Coastal carpet python, Morelia spilota mcdowelli

The stunning Coastal carpet python with a big attitude to match their large size

At a glance...
  • Coastal carpet pythons are the largest Carpet python locality
  • A great choice for intermediate hobbyists looking for a challenge
  • Stunning markings and colourations with a range of morphs
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Do Coastal carpet pythons make good pets?

Coastal carpet pythons are the largest of the Carpet python localities, with individuals often reaching 3m (10ft) in length. This locality can be quite variable in their natural appearance, ranging from olive greens to greys and browns, with plenty of artificially selected genetic morphs available in the hobby also, such as Caramel, Axanthic or Jaguar to name a few.

Carpet pythons as a whole are known for being highly responsive to food and sometimes even a little territorially defensive. Due to this, and the large size of a Coastal carpet python, they are recommended for more advanced snake keepers who have a better idea of how to read the body language and how to react when a snake strikes out. In most instances, the snake will calm down once they are removed from the enclosure, but it is getting them out that can be a challenge.

What size enclosure does a Coastal carpet python need?

Being the largest locality of Carpet python, Coastal carpet pythons require quite a large amount of space. They are arboreal snakes so also require an enclosure that not only provides them with plenty of horizontal space but plenty of vertical space too.

At Swell Reptiles, we recommend an adult enclosure size of 180 x 90 x 120cm (6 x 3 x 4ft) for a Coastal carpet python, although we do not stock an enclosure this large, it is usually required to be a custom build. However, Coastal carpet pythons can quite happily live in smaller enclosures whilst they are growing, for example, the Exo Terra Glass Terrarium 90x45x90cm or VivExotic Viva+ Arboreal Large Deep are not bad options for a hatchling/juvenile set-up.

What is the ideal temperature for a Coastal carpet python?

As with any reptile, Coastal carpet pythons should be provided with a thermogradient within their enclosure that goes from warm to cool from one end to the other. The ideal basking temperature for this species is 32°C (89°F), with their cool end sitting closer to 22°C (71°F).

Your basking area should be heated using an overhead heating system such as a heat bulb or ceramic heater, both of which must be hooked up to a compatible thermostat to ensure their safety. If you opt for a basking lamp, a dimming thermostat would be required, whereas if you opt for a ceramic heater, a pulse thermostat would be required.

Do Coastal carpet pythons need UV?

Coastal carpet pythons are regularly exposed to sunlight in nature, and will benefit significantly when kept within a UVI range of 2-3, which not only provides them with a natural day-night cycle, but also helps them to develop strong bones and prevent health issues. The percentage of UVB required depends on the distance between the snakes highest basking point and the light fixture, so if this will be between 25-40cm (10-15”), the Arcadia ShadeDweller Max is a good choice, whereas if this distance will be between 40-45cm (15-18”), the Arcadia ProT5 Kit - Forest 6% will be better.

What substrate is best for Coastal carpet pythons?

Coastal carpet pythons do best with a humidity between 50-60%, which in most UK homes is quite easy to achieve without much work. The easiest way to keep humidity at a suitable level is by using a loose moisture-retaining substrate such as coco soil or orchid bark, or if you would prefer to go bioactive, a more sophisticated planting substrate such as Arcadia EarthMix is a good choice. In larger, better-ventilated enclosures, you may also need to mist the enclosure periodically using a handheld spray bottle.

How do I decorate a Coastal carpet python’s vivarium?

Being a mostly arboreal species, a number of perches should be provided in the form of robust branches and vines. Although Carpet pythons are slender-bodied snakes, the Coastal carpet python is still quite a large snake, so any branches should be chosen and mounted in a way that they can support the full weight of the snake safely. It is also important to provide plenty of cover in the canopy of the enclosure, which can be done in the form of live or artificial plants.

Despite spending the majority of their time in the enclosure canopy, Coastal carpet pythons should still be provided with a couple of hiding caves on the cool forest floor area to allow them a safe space down low and away from the heat source. A large water dish, large enough for the snake to soak in is also important as not only will this provide the snake with hydration but will help them loosen up during the shed cycle.

What do Coastal carpet pythons eat?

Coastal carpet pythons are carnivorous and will feed on a diet solely made up of frozen-thawed foods. The main portion of their diet should be made up of rodents, with protein-rich frozen rats being a better staple option than frozen mice. In nature, Carpet pythons can often be seen basking high up in the canopy, where they may snatch a passing bird from the air, so the occasional frozen chick or frozen quail will also be appreciated by them whilst helping to provide variety to their diet.

How do I buy a Coastal carpet python?

If you would like to purchase one of our UK captive bred Coastal carpet pythons, please pop down to see us in person with some images of a suitable set-up, showing the required temperature and humidity parameters with adequate lighting installed.

We will ask a few quick questions and also ask to see your set-up images to ensure you are ready to adopt one of these stunning snakes. We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone we feel is unprepared to adopt.

For more detailed husbandry information, please see our dedicated Carpet Python Care Sheet. If you would like to learn about alternatives to the Carpet Python, you can take a look at our Royal Python Care Sheet or Amazon tree boa care sheet.

Common names Coastal carpet python, Eastern carpet python
Scientific name Morelia spilota mcdowelli
Country Australia
Captive-bred Yes
Adult size 3m (10ft)
Natural habitat Coastal regions
Housing 180 x 90 x 120cm (6 x 3 x 4ft)
Ideal temperature 32°C (89°F) (warm end); 22°C (71°F) (cool end)
UVI 2-3
Ideal humidity 50-60%
Diet Carnivorous
Average lifespan 15-20 years
Personality Feisty but can be tamed
Ease of handling Moderate-difficult
Cohabitable No
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    Carpet python, Morelia spilota, husbandry guide from the experts at Swell Reptiles, covering housing, heating, lighting and more.