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Retic Python (Python reticulatus)



Retic Python (Python reticulatus)
Extremely large: typically grows to between 15-20 feet in length and weights 70-100 pounds though can grow to over 30 feet in length and weigh between 200-250 pounds. Tan to purplish-brown; yellow or white belly; orange eyes; highly iridescent. Geometric pattern incorporating many different colors; series of irregular diamond shapes positioned along back flanked with smaller markings and light center creating netlike pattern. Unmarked yellowish head with dark, thin line running from each eye to jaws. Big head distinctly wider than neck.



I. DESCRIPTION:

  • Extremely large: typically grows to between 15-20 feet in length and weights 70-100 pounds though can grow to over 30 feet in length and weigh between 200-250 pounds.
  • Tan to purplish-brown; yellow or white belly; orange eyes; highly iridescent.
  • Geometric pattern incorporating many different colors; series of irregular diamond shapes positioned along back flanked with smaller markings and light center creating netlike pattern.
  • Unmarked yellowish head with dark, thin line running from each eye to jaws.
  • Big head distinctly wider than neck.
II. GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
  • Throughout Indonesia, southeast Asia, Malaysia, Burma and Indochina.
  • Tropical rainforests; requires tropical environment with temperatures ranging between 80-92 F.
  • Heavily dependent on water; found near small rivers and ponds.
III. DIET:
  • Warm blooded prey, such as nesting birds, water fowl and small to medium mammals; also dogs, large deer, pigs and occasionally humans.
IV. LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
  • Nonvenomous.
  • Largely arboreal but good swimmer.
  • Relatively nonsocial; prefers solitary lifestyle.
  • Strictly carnivorous; kills prey by constriction; ambushes predators by waiting in tree; seldom forages actively.
  • Low metabolic rate and can go without food for long periods of time.
  • Sexually dimorphic.
  • Reaches sexual maturity between 2-4 years; male breeds at 7-9 feet and female breeds at around 11 feet; primary factor for mating season is temperature decline; male and female fast during breeding season; and female may continue to fast until eggs are hatched.
  • Female lays approximately 25-100 large eggs; maternally incubated for 80-90 days (10-12 F above surrounding temperature); defends eggs against predators; abandons young once hatched.
  • Hatchlings over 2 feet long and may grow up to 2 or more feet a year.
  • Life span up to 25 years.
V. SPECIAL NOTES/ADAPTATIONS:
  • Fastest growing of the large constrictors.
  • Extremely aggressive feeding response but not confrontational ; however, bites when threatened.
VI. POPULATION STATUS:
  • Vulnerable.
  • Widespread but diminishing in its range; taken from wild to be killed for skins and Asian ritual of blood drinking and gall bl er removal; usually killed when encountered by humans in natural habitat.
  • Rapid growth rate, early maturation and high fecundity only factors aiding in sustained population.
VII. MORE RETICULATED PYTHON FACTS:
  • The reticulated python is the largest of the true pythons and considered the world's longest snake.
  • Most widespread python in the world.
  • While eggs develop, female coils around them and "shivers" creating muscle contractions, which increase overall temperature.



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