Morelia amethistina 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Pythonidae

Scientific Name: Morelia amethistina
Species Authority: (Schneider, 1801)
Common Name(s):
English Amethystine Python, Amethyst Python, Scrub Python
Boa amethistina Schneider, 1801
Hypaspistes dipsadides Ogilby, 1891
Liasis amethystinus (Schneider, 1801)
Liasis clarki Barbour, 1914
Liasis duceboracensis Günther, 1879
Python amethystinus (Schneider, 1801)
Taxonomic Notes: Harvey et al. (2000) notes that this species is part of a complex. Therefore there is a degree of taxonomic uncertainty regarding this species. The three species identified by Harvey et al. (2000) are widely accepted, and the species and their distributions are, Morelia tracyae (northwestern Halmahera), Morelia nauta (Tanimbar Islands) and Morelia clastolepis (Ambon, Seram and most likely from the islands Haruku and Saparua). Taxonomic uncertainty in Morelia amethistina remains with regard to, for example, northern and southern populations of New Guinea and those from the Aru Islands (M. Auliya, pers. comm. 2010). 

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor(s): Auliya, M.
Reviewer(s): Böhm, M., Collen, B. & Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.
A large distribution and apparent lack of threats have led to an assessment of Least Concern for Morelia amethistina. All populations are involved in the commercial live reptile trade, and at this stage it remains unknown whether this impact has caused a decline in the geographical restricted populations.  Further research and monitoring is suggested to ensure that a higher threat category is not triggered if threats increase in the future, causing significant population declines.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species has a large distribution from northeastern Queensland, through the Torres Strait Islands, into Papua New Guinea and its surrounding islands, and to the eastern parts of the Indonesian archipelago. It may even be found in southern Philippine islands. This species has been collected up to an elevation of 1,600 m above sea level.
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Queensland); Indonesia (Maluku, Papua); Papua New Guinea (Bismarck Archipelago)
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1600
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no population information available for this species.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species can be found in a variety of habitats both wet and dry, from scrub to closed forest. It also inhabits disturbed environments.
Systems: Terrestrial
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is utilized in the pet trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is utilized in the pet trade, but this is not considered as a major threat at this time (M. Auyila pers. comm. 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species has legislative protection for which additional protective measures have been imposed in Australian Capital Territory (Grigg et al. 1985). Research into the threats and habitat status of this species and population monitoring are recommended.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: No decline ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Fearn, S. 1998. A Range Extension for the Scrub Python Morelia amethistina (Serpentes: Boidae): A record from Magnetic Island, North Queensland. Herpetofauna 28(2): 39-40.

Grigg, G., Shine, R. and Ehmann, H. 1985. Biology of Australian Frogs and Reptiles. Surrey Beatty & Sons, New South Wales.

Harvey, M.B., Barker, D.G., Ammerman, L.K. and Chippindale, P.T. 2000. Systematics of Pythons of the Morelia amethistina Complex (Serpentes: Boidae) with the Description of Three New Species. Herpetological Monographs 14: 139-185.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Torr, G. 2000. Pythons of Australia: A Natural History. Krieger Publishing Class, Florida.

Wilson, S. and Swan, G. 2003. A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia. New Holland, Sydney.

Citation: Auliya, M. 2010. Morelia amethistina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T177501A7444414. . Downloaded on 28 November 2015.
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