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The Green Tree Snakes of Australia

Updated on August 26, 2010
A common non-venomous green tree snake
A common non-venomous green tree snake

With Australia's lush forests and diverse ecological sites, it's no wonder why many creatures have called it home. Snakes, Green Ones particularly, have increased in numbers and have spread all throughout Australia. This article will discuss two of Australia's beautiful Green Tree snakes, and why they rule the territory.

Cool Companions offer courses in reptile keeping and snake handling.

Snakes of Australia DVD on Amazon

Green Tree Python

This beautiful snake has a broken vertebral stripe that is white or dull yellow in color. Other green tree pythons have blue, white or yellow spots scattered all throughout their body. The green tree pythons can grow about 1.6 m to 2.2 m in length.

Green tree pythons have slender shaped body with a prehensile tail, which helps the snake move around between the tree branches. Its head is large and wider than its body. They have supralabial scales around their mouth with thermoreceptive pits. This snake spends most of its time over tree branches in a coiled position with its head resting on the center.

Green Tree Pythons rules the tropical rain forests, swamps, and cultivated lands. They are also present in the very north of Australia. The green tree python is an arboreal snake that spend its time curled up on tree branches. They spend the day hidden in safe areas on the ground and may even do some hunting. The green tree python is a nocturnal, aggressive hunter and uses their thermosensory pits to track the presence of a warm-blooded animal.

Interestingly, they use a hunting strategy, wherein they wriggle their tail like a worm or small snake. This confuses birds and lizards, and the snake attacks them by grabbing them from a distance. Green tree python as pets is not recommended for beginners as it require experience and countless snake handling courses.

Green Tree Phytons are naturally constrictors. They seemed to be at rest but have really clever hunting strategies.
Green Tree Phytons are naturally constrictors. They seemed to be at rest but have really clever hunting strategies.

Green Tree Phyton documentary on Discovery Channel

Green Tree Snake (Common Tree Snake)

Did you know that tree snakes in the wild will make a quick escape when they realize someone is watching them?
Did you know that tree snakes in the wild will make a quick escape when they realize someone is watching them?
Common green tree snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) consuming a frog.
Common green tree snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata) consuming a frog.

Video footage of the Common Green Tree Snake

Green Tree Snake's skin vary in colour from brown to green. The snakes body is very slender, and it often has a yellow throat. Contrary to its aggressive demeanor, green tree snakes are harmless, agile climber. Common tree snakes are thin, agile, and usually about 1.2 metres long, although some grow to 2 meters. The tail tapers to a long point.

Green Tree Snake's color vary greatly; they may be olive green, brownish, black, blue or grey. The snake's underbelly and throat are yellow, sometimes cream. Their eyes are larger than most snakes. As their teeth are small and no fangs, their bite does not cause injury. These snakes are active by day, dwelling predominantly in trees or shrubs. They inhabit a wide range of location including the bushland, well vegetated banks of rivers, creeks and streams, rainforest edges, eucalypt forests, heathland, and areas with trees, long grass, and lush vegetation, especially near water.

While it is safe to assume that a common tree snake's bite will not rush you to the nearest hospital, be wary still because when threatened, they will defend themselves by producing a horrible smell, and may bite causing a nasty spot on the skin.

These snake's unique genetic design has been weathered by million of year's struggle to hone the perfect model for survival. It is therefore not a wonder why these creatures have endured the challenge of living with other creatures in different habitats.


Would you believe that there are some tree snakes capable of flying? Watch this documentary clip of the Paradise Tree Snake

Comments are very much welcome. Would you consider having this non-venomous snakes as pets?

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    • animals-australia profile image
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      animals-australia 7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      You're welcome thevoice... thanks for reading.

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 7 years ago from carthage ill

      very unique hub never knew much about them thanks