As the youngest provinces in Indonesia, Papua and West Papua are still filled with vast green areas. Because of this, there are still plenty of wild animals living on this island. As part of the West Papuan animals, this unique reptile is well-known for its one-of-a-kind beauty. It can camouflage with its surrounding in nature.
This animal is well-known as the green tree python.
How They Look Like:
If you are lucky, you might spot one or two during your trip to enjoy the nature in West Papua. Dry forests, swamp forests, and also cultivated areas are some of the natural habitats these reptiles can be found.
- The juvenile snakes:
When they reach their juvenile age, the green tree phytons are mostly bright yellow. Some of them have dorsal red, orange, or green on their scales. They are muscular and their heads are short. Other pythons’ heads have numerous scales and are finely granular. The pupils of their eyes are vertical. These snakes also have heat-sensing pits. These help them to detect their potential preys with infra-red heat.
Because of that ability, these pythons can easily sense any warm-blooded preys nearby. This is why it is strongly suggested that you stay as far away as possible from these snakes. Humans, after all, are also warm-blooded.
- The adult snakes:
The adult green tree phytons have a rather dorsal surface. It can be bright green or sometimes bluish. The ventral surface of this snake is pale yellow or white. If you dare look closer, you can see a faint vertebral on it.
Where They Reside:
This West Papuan animal is not only into dwelling trees. Although the name is green tree phytons, they can also be found crawling on the ground. Regarding their diet, they prey on a variety of live foods, from small mammals to lizards.
When they sleep, green tree phytons also hang and dwell around the trees. Among the green leaves, you may not spot them easily when they are on the trees. You might need a binocular to spot them closer without having to climb the tree. The pattern on their green scales make them look even more beautiful.
Some Areas In West Papua To Find Green Tree Phytons:
Yes, green tree phytons can be found in nature, especially with tall and big trees around. There are two (2) main areas in West Papua where you can find these snakes:
In Sorong, the green tree phytons are mostly those with blue dorsal stripes. They are also much lighter in their green, compared to those in Aru or Merauke. The baby snakes are hatched and born with a mixture of red and yellow neonates. The yellow neonates grow to have bold, purplish-brown stripes. Their pattern reminds you of diamond-markings.
The red neonates will grow to have the similar dorsal markings. Their diamond-markings appear thicker, though, triangular with a green centre.
The green tree phytons in Manokwari are more or less the same like the ones found in Sorong. In some, there are many lateral blue spots or stripes on their faces. Although not so common, some of these snakes also have single white scales dotted around them.
The heads of these snakes are smaller, while their snouts are much shorter. You can see a mixture of black and blue markings on their tails. The markings start dark at the very tip and are lighter down to the vent. Their tales are also longer and more tapered than the tails of the green tree phytons found in Aru and Biak Island.
As part of the West Papuan animals, these green tree phytons are uniquely beautiful and deserve to be free and unharmed in nature. Sometimes it is a blessing that some humans are afraid of snakes. These phytons are safe from harm.