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Reticulated Python

16 Apr

Python reticulatus

juvenile Reticulated Python Python reticulatus in Bangkok

Juvenile Reticulated Python found in tree in Phra Khanong

juvenile Reticulated Python Python reticulatus in tree

Reticulated Python as found in tree. Though a young juvenile, it was over a meter long and strained the small branches.

Subadult Reticulated Python Python reticulatus in tree

Subadult Reticulated Python in Khao Phra Thaew (photo courtesy of http://khaophrathaew.org/)

Reticulated Python Python Reticulatus

Three-meter long Reticulated Python found in Singapore (photo courtesy of David Greonewoud)

reticulated python dusit district michael LaPalma

Reticulated Python found in garage in Dusit District (photo courtesy of Michael LaPalma)

Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus) in bangkok eating chicken

Reticulated Python that had consumed a chicken in Min Buri (photo courtesy Peter via Andre)

Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus) in bangkok eating chicken

Same python regurgitating a chicken when captured (photo courtesy Peter via Andre)

juvenile Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus) khao yai

Juvenile Reticulated Python crossing road in Khao Yai (photo courtesy of Bernard Dupont)

Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus) Khao Yai Randy Ciuros

Another Reticulated Python crossing road in Khao Yai (photo courtesy of Randy Ciuros)

Juvenile Reticulated Python Python reticulatus

Juvenile Reticulated Pythons for sale on Bangkok street

English name: Reticulated Python
Scientific name: Python reticulatus
Thai name: Ngu Leuam

Description: To 1000cm long. The largest snake in Asia, and the longest snake in the entire world. Head is large with large labial scales lining the mouth. Eyes are large and bright yellow-to-orange. The body is brown with a beautiful black, yellow, and white “reticulated” pattern that gives the snake its name. The head is mostly unmarked other than a black line that extends behind the eye.

Similar Species: The Burmese Python has an arrow-like dark brown marking on the top of its head, and its body has rows of black-bordered dark brown blotches rather than a reticulated black, brown, and yellow pattern.

Habitat: Found in a variety of habitats, including forest, scrubland, grassland, mangrove swamps, and agriculture. Often spends time near the edge of water bodies. Has adapted surprisingly well to urban areas and can even be found in the middle of Bangkok, where it appears to travel via the canal systems. The Reticulated Python is comfortable in trees and is a strong swimmer.

Contribution to the ecosystem: Despite its enormous size, the Reticulated Python actually feeds mainly on rats in urban areas, helping to control Bangkok’s rodent population. It is also known to eat larger mammals (such as pigs, deer, cats, and dogs), birds, and lizards. Adult pythons have no predators in the Bangkok area, but the hatchlings can be eaten by monitors and large birds of prey.

Danger to humans: Though it does not have venom, the Reticulated Python can be a threat to humans on size alone. Even the juveniles are big enough to inflict a nasty bite with their large mouths and long teeth. Larger pythons could potentially constrict and suffocate a human. Care should be taken when going near a large python, and pythons over two meters long should not be handled except by those experienced with large snakes (preferably a team of at least two for any snake over three to four meters long). This being said, pythons rarely attack humans and very few fatalities have been credibly reported.

Conservation status and threats: The Reticulated Python is killed for its meat and skins and captured for the wildlife trade. It is listed in Cites Appendix II.

Interesting facts: The large scales lining the lips of the Reticulated Python contain heat-sensitive pits that allow the python to sense its warm-blooded prey in the dark.

A Reticulated Python found in 1912 on the island of Celebus in Indonesia measured 33 feet, 9 inches long and is the longest snake ever reported.

References:
Siam-Info: Boidae
Reptile Discovery: The Reticulated Python
Wikipedia: Python reticulatus
Nam Kading Research
Ecology Asia: Reticulated Python
Thailand Office of Environmental Planning and Policy: A Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles in Thailand
A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand
Snakes of Thailand and their Husbandry

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2 responses to “Reticulated Python

  1. Anton

    August 19, 2017 at 7:40 am

    OMG I wish someone would release a few in Chatuchak market. The warrens of thousands of stalls are sort of raised off the ground and there is a plague of very large rats under there. They aren’t shy either.
    I have seen some lovely morphs of these at Chatuchak for sale as pets but I find reticulated pythons a bit on the strike happy side for my liking so always give them a wide birth.

     
    • Asian Herp Blogs

      August 21, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      I’m sure they visit there from time to time. The limiting factor probably isn’t the amount of food, but the lack of hiding places. Just not enough options for them to stay undetected in a busy place without someone finding them and getting rid of them.

       

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