Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Python breitensteini is a lowland species that has not yet been recorded from altitudes higher than 1,000 m asl. Based on both historical and relatively recent records the species is likely to be present throughout the entire island of Borneo in both the Malaysian and Indonesia territories, as well as Brunei (one record from Brunei; specimen number from Museum of Brunei BM 142.1974), with the exception of the central highlands above its maximum upper altitude. Records are known from scattered sites across the entire island.
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Continent: Asia
Distribution: Indonesia (Borneo: Kalimantan), Malaysia (East Malaysia: Sabah, Sarawak); Singapore  
Type locality: Teweh, Borneo.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in moist areas with soft soils, where this nocturnal snake hides in rodent burrows during the day. In wetter habitats, the python prefers to use slightly elevated burrows (M. Auliya pers. comm. March 2012). It is found in lowland forest, but due to its nocturnal habits and choice of shelter sites is uncommonly encountered in these habitats. The snake is most frequently encountered in agricultural lands, both croplands and plantations (including oil palm, coconut and cocoa), adjacent to forested areas (M. Auliya pers. comm. September 2011). A strong swimmer, the snake may use irrigation canals and other water-bodies to move, and there are historical reports of this python from wetlands (M. Auliya pers. comm. March 2012). The Bornean short-tailed Python is, however, a fully terrestrial snake and so requires areas with some land to persist as a viable population (M. Auliya pers. comm. March 2012).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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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
2012

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

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

Contributor/s
De Silva, R., Milligan, HT, Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.

Justification
The species is listed as Least Concern because it has adapted to man-made habitats and is widely distributed in Borneo. If there is a change in the current management of agricultural lands towards more effective pest control methods and if present harvest levels of this species are maintained, this may impact this species detrimentally and its conservation status would need to be reviewed. Similarly, further loss of natural habitat may also impact on the status of this species, hence ongoing monitoring is required.
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Population

Population
The species is often considered as rare or uncommon throughout its pristine habitat, and it is always associated to various degrees with extensive agricultural lands.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
The main threat to this species is the hunting pressure for skins and the pet trade. Meat is also a by-product that is sold on the local market. Although trade is extensive, nearly all recently-collected specimens have been taken from anthropogenic habitats, and so there is currently little pressure on this species in the natural forested areas. As deforestation is extensive throughout Borneo, however, the replacement of natural habitats with plantations and farmland may increase the pressures on this snake, which adapts well to habitat conversion.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species in known from protected areas and is listed on Appendix II of CITES. No trade of wild harvested snakes is allowed from Sarawak. Annual harvests of this species in Indonesia are limited by capture and export quotas. The current conservation measures in place do not correspond with the necessary enforcement, which needs to be more effective.
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Wikipedia

Python curtus breitensteini

Common names: Bornean short python,[2] Borneo short-tailed python, Borneo python.

Python breitensteini is a species of nonvenomous python found mostly on the island of Borneo

Etymology[edit]

The specific name, breitensteini, is in honor of Heinrich Breitenstein, a German physician and naturalist who collected amphibians and reptiles in Borneo.[3]

Description[edit]

Juvenile.

Adults have been reported to attain a total length (including tail) of 2.1 m (7 feet), although they are usually no more than 1.2 m (4 feet). Heavy-bodied, they can weigh as much as 13.6 kg (30 lb). Females are generally larger than males. The head is broad with several thermoreceptive pits along the nose. The tail is short and tapering.

The color pattern is usually tan with brown blotching, which varies greatly. Though there have been no reported instances of albinism, a few individuals display a significantly lighter color, appearing more yellow than brown. Juveniles have a more contrasting pattern than adults. The head is usually yellow.

Geographic range[edit]

P. breitensteini is found mostly in Indonesia and Malaysia, on the island of Borneo.[1]

Habitat[edit]

Typically found at lower elevations, on poorly drained flood plains, or on the edges of swampy areas, man-made irrigation of farmland has also provided appropriate habitat.

Captivity[edit]

Hatchling egg tooth visible.

While the species as a whole generally has a reputation for being mean-tempered, this species is increasing in popularity among reptile enthusiasts. This is due to captive bred specimens being recognized as easier to handle than wild-caught snakes. Almost all of the early imported animals were animals that were originally caught for the skin trade.

Taxonomy[edit]

Elevated to a full species by Keogh, Barker and Shine (2001).[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ Das 2006.
  3. ^ Beolens B, Watson M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Python breitensteini, p. 38).
  4. ^ Python breitensteini at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 15 September 2007.

Further reading[edit]

  • Das I. 2006. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Borneo. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Books. 144 pp. ISBN 0-88359-061-1. (Python breitensteini, p. 16).
  • Keogh JS, Barker DG, Shine R. 2001. Heavily Exploited but Poorly Known: Systematics and Biogeography of Commercially Harvested Pythons (Python curtus group) in Southeast Asian. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 73: 113-129.
  • Steindachner F. 1880 "1881". "Über eine neue Pythonart (Python Breitensteini) aus Borneo". Sitzungberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe. Abtheilung I. (Vienna) 82: 267-268. (Python breitensteini, new species).
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