Unexpected encounters with Australian Reptiles #1 - Stimsons Python (Antaresia stimsoni)

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2009 at 18:01


Monday 7th July, 2008

Having finally reached the Canning Stock Route, we were heading north on the Canning towards Durba Springs, a magnificent gorge where weary travellers often take respite after weeks on the track. The track skirts the rugged ramparts of the Durba Range and as we were following the well eroded track, we encountered a Stimson’s Python (Antaresia stimsoni) leisurely crossing the sand. We spent a bit of time filming him before the vibrations caused by our proximity caused him to rear up in defence mode. A rare encounter in the outback.
(Video by Gaby "The excitable" of Canada - "I love those mooses.............I mean Camels").

Antaresia stimsoni is a python found in Australia. The snake is named Stimson's python in honor of A. F. Stimson of the British Museum, but is commonly and incorrectly referred to as Stimpson's python (Antaresia stimpsoni). These snakes are sold and kept as pets in some Australian states. The species is also referred as the Large-blotched python for the patterns of its markings, or in reference to its genus as an Inland Children's python.

Found in Australia from the coast of Western Australia through central regions of all states (except Victoria) as far as the Great Dividing Range. Not found in the far north, extreme south or east. The Nyangumarta aboriginals in the Pilbara call this snake mariakarringu.

Generally nocturnal, the species occupies crevices, hollows, and holes made by other creatures in termite mounds, the latter offering a controlled climate. Antaresia stimsoni is an ambush predator, spending much of its time waiting for prey, trapping and killing by constriction. They are often recorded at rocky hills, sclerophyll woodlands or other habitat providing good cover. Although considered by most to be generally terrestrial, they do climb and are often found high up on ledges of caves where they prey on small bats. Prey consists of small mammals, birds, frogs, and lizards.

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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