Indian pythons are divided into two recognized subspecies, which can be distinguished by physical characteristics. Burmese pythons, P. molurus bivitatus, can grow to lengths of about 7.6 m (25 ft), and can weigh as much as 137 kg (300 lbs.). Indian pythons, P. molurus molurus, stays smaller, reaching a maximum of about 6.4 m (21 ft) in length, and weighing as much as 91 kg (200 lbs.). The hides of both subspecies are marked with a rectangular mosaic type pattern that runs the full length of the animal. P. molurus bivitatus is more darkly colored, with shades of brown and dark cream rectangles that lay over a black background. This subspecies is also characterized by an arrow-shaped marking present on the top of the head, which begins the pattern. P. molurus molurus has similar markings with light brown and tan rectangles placed over a typically cream background. P. molurus molurus only has a partial arrow-shaped marking on the top of the head. Each scale of P. molurus molurus is a single color.
Indian pythons are dimorphic with females of both subspecies being longer and heavier than males. Males have larger cloacal spurs, or vestigial limbs, than do females. The cloacal spurs are two projections, one on either side of the anal vent, that are thought to be extensions of posterior limbs.
Range mass: 137 (high) kg.
Range length: 7.6 (high) m.
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: female larger
Average basal metabolic rate: 1.2661 W.
- Coborn, J. 1991. The Atlas of Snakes of the World. NJ: T.F.H. Publications.
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