Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to the western part of the Barisan mountain range in Sumatra (Bengkulu, West Sumatra and North Sumatra Province) and Siberut in Mentawai Islands (Dring et al. 1990). A record from Palembang in Sumatra is regarded as questionable (Zug et al. 2011). Due to the complex trade dynamics in Sumatra the provenance of specimens east of the Barisan mountain range is in doubt.
In their analysis of the distribution of members of the P. curtus group, Zug et al. (2011) could only verify the presence of this species at Mt. Kabor and Kaba Wetan, although these authors also accept the validity of records from Sibolga (Shine et al. 1998), Padang, Bandar Lampung (Barker and Barker 1994) and Bengkulu (Keogh et al. 2001).

The species was previously thought to occur in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo, but is nowadays considered to be endemic to Sumatra, where it is restricted to the west side of the Barisan mountain range.
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Continent: Asia
Distribution: Indonesia (Sumatra, Bangka),  Thailand (incl. Phuket), W Malaysia, Singapore; Vietnam  
Type locality: Sumatra, Indonesia
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This forest species is frequently found in tree plantations and is known to inhabit a wide range of forested habitats from lowlands to montane habitat up to 1,000 metres above the sea level.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 27.8 years (captivity)
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2014

Assessor/s
Inger, R.F., Iskandar, D., Lilley, R., Jenkins, H. & Das, I.

Reviewer/s
Auliya, M. & Bowles, P.

Contributor/s

Justification
P. curtus is a relatively widely distributed species, although it has a more restricted geographic distribution than P. brongersmai and P. breitensteini. Its natural habitat is known to be declining due to the deforestation of the western part of Sumatra, where the remaining forest is increasingly fragmented. The species is known to be collected for the international pet trade but is often easily misidentified as P. brongersmai or P. breitensteini, what makes it difficult to estimate the severity of impact of this threat to this species. The area of occupancy and extent of occurrence are too large to qualify for any of the threatened categories under criterion B. Hence it is is listed as Least Concern at present, but the quality and extent of its habitat are known to be declining, and there is a potential threat of increasing collecting rates, therefore this species requires monitoring and regular reassessment as it could well warrant listing in a more threatened category in the near future.
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Population

Population
Compared to Python brongersmai, traders claimed that Python curtus are much more difficult to find, so that most specimens in trade are actually P. brongersmai. However, trade makes no distinction and collect both forms as same species indistinctly. According to Iskandar pers. comm. (2011), it was not possible to find any specimens of the species in the forested areas from where it is known to be native for the last 30 years, and most recent museum specimens come exclusively from traded individuals. As a consequence, it is believed that P. curtus is relatively uncommon.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Collection for trade is the main threat to this species, however, the species is also threatened by habitat loss due to agricultural development.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The species is protected in Indonesia, and it is listed on CITES Appendix II. Although the Indonesian authorities distinguish between the three species in establishing a quota for each of them, the extent to which these quotas are enforced in the field is unclear. The species is known to be present in Kerinci Seblat National Park, Rimbo Panti Nature Reserve, Batang Gadis National Park and Siberut, Mentawai Islands. Further field work in the area might show that the species also occurs in Leuser National Park. The sustainability of current capture quotas should be verified as it is likely that the species is exploited over the permitted numbers. As a result, enforcement of the current compliance of established quotas is needed.
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Wikipedia

Python curtus

Python curtus is a species of Pythonid, a non-venomous snake found in Southeast Asia. Three subspecies are recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here,[1] although some authors describe these as species.

Description[edit]

PythonCurtusRooij.jpg

Adults grow to 1.5-1.8 m (5–6 feet) in length and are heavily built. The tail is extremely short relative to the overall length. The color pattern consists of a beige, tan or grayish-brown ground color overlaid with blotches that are brick to blood-red in color.[2]

Diet[edit]

They feed on a variety of mammals and birds.[2]

Common names[edit]

Short python, Blood python,[2] Short-tailed python, Black blood python, Sumatran short-tailed python, Sumatran blood python.

Geographic range[edit]

Found in Southeast Asia in southern Thailand, Malaysia (Peninsular and Sarawak) (including Pinang) and Indonesia (Sumatra, Riau Archipelago, Lingga Islands, Bangka Islands, Mentawai Islands and Kalimantan). According to Stimson (1969), the type locality is Sumatra.[3]

Habitat[edit]

Occurs in rainforests where it is found in marshes, swamps and along river banks and streams.[2]

Reproduction[edit]

Oviparous, females seldom lay more than a dozen large eggs (however, much larger clutches have been reported). The female remains coiled around the eggs during the incubation period, and may shiver to produce heat. However, this action requires a lot of energy and the female will only do so if surrounding temperatures drop below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The hatchlings emerge after 2.5 to 3 months and are about 30 cm (12 inches) in length.[2]

Uses[edit]

The species is kept as an exotic pet. They are often regarded as unpredictable and aggressive, but captive bred individuals tend to be more docile than wild-caught specimens.

The blood python has been extensively harvested for leather, an estimated 100 000 individuals are taken for this purpose each year. The commercial trade regards this as a single species. Authors who elevate these island populations to species note that skins are readily distinguished.[4]

Taxonomy[edit]

Python curtus.jpg

The subspecies P. c. brongersmai was elevated to a full species by Pauwels et al. (2000).,[5] while P. c. breitensteini was given species status by Keogh, Barker and Shine (2001).[6] The divergence of this monophyletic group is presumed to be isolation of populations resulting from changes in sea levels. Phylogenetic analysis of the Malay population, P. curtus brongersmai, suggests a close affinity with the nominal subspecies, however, P. curtus breitensteini was determined to be as genetically distant from the original type as the species Python reticulatus.[4]

An arrangement as subspecies is summarised as:[1]

Python curtus Schlegel, 1872
Python curtus curtus, western and southern Sumatra. One of two taxa referred to as Short-tailed pythons.
Python curtus breitensteini, Schlegel, 1872/Steindachner, 1880 Borneo short-tailed python or Brown blood python, Type locality: Borneo/Kalimantan.
Python curtus brongersmai Stull, 1935. Referred to by the common name Red blood python, this taxon contains reddish colour morphs. The type locality was Singapore, Malay Peninsula.

The synonyms for this arrangement are:[3]

  • Python curtus - Schlegel, 1872
  • Aspidoboa curtus - Sauvage, 1884
  • Python curtus - Boulenger, 1890
  • Python curtus - Boulenger, 1893
  • Python curtus curtus - Stull, 1935
  • Python curtus curtus - Stimson, 1969
  • Python curtus - Stuebing, 1991

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Python curtus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 11 September 2007. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
  3. ^ a b McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  4. ^ a b Keogh, J. S.; Barker, D. Shine, R. (2001). "Heavily exploited but poorly known: systematics and biogeography of commercially harvested pythons (Python curtus group) in Southeast Asia (abstract)". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 73 (1): 113. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2001.tb01350.x. 
  5. ^ Python brongersmai at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 15 September 2007.
  6. ^ Python breitensteini at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 15 September 2007.
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