You are here » home advanced search search results Morelia viridis

Morelia viridis (SCHLEGEL, 1872)

IUCN Red List - Morelia viridis - Least Concern, LC

Can you confirm these amateur observations of Morelia viridis?

Add your own observation of
Morelia viridis »

Find more photos by Google images search: Google images

Higher TaxaPythonidae, Henophidia, Pythonoidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Green tree python, Southern green python
G: Grüner Baumpython 
SynonymPython viridis SCHLEGEL 1872: 54
Chondropython pulcher SAUVAGE 1878: 37
Chondropython viridis — BOULENGER 1893: 90
Chondropython viridis — DE ROOIJ 1917: 29
Chondropython viridis — STIMSON 1969
Chondropython viridis — MCDOWELL 1975: 67
Morelia viridis — KLUGE 1993
Morelia viridis — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 175
Chondropython viridis — COGGER 2000: 603
Morelia viridis — KIVIT & WISEMAN 2000
Chondropython viridis shireenae HOSER 2003
Chondropython viridis adelynhoserae HOSER 2009
Morelia viridis — SCHLEIP & O’SHEA 2010: 45
Morelia viridis — REYNOLDS et al. 2014
Morelia viridis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 453
Chondropython viridis — COGGER 2014: 830 
DistributionIndonesia (Aru I, Irian Jaya), Papua New Guinea, Island of Gag, Australia (NE Cape York Peninsula of Queensland)

Type locality: Aru (as Aroe) Islands, Indonesia.


azureus: Type locality: “Kordo auf Mysore” [= Korido on Biak Island]

adelynhoserae: Type locality: Normanby Island, d’Entrecasteaux Archipelago, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea.

shireenae: Type locality: Cape York, Queensland, Australia.  
TypesSyntypes: RMNH 4672 (2 specimens), collected H. Rosenberg, 1866, via Amsterdam Zoo. Listed as holotype by Stimson (1969), which is interpreted by Wallach et al (2014) as a lectotype designation, but as both syntypes are under this number, no lectotype can be identified by this listing.
Holotype: AM R129716 [adelynhoserae]
Holotype: NMV D51862 [shireenae]
Syntypes: ZMB 8832, MTD (= MTKD) 638, MTD (= MTKD) 639, all lost; neotype: UTA R-61633, designated by Barker et al. 2015 [azurea] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Morelia viridis is easily distinguished from all subspecies of M. azurea by the following characters: presence of a single juvenile morph (yellow vs. yellow or red in M. azurea); presence of a tightly knitted row of white vertebral scales along the vertebral ridge, or white ‘rosettes’ along the vertebral ridge in the Aru Islands population; and a dark shade of green coloration along the vertebral ridge, as opposed to uniform green in M. azurea (Table 1, Supplementary Material II). Most populations of M. viridis also possess short, stubby tails and con- siderably lower subcaudal scale counts vs. long, tapering tails and high subcaudal scale counts in M. azurea (Table 1, Supplementary Material II). The exceptions are populations from Milne Bay and the north coast of Oro and Morobe Provinces to near Lae, Papua New Guinea, which typically have long, tapering tails similar to M. azurea. Morelia viridis further differs from M. a. azurea and M. a. utaraensis in that juveniles possess a single iris band running horizontally through the eye (as opposed to a triple iris band; Table 1; Supplementary Material II). It further differs from M. a. utaraensis in that juveniles have a darkened tail tip and a broken pattern following the vertebral ridge vs. a light- colored tail and continuous pattern. Morelia viridis further differs from M. a. azurea by undergoing a relatively rapid color change to become uniform green in adulthood vs. delayed colour change with variable coloration). [from Natusch et al. 2019] 
CommentHybridization: KIVIT & WISEMAN (2005) report a hybrid between M. viridis and M. spilota cheynei. See Switak (2006) for a collection of photos of color variants.

Subspecies: Hoser (2003) diagnoses Chondropython viridis shireenae ssp. nov. as “the only Green Pythons (C. viridis) found on mainland Australia and can be separated from all other C. viridis on this basis. In the absence of good locality data, the subspecies is best separated from other C. viridis by comparative DNA analysis [missing in Hoser’s paper], which has already been successfully used to separate this subspecies. Australian C. viridis have as adults, white or other markings along the vertebra and few other markings, whereas those from elsewhere do not always have this trait. Hence this is a diagnostic character for Australian specimens of C. viridis.” Based on Hoser’s 2003 paper, the status of this subspecies remains uncertain.

M. azureus was resurrected from the synonymy of M. viridis by Hoser (2009). Rawlings and Donnellan (2003) also revealed the existence of two populations that are genetically distinct, one from north of the central cordillera (corresponding to azurea), the other from the south, including the Aru Island and Australian populations. See also Esquerré et al. 2020 for a recent phylogenetic analysis.

Habitat: arboreal, although categories as “not arboreal” by Harrington et al. 2018. 
EtymologyPresumably named after the Latin viridis (green) in reference to the bright green coloration. (G. Shea, pers. comm., 9 Feb 2024) 
  • Arth, Steven und Sandra Baus 2006. Der Grüne Baumpython (Morelia viridis). Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 64 pp. - get paper here
  • Barker, D. G., Barker, T. M., Davis, M. A. and Schuett, G. W. 2015. A review of the systematics and taxonomy of Pythonidae: an ancient serpent lineage. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 175 (1): 1-19; doi: 10.1111/zoj.12267 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1879. Observations sur le genre Chondropython. Bull. Soc. Zool. France 1879: 146-147 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Bulian, J. 2010. "Und die weitere Aufzucht verlief problemlos..." Einige Anmerkungen zur Aufzucht des Grünen Baumpythons (Morelia viridis) Terraria (23) 5 (3): 37-41.
  • Bulian, J. 2010. Freilandanlagen für Morelia viridis Terraria (23) 5 (3): 30-36.
  • Bullian, J. 2012. Einige ergänzende Hinweise zum Artikel über das mysteriöse Absterben schlupfreifer Jungtiere des Grünen Baumpythons. Terraria-Elaphe 2012 (5): 94-95 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • de Rooij, N. DE 1917. The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Il. Ophidia. Leiden (E. J. Brill), xiv + 334 S. - get paper here
  • Esquerré, D & J S Keogh. 2016. Parallel selective pressures drive convergent diversification of phenotypes in pythons and boas. Ecology Letters, 19(7): 800-809 - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Hediger, H. 1934. Beitrag zur Herpetologie und Zoogeographie Neu-Britanniens und einiger umliegender Gebiete. Zool. Jahrb. (Syst.) 65: 441-582
  • Hoffmann, M. & Motz, M 2011. Grüner Baumpython - Morelia viridis. Natur und Tier-Verlag, 263 pp. - get paper here
  • Hoffmann, Marcel 2014. Neuste Trends bei der Zucht des Grünen Baumpythons. Draco 16 (57): 48-53 - get paper here
  • Hoser, R. 2003. A reclassification of the pythoninae including the descriptions of two new genera, two new species and nine new subspecies. Part I. [see also part II.]. Crocodilian 4 (3) (November 2003): 31-37 - get paper here
  • Hoser, R. 2003. Five new pythons. Macarthur Herpetological Society Newsletter, 40: 4-9. - get paper here
  • Hoser, R. 2009. Creationism and contrived science: a review of recent python systematics papers and the resolution of issues of taxonomy and nomenclature. Australasian J. Herpetol. 2: 1-34 - get paper here
  • Kaiser, H.; Crother, B.I.; Kelly, C.M.R.; Luiselli, L.; O’Shea, M.; Ota, H.; Passos, P.; Schleip, W.D. & Wüster, W. 2013. Best Practices: In the 21st Century, Taxonomic Decisions in Herpetology are Acceptable Only When Supported by a Body of Evidence and Published via Peer-Review. Herpetological Review 44 (1): 8-23
  • Kivit, R. & Wiseman, S. 2000. The Green Tree Python & Emerald Tree Boa. Kirschner und Seufer Verlag, Keltern-Weiler, 126 pp. - get paper here
  • Kivit, R. & Wiseman, S. 2005. Grüner Baumpython und Grüne Hundskopfboa. Kirschner und Seufer Verlag, Keltern-Weiler, 174 pp.
  • Kluge, Arnold G. 1993. Aspidites and the phylogeny of Pythonine snakes. Rec. Austral. Mus. (Supplement 19): 1-77 - get paper here
  • Kroneis, M. 2012. Der Grüne Baumpython: vom mysteriösen Absterben schlupfreifer Jungtiere. Terraria-Elaphe 2012 (4): 33-43 - get paper here
  • Kroneis, M. 2014. „Knickschwänze“ beim Grünen Baumpython (Morelia viridis) – ein hausgemachtes Problem? Reptilia (Münster) 19 (106): 50-57
  • Kroneis, M. 2017. Der Grüne Baumpython (Morelia viridis). Anmerkungen zur korrekten Bruttemperatur. Reptilia (Münster) 22 (127): 30-40 - get paper here
  • Kroneis, Michèl 2010. Der Grüne Baumpython – durch Naturbrut zum Erfolg. Draco 11 (44): 38-59 - get paper here
  • Krug, O. 2016. Morelia carinata – Der etwas andere Python! Reptilia 21 (118): 34-39 - get paper here
  • KUFNEROVA, JITKA. 2021. A novel approach of using shed skins of the green tree python, Morelia viridis, for forensic purposes. European Journal of Environmental Sciences 11(2): 107–112. - get paper here
  • Kunz, K. 2017. Die Pythons Neuguineas. Von altbekannt bis geheimnisumwittert. Reptilia (Münster) 22 (127): 16-21 - get paper here
  • Laita, Mark 2013. Serpentine. Abrams and PQ Blackwell, Auckland, New Zealand, 200 unnumbered pages
  • Maxwell, G. 2006. Morelia viridis. Reptilia (GB) (44): 39-42 - get paper here
  • Maxwell, G. 2007. Die häufigsten Haltungsprobleme beim Grünen Baumpython (Morelia viridis). Reptilia (Münster) 12 (67): 77-81 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • McDowell, S.B. 1975. A catalogue of the snakes of New Guinea and the Solomons, with special reference to those in the Bernice P. Bishop Museum. Part lI. Aniloidea and Pythoninae. Journal of Herpetology 9 (1): 1-79 - get paper here
  • Mense, M. 2016. Python-Schönheiten von der anderen Seite der Welt: Morelia, die Baum- und Rautenpythons. Reptilia 21 (118): 18-26 - get paper here
  • Meyer, A.B. 1874. Eine Mittheilung von Hern. Dr. Adolf Berhard Meyer über die von ihm auf Neu-Guinea und den Inseln Jobi, Mysore und Mafoor im Jahre 1873 gesammelten Amphibien. Monatsber. K. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1874: 128-140 [also published as a separate print with pages 1-17 with a different title in which “Hern. Dr. Adolf Berhard Meyer über die von ihm” is replaced by “mir”] - get paper here
  • Mutton, Nick 2012. Paradoxism. [color morphs]. HerpNation 2.5 (8): 12-17 - get paper here
  • Natusch, Daniel J. D. and Jessica A. Lyons 2014. Geographic and Sexual Variations in Body Size, Morphology, and Diet among Five Populations of Green Pythons (Morelia viridis). Journal of Herpetology Sep 2014, Vol. 48, No. 3: 317-323. - get paper here
  • Natusch, Daniel J.D.; Damien Esquerré, Jessica A. Lyons, Amir Hamidy, Alan R. Lemmon, Emily Moriarty Lemmon, Awal Riyanto, J. Scott Keogh, Stephen Donnellan 2019. Species delimitation and systematics of the green pythons (Morelia viridis T complex) of melanesia and Australia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 142: 106640 [2020] - get paper here
  • O'Shea, Mark and Simon Maddock 2023. Serpents of Paradise: Biogeography of the Snake Fauna on New Guinean Islands. In: Lillywhite & Martins, eds., Islands and snakes, vol. II. Oxford University Press, p. 22 ff - get paper here
  • O'Shea,M. 1996. A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea. Independent Publishing, Port Moresby, xii + 239 pp. - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Rawlings, Lesley H. and Stephen C. Donnellan 2003. Phylogeographic analysis of the green python, Morelia viridis, reveals cryptic diversity. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 27 (1): 36-44 - get paper here
  • Reynolds, R. Graham; Matthew L. Niemiller, Liam J. Revell 2014. Toward a Tree-of-Life for the boas and pythons: Multilocus species-level phylogeny with unprecedented taxon sampling. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 71: 201–213 [published online in 2013] - get paper here
  • Sauvage, H. E., 1878. Eassai sur la faune herpetologique de la Nouvelle-Guinee, suivi de la description de quelques especes nouvelles ou peu connues. Bulletin des Sciences, par la Sociétè Philomathique de Paris 2: 25-44. - get paper here
  • Schlegel,H. 1872. De direntium van het Koninklijk zoologisch Genootschap Natura Artis Magistra te Amsterdam, Reptilia. Amsterdam, 64 pp. [54] - get paper here
  • Schleip, Wulf D & O’Shea, M. 2010. Annotated checklist of the recent and extinct pythons (Serpentes, Pythonidae), with notes on nomenclature, taxonomy, and distribution. ZooKeys 66 (2010) : 29-79 - get paper here
  • Schröder,H. 1982. Ein ergänzender Nachweis zum Vorkommen von Chondropython viridis (Reptilia: Serpentes: Boidae). Salamandra 18 (3-4): 359-360 - get paper here
  • Sickmann, Daniel 2010. Anmerkungen zur Haltung und Zucht des Grünen Baumpythons (Morelia viridis). Ophidia 4 (1): 2 - get paper here
  • Stallinger, R. 2016. Haltung eines Grünen Baumpythons in einem naturnah gestalteten Großterrarium. Reptilia 21 (118): 28-33 - get paper here
  • Switak, Karl H. 1995. The emerald serpents of New Guinea (Part 1). Reptiles 2 (6): 76-99
  • Switak, Karl H. 1996. Die Lebensgewohnheiten des Grünen Baumpythons. TI Magazin (129): 48-51
  • Switak, Karl H. 2006. Adventures in Green Python Country. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 364 pp. - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Weier, M. 2005. Naturbrut mit 100 Prozent Schlupfrate bei Morelia viridis (SCHLEGEL 1872). Elaphe 13 (1): 31-40
  • Wilson, D.; R. Heinsohn1 & J. Wood 2006. Life-history traits and ontogenetic colour change in an arboreal tropical python, Morelia viridis. Journal of Zoology 270: 399–407 - get paper here
  • Wilson, David; Heinsohn, Robert. 2007. Geographic range, population structure and conservation status of the green python (Morelia viridis), a popular snake in the captive pet trade. Australian Journal of Zoology 55 (3):147-154 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Winchell, S. 2009. Pythons Australiens. Reptilia (Münster) 14 (79): 16-27 - get paper here
External links  
Is it interesting? Share with others:

As link to this species use URL address:

without field 'search_param'. Field 'search_param' is used for browsing search result.

Please submit feedback about this entry to the curator