(Lialis olivaceus olivaceus)
The olive python is one of Australia's largest snakes. It is divided into two subspecies. L. olivaceus olivaceus is the most common in captivity and the taxon we keep. They are found from the Kimberley district across tropical northern Australia to the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range in Queensland.
The other subspecies, the western or Pilbara olive, is restricted to the Pilbara region of Western Australia. They can grow to an enormous size with Dr Rick Shine reporting specimens up to 6.5 metres! I have been lucky enough to hunt and capture this subspecies in the wild .... but that's another story.
Even the northern subspecies of olive can grow to a significant size in captivity with specimens reaching over 3.5 metres and weighing in excess of 20 kilograms. With approximately 120 teeth, they can give their keeper quite a nip too.
Olives can vary greatly in temperament, so it is important to purchase an animal that settles into captivity well. Some olives develop into gentle giants and a placid three metre olive can be an absolute joy to own. We only keep the one pair and the large male, Brutus, would be close to our favourite snake for personality and presence.
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