Reptiles and Amphibians of Thailand

Thailand's Snakes, Lizards, Turtles, and Frogs

Red Blood Python

Python brongersmai

This species is found in Thailand, but not within Bangkok itself
red blood python Python brongersmai curtus malaysia งูหลามปากเปด Ngu Leuam Pakped
Red Blood Python in Malaysia (© OrionHerpAdventure)

English name: Red Blood Python (aka “Malaysian Blood Python”, “Brongersma’s Short-tailed Python”)
Scientific name: Python brongersmai (formerly Python curtus)
Thai name: งูหลามปากเปด (Ngu Leuam Pakped)

Description: To 96 cm. An extremely heavy-bodied snake with a short thick tail. Basic color is deep red to reddish-brown interspersed with blotches of tan to grayish-brown or yellow (to the point where it is difficult to distinguish which is the main color and which are the blotches) and some smaller black markings. Blotch and background colors are inversed in many specimens. Head is grey or tadarker on the sides with a white stripe coming back from the eye. Belly is white with small black markings.

Similar Species: Burmese Python is somewhat more slender, far longer, and has more distinct blotches without the reddish tint
Reticulated Python is much more slender, much longer, and has an intricate and uniform black/brown/yellow reticulated pattern without the reddish tint

Range: Found in western Indonesia, Malaysia, and southern Thailand up through Kanchanaburi Province. Questionable reports have come from other areas in Thailand as well as Vietnam.

Habitat: Lives in lowland swamps and marshes.

Place in the ecosystem: Eats rats and mice.

Danger to humans: Not dangerous at all but would hurt if it bit you.

Conservation status and threats: Large numbers of these pythons are taken from the wild for their skins as well as for the pet trade. It is unclear how much this has affected their wild populations. Generally, the species is rarely seen in Thailand, possibly due to its swampy habitat preference and secretive nature but also because those preferred swampy habitats continue to disappear due to agricultural development.

Interesting facts: The Red Blood Python tends to be found in swampy/marshy environments, which is likely a factor in its tremendously heavy body shape. Snakes in more aquatic environments, where their body weight is supported by the water, in many cases tend to be more heavy-bodied than snakes which remain on land most of the time.

References:
Thai National Parks: Brongersma’s Blood Python
Reptile Database: Python brongersmai
IUCN: Brongersma’s Short-tailed Python

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