Antaresia stimsoni Click to enlarge image
Inland Childrens Python, Antaresia stimsoni Image: Ross Sadlier
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    stimsoni
    Genus
    Antaresia
    Family
    Pythonidae
    Suborder
    Serpentes
    Order
    Squamata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    Average total length 75 centimetres, maximum about 1 metre.

Named after Andrew Stimson, a herpetologist at the British Museum, the original description was published in 1985 by Laurie A. Smith of the Western Australia Museum.

Stimson's pythons are highly polymorphic, and the pattern and coloration varies widely throughout its extensive range. They have a pattern of large reddish-brown blotches along their body with a paler background.

Antaresia stimsoni inhabits the largest range of any other Australian python species. These snakes are found in a wide range of arid environments, in topographic features such as rock outcrops and stony ranges.

On the sandy plains and dunefields it is likely to be found with isolated large trees or on those margins of dry watercourses or large termite mounds and larger clumps of spinifex. Stimson's Pythons move in a side-to-side swimming motion.

Small mammals, frogs, birds and lizards make up the diet with the python able to sense the body heat coming off their prey. They flick their tongue to taste the air and use their eyes to find their food. Like many other snakes, it can go for months without feeding. Birds of prey and large reptiles eat Stimson's Pythons.

Stimson's pythons lay a clutch of 5-15 eggs, which the mother incubates for about 55 days by coiling herself around the eggs. Young Stimson's Pythons look after themselves.

Stimson’s Pythons are non-venomous, but can deliver a painful bite. With this species, being a popular species to be kept in captivity, bites are more commonly food related rather than of an aggressive or defensive nature.

Habitat

These snakes are found in a wide range of arid environments, in topographic features such as rock outcrops and stony ranges.

On the sandy plains and dunefields it is likely to be found with isolated large trees or on those margins of dry watercourses or large termite mounds and larger clumps of spinifex.

Distribution

Antaresia stimsoni inhabits the largest range of any other Australian python species.



Feeding and diet

Small mammals, frogs, birds and lizards make up the diet with the python able to sense the body heat coming off their prey. They flick their tongue to taste the air and use their eyes to find their food. Like many other snakes, it can go for months without feeding.

Breeding behaviours

Stimson's pythons lay a clutch of 5-15 eggs, which the mother incubates for about 55 days by coiling herself around the eggs.

Young Stimson's Pythons look after themselves.

Danger to humans

Stimson’s Pythons are non-venomous, but can deliver a painful bite. With this species, bites are more commonly food related rather than of an aggressive or defensive nature

References

  • Cogger, G Harold. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th Edition, 2018