Tag Archive: Pythons


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata (chordates with backbones)
Class: Reptilia (turtles, crocodilians, snakes, lizards and tuatara
Order: Squamata (scaled reptiles)
Suborder: Serpentes (snakes)
Family: Pythonidae (pythons)

Genus/species: Morelia viridis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Adults are green with a distinct ridge of scales that is usually white to yellow in coloration and forms a broken or continuous line down the length of the body.
Ventrally, the scales are generally yellow. Juveniles may be either bright yellow or brick-red. They have series of white blotches edged in black or brown. A white streak edged in black runs from the nostril through the eye and to the back of the head.
Average length of 1.5 m (5 ft); with the largest up to 2.2 m (7.2 ft).

 

Morelia viridis18399138824_510cf00ea1_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Mainland New Guinea, its offshore islands, and in eastern Indonesia and in the northeast Cape York Peninsula of Australia. Found mainly in moist forests from lowland to mid-montane altitudes.

DIET IN THE WILD: They are nocturnal hunter when larger nocturnal prey are active as well. M. viridis changes color when it changes its diet from small reptiles and invertebrates to rodents and birds in the rainforest canopy.

Morelia viridis19021843505_b2a60523a7_o

REPRODUCTION: M. viridis exhibit some maternal care by brooding their eggs before they hatch. Females have been observed coiling around their clutches. They will often shiver and contract their coils, apparently to produce metabolic heat and thus maintaining a temperature, which ranges from 84 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yellow and red individuals averaging 30.5 cm (12.8 inches) in length hatch out of 6 to 32 eggs in captivity but colors are separate on different islands.

PREDATORS: Main predators of green tree pythons are rufous owls, black butcherbirds, and an assortment of diurnal raptors.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Least Concern (LC)
Threats: It is becoming increasingly popular in the pet trade.

REMARKS: Each color stage appears to provide camouflage suitable to its immediate habitat. As a young snake, the red or yellow color blends in better in forest gaps or edges, where smaller animals reside. Adult green coloration blends in best in the closed canopy of the rainforest, where larger prey live.

References

California Academy of Sciences, Color of Life exhibit June 2015

IUCN Red List www.iucnredlist.org/details/177524/0

Animal Diversity Web  animaldiversity.org/accounts/Morelia_viridis/

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/18399138824/in/album-72157652559028013/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1xT

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Boidae

Genus/species: Python reticulatus


Albino Reticulated Python  6196134316_755d730e34_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Largest species of python.  The giant South American Anaconda may grow  heavier ( 29 feet long & 550 pounds), but the longest snake in the world is the reticulated pythons (33 feet). Normally colored reticulated pythons have several pigments: melanin (blacks), and xanthins (yellows) amongst other more subtle colors. Lemondrop is a “lavender albino” which is the same thing as a “tyrosinase positive albino” (t-positive) which have the inability to complete the synthesis of melanin but can produce other melanin related pigments such as various shades of brown grey and red resulting the “lavender” color. A “normal albino” (t-negative) reticulated python is yellow and white with pink/red eyes. Melanin and other melanin pigments areas are pure white but non-melanin pigments are present giving alternate colors (xanthines produce yellows). To make matters more complicated different albino snakes may have mutations giving them additional color morphs.
Our albino American Alligator, (Claude) Alligator mississippiensis is a “normal albino” (t-negative) with no melanin or non-melanin pigments making him pure white. If you google “t-positive albino” or “tyrosinase positive albino” you can find more information on this condition. (Albino Appearance Ref. Nicole Chaney Biologist II, California Academy of Sciences for basic albino information).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Reticulated pythons can be found throughout Southeast Asia. Their range includes the Nicobar Islands, Burma through Indochina, and Borneo, Sulawesi, Ceram and Timor in the Malay archipelago. Found in steamy tropical rainforests near small rivers or ponds in tropical environments.

Albino Reticulated Python,  Python reticulatus  IMG_0184

DIET IN THE WILD   P. reticulatus is strictly carnivorous typically feeding on birds and mammals. This diet extends however to dogs, large deer, pigs and very rarely humans. Usually ambush predators, waiting in trees for unsuspecting prey.  They use their 100 curved teeth to capture their prey by biting then holding prey and they kill  by wrapping around them and squeezing them until the prey is unable to breath and its heart is unable to pump blood swallowing them whole.  The entire animal is digested in the snake’s stomach except for fur or feathers, which are passed with the snakes waste.

REPRODUCTION   Lays 25-80 eggs and guards nest but not hatched young.

REMARKS  Reticulated Pythons are heavily sold for their skin and meat. Also tourists visiting these areas often buy materials made from these snakes.
The largest P. reticulatus ever caught was 33 feet long in 1912 in Indonesia. The largest in captivity was from Thailand reaching a length of 28½ feet long with a girth of 37.5 inches and  weighed apron. 320 pounds.

This specimen below is a male, 14.5 ft long 60 lbs, 6 yrs old (6-22-12).

Albino Reticulated Python IMG_0182

WordPress Shortlink   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-Vi

flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449603666/

%d bloggers like this: