Latin name: Although its species name is pretty fixed as perthensis,
it has in the past been placed in the genera Liasis, Bothrochilus
and, most recently, Antaresia. The latest classification,
Antharesia perthensis, uses a genus name invented and adopted by
Wells and Wellington in 1983, and followed by others, including Dr. Hal
Cogger of the Australian museum and Dave and Tracy Barker in 1994.
Native to: Pilbara region of northwest Western Australia, as well
as adjacent areas of similar habitat. How far this species extends outside
the Pilbara is largely unknown, due to the mainly uninhabited nature of
possible habitat, coupled with an official discouragement by Australian
wildlife authorities towards research on much of Australian's wildlife,
including snakes. To date the most accurate distribution information was
that published by Laurie Smith in his 1985 paper reviewing the "childreni"
species group. Smith noted and mapped locality information for all
anthill pythons (A. perthensis), Stimson's python (A. stimsoni),
children's python (A. childreni) and spotted pythons (A. maculosus)
specimens that are in Australian museums.
The Pilbara region is located south
of the tropical Kimberly in Western Australia. It is essentially arid,
and includes the hottest parts of Australia. Typical of the Pilbara are
rocky hills covered with spinifex (grass) bushes (Triodia spp.). Being
arid, the Pilbara does not have formal wet and dry seasons, but most rainfall
does occur in the so-called summer months, when the occasion tropical
lows wander further south than usual.
Adult size: Averages about 60 cm (about 23-1/2 inches) in length."
Life Span: 20 year plus+
Eggs or young: Only 2-6 eggs per clutch are laid
Appearance: The Anthill python is a small, reddish colored python.
Dorsally the color is usually brick red, with or without a pattern. Any
pasterns are most pronounced in young specimens, and they usually fade
in captive specimens. The reason for this is not known. A typical antihill
python pattern is comprised of a series of darker spots arranged in four
more or less regular series, giving the general impression of a series
of irregular crossbars. Ventrally, the snake is creamish white. The head
is distinctly shorter and proportionately smaller than those of Stimson's
pythons, which are found in the same areas. Anthill python's heads are
more triangular in shape, as well. Stimson's pythons are the only species
likely to be confused with anthill pythons, but anyone who's familiar
with both species should be able to avoid misidentifying them. Besides
the fact that its body is usually thicker than a Stimson's python, there
is a color difference, as well; anthill pythons are of a reddish base
color whereas Stimson's are usually a yellowish or brownish base color.
Besides the differences already noted, the scalation of both species differ,
too. (Anthill pythons have fewer than 37 midbody scale rows and 250 or
less ventrals.) If misidentification were to take place, it would probably
occur with younger specimens of either species, both of which may have
What does it eat? I feed mine mice.
Ease of care: This little guy is a tough and durable snake that
is usually docile, easy to handle and one that rarely bites.
Temperament: 80-90 degrees
Cage set up: The common thread in all anthill python cages appears
to have been the relatively dry conditions, which probably is essential.
Bear in mind the arid areas these snakes come from. (A water bowel should
always be available) A small hide box is required. I use a flower pot
with a hole cut into it or a large margarine tub with a hole cut in the
Substrate: I keep mine on aspen bedding but, you can use washed
gravel or newspaper.