Overview

Distribution

Range Description

The species occurs from southern Thailand north to Kanchanaburi Province in Central Thailand (M. Cota in litt. to M. Auliya), Peninsular (West) Malaysia and eastern Sumatra (Indonesia) (Taylor 1965, Keogh et al. 2001). The snake's range throughout this area is disjunct; however, due to extensive national and international transport of these animals within the region, and a policy in Thailand of releasing animals confiscated from wildlife traders in the closest national park, the exact native range of this species within these countries cannot be established with certainty (Zug et al. 2011). Records from elsewhere, including Viet Nam, may represent introductions or a false report of the origin of imported specimens (Zug et al. 2011). Photographs of a juvenile or subadult specimen taken in October 2011 confirm the presence of this snake in Lo Go Xa Mat National Park in southern Viet Nam, close to the Cambodian border (T.M. Phung unpubl. data), and indicate that a breeding population is likely to occur here (M. Auliya pers. comm. October 2011). If this record reflects an extension to the python's known native range, it must be hypothesized that the snake also occurs in intervening areas of southern Myanmar (M. Auliya pers. comm. October 2011). There is a record of this species from Singapore based on a single specimen recorded in 1881, leading subsequent authors to assume the species was historically native to the island (Groombridge and Luxmore 1991). This is, however, unclear, and the species is no longer found in Singapore (M. Auliya pers. comm. March 2012). This species occurs at elevations between sea level and 650 m.
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Continent: Asia
Distribution: Sumatra, Thailand (Grossmann & Tillack 2001), W Malaysia
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Physical Description

Type Information

Paratype for Python brongersmai
Catalog Number: USNM 53427
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Paratype: Stull, O. G. 1938. Occ. Paps. Mus. Zool. Univ. Mich. 8: 297.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The natural habitat of this species in Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand is lowland swampy habitats. In northern Sumatra, the species thrives in human-modified areas, particularly oil palm plantations where it may be more abundant than in natural habitat (Shine et al. 1999, Keogh et al. 2001, Auliya 2006). Diet, growth, and reproductive biology of the species was studied by Shine et al. (1999) based on examination of commercially harvested specimens in Sumatra, Indonesia. Females grow larger than males, mature at larger sizes, and reproduce biennially, producing 12 to 16 eggs (Shine et al. 1999). The species feeds on human commensal rodents in oil palm plantations (Shine et al. 1999).

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
Grismer, L. & Chan-Ard, T.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Least Concern as it is widely distributed, its population is increasing and thriving in modified habitats and it occurs in protected areas. However, the species is heavily harvested in portions of its range and its population should be monitored to ensure sustainable levels of harvest.
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Population

Population
This snake is generally uncommon throughout its range, though it is more abundant in Peninsular Malaysia than in Thailand (Zug et al. 2011). The species is thought to be increasing in population size due to it benefiting from the establishment of oil-palm plantations, where it is more abundant than in natural forests and where it thrives on human commensal rodents (Shine et al. 1999, Keogh et al. 2001, Auliya 2006). The species is able to tolerate high levels of harvest for the leather trade, but it is uncertain if current levels of exploitation are sustainable in the long-term (Shine et al. 1999).

Population Trend
Increasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The species is threatened from possible overexploitation for the leather and international pet trades. Its range and that of P. curtus may be modified due to escapes, as snakes of both species collected for commercial trade are moved long distances in Sumatra to slaughterhouses (Shine et al. 1999, Keogh et al. 2001). In Sumatra, if the legal harvest quota is reached before the end of the year, harvesting continues and skins are stockpiled and smuggled out of the country (M. Auliya pers. comm. September 2011). It remains uncertain whether this additional off-take contributes to a severe decline of local populations.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The species is listed on CITES Appendix II. More studies on harvest levels and biological attributes of this species are needed to determine if harvest levels are sustainable in the long-term (Shine et al. 1999, Keogh et al. 2001). This species occurs in several protected areas in Thailand and Malaysia.
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Wikipedia

Python curtus brongersmai

Python brongersmai, a subspecies python, is a non-venomous snake found on the Malay Peninsula.[2]

Geographic range[edit]

Peninsular (Western) Malaysia, Sumatra east of the central dividing range of mountains, Bangka Island and other islands in the Strait of Malacca, including the Lingga islands, Riau islands, and Pinang.

Their natural habitat is often marsh and tropical swamps. They are a primarily nocturnal species that is usually active around dawn and dusk.

Size[edit]

Hatchlings range from 10” – 17”, Adult males typically range from 36” (3’) – 60” (5’) in length, and females between 48” (4’) – 72” (6’) although a few 96” (8’) have been recorded. These snakes generally look overweight due to their robust structure.

Life Span[edit]

Most experts agree that they will live 20+ years in captivity if proper care is given.

Coloration[edit]

The color pattern consists of rich, bright red to orange to a duller rusty red ground color, although populations with yellow and brown are known. This is overlaid with yellow and tan blotches and stripes that run the length of the body, as well as tan and black spots that extend up the flanks. The belly is white, often with small black markings. The head is usually a shade of grey; individual snakes can change how light and dark the head is. A white postocular stripe runs down and back from the posterior edge of the eye.

Reproduction[edit]

Oviparous, with up to 30 eggs being laid at a time. The female coil around her eggs and shivers her body, producing heat to incubate the eggs properly.

Uses[edit]

Once widely considered to be generally unpredictable and aggressive, these snakes are gradually becoming more common among herpetoculturists. Formerly, many of the specimens in captivity were wild-caught adults from Malaysia. These are known to be more aggressive than those from Indonesia (Sumatra), from which most of the wild-caught, wild-bred, and captive-bred stock are now descended. Captive-raised juveniles generally become mild-tempered, somewhat-predictable adults. This, combined with several new brightly colored captive bloodlines, is helping to boost the popularity of these much-maligned snakes among reptile hobbyists.[citation needed]

The snake is part of a commercial harvest for leather.[3]

Taxonomy[edit]

The subspecies was first described by Olive Griffith Stull in 1938.[4] The group has since been elevated and recognised as a full species by Pauwels et al. (2000).[3][5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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).
  2. ^ "Python curtus brongersmai". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 12 September 2007. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ Stull, O.G. 1938. Three New Subspecies of the Family Boidae. Occ. Pap. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., 8: 297-300.
  5. ^ Python brongersmai at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 15 September 2007.

Further reading[edit]

  • Barker, Dave and Tracy (November 2007). "Blood Pythons," Reptiles Magazine. Bowtie Publishing.
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