Backyard Buddies
Diamond Python

Photo: Graysilver

Diamond Python

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The Diamond Python is found all along the New South Wales coastline down into the north-eastern corner of Victoria. They are frequently spotted in Sydney suburbs that border on bushland. But like all pythons, these snakes are non-venomous.

They become most active in November, looking for mates and laying eggs. The male Diamond Python will travel up to 500m a day, following a scent trail left by a female when she is ready to find a mate. Numerous males can sometimes follow the trail of the same female.

Your roof cavity can make the perfect place for a female to wait for potential mates to find her but there is no reason to remove these pythons. As well as being non-poisonous, the Diamond Python is one of the most placid snakes in Australia, rarely hissing or threatening people.

Two of the Diamond Pythons favourite meals are rats and mice, which makes them great pest controllers. A Diamond Python is an ambush predator and will often wait for days until a small animal gets close enough for it to strike out and grab its prey. It then squeezes the animal until it suffocates and then swallows it whole.

Diamond Pythons breed during spring. From November to December the female will lay her eggs in a nest. She will usually lay around 10 to 30 eggs which she curls around to protect them from predators and will also create heat for the incubating eggs by shivering and shaking while coiled around them.

Male Diamond Pythons have a big home range of around 45 hectares and females have a range of around 20 hectares. They are always on the move and won't stay in one place indefinitely. They live up to around 20 years so if you spot a Diamond Python more than once, even if it was years apart, it could be the same one.

Even if you feel confident that a snake you've spotted is a Diamond Python never pick them up or get too close. These pythons might not have venom but their fangs will still hurt if you get bitten. There are also some snakes out there that are poisonous so it's not worth taking the risk. You can call a snake catcher if you would like to have the snake removed.

Did you know?

Australia has around 140 species of land snake, and around 32 species of sea snakes.100 of these are venomous, and 12 can inflict a wound that could kill you.

Tip

Diamond Pythons more commonly visit backyards that have aviaries, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs because all these animals appear as potential food to pythons. If you really don't want these buddies sticking around, make sure the enclosures for your pets don't have any holes larger than a 20 cent coin, to stop the snakes from getting in.

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”BYB shows that people can make a positive difference to conservation efforts in Australia. Learn, explore and love your bit of wilderness.“

Michele – National Parks Ranger, NSW

Photo: OEH