character.

Fortunately, despite its scary looks, the adult jungle carpet python is not outright aggressive. In fact, it’s known to be a very friendly snake towards humans.

The size of these reptiles does vary from 3-5 feet, but longer snakes have been reported in captivity. So, if you’re considering a jungle carpet python as a pet, know it can grow fairly large.

You may want to consider a different, smaller pet snake if you’re a beginner.

As with many species of snakes, the female is usually larger than the male by at least 12 inches.

When firstborn, the jungle carpet python is uniformly lighter in color:gray-blackish with thin white stripes.

The yellow stripe is not visible for some days. As the snake matures, the color will become glossy dark gray/black color with its conspicuous scales. | u/Denron17

After about 6 months of growth, the snake will show a distinctive change in appearance; the colors appear glossier and vibrant with each shedding.

And as the snake grows, the contrast between the black and yellow is truly seductive.

The color transformation usually peaks between 24-36 months and eventually, the python will have a dark black or dark brown appearance with its classic yellow pattern stripes.

How Long Do Jungle Carpet Pythons Live?

Like many pythons, this species will live a very long time, especially in captivity. Typically the lifespan of a jungle carpet python ranges between 17-25 years. In rare cases, especially as pets, they can live to be over 30 years old.

That’s a long time! Almost a third of your life.

So, if you plan to have one as a pet, make sure you plan for the long run.

In the wild, the exact lifespan is not known because of their hostile environment and predators. The lifespan of wild jungle carpet pythons usually spans between 5-15 years.

Jungle Carpet Python Pictures

cute little baby jungle carpet python on a warm blanket | u/ShadyTea | u/Tee_Sills
a cute python wrapped around a tree | u/katzohki

Jungle Carpet Python Reproduction

Carpet pythons are oviparous, meaning that after mating the female will lay anywhere from 2-4 dozen eggs. Unlike many other snake species, the jungle carpet python makes an excellent parent.

She will stay with eggs, providing both warmth and protection for the next 4-8 weeks.

However, once the eggs have hatched, the mother will leave. At the time of birth, the jungle carpet python babies can range in size from 6-14 inches, are thin, and have poor vision.

They usually survive on the egg yolk remains for a few weeks and then head off to the trees.

Sadly, there are many predators that kill many of these babies during the early stages of their life. Only a handful will survive into adulthood.

If you do consider breeding, then experts recommend breeding with males aged 2 years and females aged 4.

Longer wait for breeding ensures healthier clutches of reptiles.

Jungle Carpet Python Bite

So, do jungle carpet pythons bite? And would a bite from one of them hurt?

stunning jungle carpet on it's owners hands | yu/joshsumers

Yes, sometimes they do bite humans, but rarely. And a bite from one would be more panic enduing than painful.

Jungle Carpet Pythons are nonvenomous snakes, so you won’t have to worry about an immediate hospital visit if you suffer a bite from one. Typically, all you will need to do is wash the wound and bandage it for a couple days.

With all this said, there are reports of bites from these snakes.

While they don’t have fangs, jungle carpet pythons house about 30-40 teeth in their mouths.

They are needle-like and can easily pierce the skin. In almost every reported case where a human has been bitten, the snake was either startled or threatened. Best advice; if you ever encounter a jungle carpet python, just retreat and the snake will settle down.

What to Do if You’re Bitten

Some important measures to take in the case you are bitten by a jungle carpet python, or any other python for that matter, are listed below:

  1. Don’t yank it off! This is a constricting snake. There’s a good chance it will latch on to you if it bites you. If you yank it off, it’s going to be a bad time. Not only will it injure the snake, you will likely rip your skin off when yanking. In the case of a latch, pour cold water on the snakes head. If you don’t have cold water, try liquor (like bourbon). That will likely do the trick.
  2. After being bitten, make sure the snake is OK. SInce this is a nonvenomous species, you simply need to clean the wound. If swelling or abnormal pain occurs, it’s always safest to consult a doctor if you don’t feel good about it.

Even though the jungle carpet python is a formidable predator, it will usually avoid humans.

a adorable jungle carpet python around a stem of a pumpkin | u/Tee_Sills

By nature, the adult reptile is not aggressive but the young hatchings may be aggressive as part of the growing up experience. The size of the jungle carpet python makes it impossible for it to swallow a human, even an infant.

Jungle Carpet Python Care Sheet

Does the jungle carpet python make a good pet?

Yes, the snake makes a great pet because it is easy to maintain, not fussy when it comes to eating, and does not mind handling– if it is done gently.

The care of the jungle carpet python as a pet is nearly the same as caring for a Ball Python.

The biggest difference is that this snake likes to climb. So if you do choose a jungle carpet python as a pet, make sure you keep it’s terrarium flush with sanitized tree branches.

What is the typical behavior of the snake?

There are many reports indicating that the python carpet can be aggressive but in fact, the opposite is true.

The hatchlings tend to be aggressive and may strike out when they feel threatened– this is purely the natural instinct for any snake when it feels threatened.

However, as the snake matures it will become familiar with the owner and become less aggressive.

In most cases, the defensive postures and hissing subside by age 2.

It takes time for the snake to become used to humans, but overall with time, even adults will calm down and interact non-aggressively. However, at the same time, it is important that the owner also be gentle with the snake.

What type of requirements are needed to keep a jungle carpet python?

The enclosure should be at least a 50-gallon tank with sturdy walls that can be part glass or part wood.

One should try and keep the temperature around 70-78F at one end and between 80-85 at the other end; this way the snake can seek warmth or cold.

The tank must be well humidified or the reptile may get dehydrated. Make sure there is a water basin and fill it with fresh water every day.

Other accessories that we recommend include a box for egg-laying, tree branches, rocks, and stones.

All snakes like to hide and so you must create a ‘jungle-type hiding’ place for this reptile.

Since the jungle carpet python prefers to spend its time coiled on a branch, you should create an elevation where it can perch.

The bedding can be unscented wood shavings but not sand. Newspapers make excellent bedding and are easy to clean.

The jungle carpet python is essentially a nocturnal reptile and does not need to have any type of external lighting.

During the day time, the reptile will usually be sleeping in its hiding place. The snake is most active at night when it will roam the cage or will be found perched on the same branch every day

What should I feed the snake?

The one feature about carpet pythons is that they are not fussy eaters. Besides the food, you will need a pair of gloves, tongs, and a snake hook.

Later as the snake gets used to you, you will not need these items. It’s best not to handle the snake within 12-24 hours before and after feeding. This is the most likely time a bite will occur.

beautiful, light color jungle carpet python baby | u/CHRIStallized

If you buy a neonate jungle carpet python, you’ll likely have to start it off with pinkies or fuzzies. As with most baby pet snakes.

After it gets older, you can graduate to larger prey like mice, crawlers, and likely rats down the road.

It’s also best to start these snakes off with frozen food at a young age.

When feeding frozen, allow the frozen mouse to thaw naturally — not under hot water or in the microwave. Doing so is a great way for your snake to reject the food you try to give it.

Avoid the bite: Be forewarned, the young hatchling are nervous and tend to bite. While the bite will not kill you, it will feel like a tiny needle stick.

When you want to lift the snake always hold from the underneath so that its body is supported and then the snake will coil its body around the rest of your arm. Once the python overcomes the threatening feeling, it will relax.

However, you should not pat its head, make sudden moves, or swing the snake around. It’s advisable to allow the reptile to get with its tank for a few days before you start the handling process

Where can I buy a jungle carpet python?

These reptiles are readily available from most reptile stores.

You can also likely find them at any snake breeding expo, or from a local breeder. Check on Craigslist, Facebook, or Google to find a breeder near you.

Also, you can buy these snakes on the internet. Strangely, it’s legal to ships snakes right to your door. Usually, they will be just fine and this is growing to be a very popular way to purchase pet snakes.

How much do jungle carpet pythons cost?

Typically, this snake will be in the $150-200 area if you’re buying a standard morph. If you’re looking for a more exotic jungle carpet python morph, you could be looking in the $500-$1,500 range.

That’s expensive! But, at that range, you can get a really cool looking ‘albino’ or ‘hypo zebra’ jungle carpet python morph.

Final point

Having a reptile as a pet is a major undertaking. Just buying a jungle carpet boa and sticking it in a tank is not the answer. If you want your pet to thrive, then it will require dedication on your part


Remember, the majority of reptiles die within the first year of captivity because of poor maintenance of the tank; so the more effort you put into it, the longer will the snake live, and the longer you will enjoy the reptile.

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