The carpet python (Morelia spilota) is a constrictor snake found mainly in Australia and Papua New Guinea. They are somewhat popular pet snakes, so you may be wondering how large they get.
On average, carpet pythons are 6-9 feet long. This depends on the subspecies, since some stay around 6 feet while others may reach 13 feet as adults. If you want one as a pet, be sure to research the subspecies and talk to the breeder.
Most carpet pythons will hatch at a length of 12-18 inches. This holds true for most subspecies. They are fairly small straight out of the egg, but they will grow rapidly.
Most carpet pythons will double in length or more by a year old.
This means they can quickly outgrow most enclosures. You can always use a larger enclosure and block part of it off until your snake needs more space.
Darwin Carpet Python
The Darwin carpet python (M. s. variegata) is typically found along the northern coast of Australia. They are typically found between Kimberley and Cape York.
They live as far south as the Tanami Desert.
This is the smallest subspecies and rarely exceeds 6 feet as adults. If you don’t have a lot of space, this is the subspecies for you.
They need slightly higher temperatures and humidity than most other subspecies, so keep this in mind. However, it is much easier to find a suitable enclosure since they are shorter snakes.
Jungle Carpet Python
The jungle carpet python (M. s. cheynei) is found in the rainforests of Queensland in Australia. These animals are a bit longer than the Darwin carpet python.
They can be 6-7 feet as adults. One animal was reported as being over 8 feet long. This is a popular subspecies in the pet trade, so be sure to consider how large these subspecies may get.
Thankfully, these animals are generally not heavy for a snake.
Coastal Carpet Python
The coastal carpet python (M. s. mcdowelli) is found in Northeaster Australia and in New Guinea. These snakes are typically found in eastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales.
This particular subspecies is typically 9-10 feet long. It’s one of the largest pet snakes you can own.
This is also noted as being more likely to bite than other subspecies. These animals need plenty of space, so keep that in mind if you have your heart set on this subspecies.
You will need a 10-foot long enclosure for your pet, which is the length of many rooms in a typical family home. Be sure you have enough space for this snake.
Inland Carpet Python
The inland carpet python (M. s. metcalfei) is also known as the Murray Darling carpet python. They can be found in the Murray-Darling Basin and in the states of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria.
They can have a very different appearance depending on which area of their range an animal comes from. They average 8 feet as adults, but some animals will grow up to 9 feet long.
If you want this subspecies, be prepared for a longer snake.
The diamond python (M. s. spilota) is the type subspecies for the carpet python.
These animals are found on the eastern coast of Australia between the northeastern corner of Victoria and an area about 185 miles north of Sydney. They are the southernmost subspecies of the carpet pythons.
Most animals will stay under 7 feet, but animals up to 9 feet aren’t unheard of. The largest member of this subspecies was recorded at a length of 13 feet.
This puts them on the smaller side, but be prepared in case you end up with a giant.
Other Carpet Pythons
There are other snakes that are commonly called carpet pythons but are not part of the species. For instance, the Centralian carpet python (Morelia bredli) is considered a subspecies by some sources.
In the pet trade, it is easy to assume this is another subspecies. These snakes live mainly in the desert and require much higher temperatures to stay healthy.
They are typically 6.5-8.5 feet long. They also have much less variation in color than the other carpet pythons that belong to M. spilota.
There is also the Southwest carpet python (Morelia imbricata). These snakes are found in southwestern Australia and show distinct differences in habits compared to other carpet pythons. They can be up to 7.5 feet in total length.
Carpet pythons are not particularly weighty as far as pythons go.
The largest carpet pythons will not exceed 33 pounds unless the snake is severely obese. Most will stick under 10 pounds, particularly the shorter animals.
Females frequently weigh more than males. This is common in snakes since females put so many resources into making eggs. Female carpet pythons also care for their eggs.
They do not eat while they are incubating eggs, so a female carpet python needs to pack on pounds before they breed.
One interesting fact to note is that many of the subspecies of the carpet python have sexual dimorphism, but not all. In those with a dramatic difference, females are typically heavier.
In some, including the Southwest carpet python, females can weigh up to 4 times what a male does. This is common in snakes, and pythons normally have much heavier females.
Since carpet pythons will shiver to raise the temperature of its body to incubate eggs, they use a large amount of calories to raise one clutch of eggs.
Carpet pythons are not very large for pythons, but they are much longer than the popular ball python on average. Make sure you have enough space for the subspecies you want, and also read my complete care guide for carpet pythons.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.