Python, Reticulated

Mainland Southeast Asia and nearby Pacific Islands, including the Philippines, Timor and Sumatra, Borneo and Java.

Rain forest, woodland and adjacent fringes of grasslands. They frequent rivers and areas with nearby streams and lakes.

The reticulate python holds the distinction of being the world’s longest snake. A specimen measuring 32 feet, 9 ½ inches, which was shot in Indonesia in 1912, is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest snake. It’s contender for the title, the Anaconda, is likely the world’s heaviest snake. Record size giant snakes represent only a tiny fraction of their total populations. Large adult females would usually run about 22 feet for the reticulate python and about 17 feet for the anaconda. However, even snakes as large as this are unusual now, because of snakeskin collectors. Incidentally, snakeskin is a very poor quality substitute for leather.

About 30 years.

Oviparous. Like most pythons, the female coils herself around her eggs, which may number up to 100, to protect them and to aid in incubation. The eggs hatch in about 100 days. The hatchlings leave the nest area soon after and grow quickly.

They feed on a variety of mammals, birds, lizards, and snakes. After eating, the python lies motionless for several days.

The reticulate python is a good colonizer. Excellent swimmers, they have been reported in open ocean and can be found on many small islands within their range. They are well camouflaged to survive among the fallen leaves and the light and shadows of their environment.
The reticulate python also is reasonably adapted to man’s presence and can even survive in populated areas, coming out at night to feed on rats, pigeons, chickens, ducks, etc. If the snake is large enough, it can feed on dogs, goats and pigs. There are rare occurrences of predation on humans.
The large size and uncertain disposition of these snakes make them a poor choice as pets. They are best maintained by zoological parks or by specialized collectors.

Common, however wild populations are facing trouble with poaching, habitat destruction and pet trade.

Snakes of the World
The Encyclopedia of Snakes, Mattison, Chris, Copyright 1995