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Morelia spilota mcdowelli
This is the largest of the carpet pythons with records of up to 4 metres recorded. Most specimens are smaller however and average around 2 metres in length. There is a correlation between size and distribution with the largest specimens originating in the southern portion of their range from the vicinity of Brisbane. Animals from further north are generally smaller in size. This is the most variable of all the carpet pythons with regard to color and pattern characteristics. Coastal carpets are typically clad in various muted tones of gray and brown, but specimens with a myriad of appearances are well known, both from the wild and in captive collections. Animals from the southern portions of their range tend to hatch as red neonates and grow into large adults that lack a well-defined head pattern. Northern specimens of mcdowelli hatch as gray and black animals and generally have a well-defined head pattern.
Morelia spilota mcdowelli inhabits a variety of habitats within its range but is most often associated with heavily forested areas. Even large specimens are often observed in trees and there is a strong arboreal tendency with all carpet pythons. In the western portion of their range coastal carpets are strongly associated with the regions watercourses and other fragmented areas of more dense vegetation. This python is also a frequent visitor to both rural and sub-urban areas were they are encountered regularly. The coastal carpet python is native to much of the fertile eastern coast of Australia. In the south the distribution of Morelia spilota mcdowelli extends as far as Coffs Harbour, New South Wales. This taxon ranges northward through the Cape York Peninsula. The western border of the coastal carpet pythons range is formed by the Great Dividing Range. This assembly of mountain ranges serves barrier, largely separating the coastal carpet python from the inland carpet python (Morelia spilota metcalfei). In north-central Queensland the coastal carpet python’s distribution crosses the Great Dividing Range.
Spotted in Wollumbin National Park, Australia.(sources:see reference)
Spotted on Apr 25, 2010
Submitted on May 17, 2014
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