Childrens Python
Childrens Python

The Children's python is a nonvenomous python species found in Australia. Both the common name, Children's python, and the specific name or epithet, childreni, are in honour of English scientist John George Children.

Adults grow to an average length of about 1m (~3ft), with a maximum of 1.5m (~5ft). The crown scales are enlarged while those on the body are small and smooth, with a rainbow sheen that can be seen when exposed to direct sunlight. Dorsum brown with darker spots in five or six longitudinal series. A dark streak on each side of the head, passing through the eye. Lips yellowish, spotted with brown. Ventrum uniformly yellowish.

The eye is moderate in size, with a vertical pupil. The body is slightly laterally compressed with a short tail.

Found in Australia in the extreme north of Western Australia, the northern third of Northern Territory, and northeastern Queensland. Also on the islands of the Torres Strait. It occurs specifically in the region spanning along the coast between the Kimberleys in Western Australia to Mount Isa in northwestern Queensland.

The diet consists of reptiles, birds and small mammals, particularly microbats which they catch by dangling from stalactites in caves, which they commonly inhabit, and snatch them out of the air as they fly past.

Oviparous, with up to 25 eggs per clutch. Females brood their eggs through a seven week incubation period by coiling around them and occasionally shivering to keep them warm, which also affords the eggs some protection from predators. Juveniles are heavily blotched, but gradually become reddish brown or brown as they mature. Often kept as a pet due to its good nature and less demanding requirements. The lifespan of captive specimens has been known to exceed 30 years. Juveniles are fed on pinky mice (baby, hairless mice), while larger individuals can be fed on adult mice or small rats. Feeding should occur roughly once a fortnight.