This beautiful little snake is a female SPOTTED PYTHON (Antaresia maculosa), a species which in the wild is native to the northeast of New South Wales to the eastern side of Queensland in eastern Australia.
Although the spotted python is the largest member of the genus Antaresia it is still one of the world’s smallest python species, rarely exceeding 1.5m in length or a kilogram in weight. This individual was hatched on May 30th 2021 in Basingstoke in Hampshire and when I collected her in September 2021 (at three months old) she weighed in at just 15g – this makes her by far the smallest python I have ever owned!
She is named Cookie as, when I first bought her, the dark spots on the paler background reminded me of a chocolate chip cookie!
Like many python species, the spotted python’s scales demonstrate iridescence when viewed in natural lighting in particular. You can see this in these pictures below, taken on her second birthday at the end of May 2023! This iridescence isn’t as impressive as that of Iris, my Bismarck ringed python, but as always the pictures don’t do the colouration justice.
Like all pythons, spotted pythons hatch from eggs. Here are Cookie and all of her clutchmates having just hatched!
Photograph courtesy of Tom Middlebrook
Here is one of the babies, newly hatched and covered in vermiculite which is used as an incubation substrate.