Long and beautiful
The longest non-venomous snake in Australia is the scrub python, also known as the Amethystine due to its amethyst-like colour. This goliath reptile is also native to Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
How big can it get?
In a country of deadly serpents, this venom-free snake dwarves its poisonous counterparts growing in excess of 8 metres (26 feet).
What does it eat?
Like many other constrictors, the scrub python isn’t a fussy eater, so long as salad isn’t on the menu. This carnivore will happily chow down on small birds, other reptiles, fruit bats and frogs. It has also been known to enjoy the odd kangaroo.
How does it hunt?
Nocturnally and patiently. It is an ambush predator that does most of its hunting at night, silently awaiting an unsuspecting creature to pass within its reach. A quick strike is followed by brutal constriction.
How dangerous is it?
That depends on what species you are. To its prey it is deadly but humans are rarely attacked. Still, not aggravating a scrub python is a preferred course of action should you encounter one in the wild.
How many are left?
While exact numbers are all but impossible to obtain, the scrub python species is considered stable and not at risk. As with many other species though, continued destruction of mangroves and rainforests could lead to future problems, although the Australian scrubland isn’t going anywhere, and that’s where this python is most at home.
For the record, the longest venomous land snake in Australia is the inland taipan which can reach lengths of 3 metres (10 feet) or more. While it might not be as impressive in size as the scrub python, this utterly lethal snake packs a venomous bite that could kill a human in under an hour