Distribution: Sumatra, Thailand (Grossmann & Tillack 2001), W Malaysia
Catalog Number: USNM 53427
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Locality: Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Malaysia
Habitat and Ecology
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Python brongersmai, commonly known as Brongersma's short-tailed python, the blood python, or the red short-tailed python, is a species of python, a nonvenomous snake endemic to the Malay Peninsula.
P. brongersmai is found in 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.
Hatchlings range from 25–43 cm (10–17 in) in total length (including tail). Adult males typically range from 91–152 cm (36–60 in) in total length, and females between 120–180 cm (48–72 in) although a few have been recorded at 240 cm (96 in). These snakes generally look overweight due to their robust structure.
Most experts agree that they will live 20+ years in captivity if proper care is given.
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.
This species is oviparous, with up to 30 eggs being laid at a time. The female coils around her eggs and shivers her body, producing heat to incubate the eggs properly.
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.
The snake is part of a commercial harvest for leather.
This species was first described by Olive Griffith Stull in 1938 as a subspecies of Python curtus. This taxon has since been elevated and recognised as a full species by Pauwels et al. (2000).
- Python brongersmai at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 15 September 2007.
- "Python curtus brongersmai ". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 12 September 2007.
- Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Python brongersmai, p. 39).
- 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.
- Stull OG. 1938. Three New Subspecies of the Family Boidae. Occ. Pap. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 8: 297-300.
- Barker, Dave; Barker, Tracy. (November 2007). "Blood Pythons". Reptiles Magazine. Bowtie Publishing.
- 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).
- Pauwels OSG, Laohawat O-A, David P, Bour R, Dangsee P, Puangjit C, Chimsunchart C. 2000. Herpetological investigations in Phang-Nga Province, southern Peninsular Thailand, with a list of reptile species and notes on their biology. Dumerilia 4 (2): 123-154. (Python brongersmai, p. 138).
- Shine R, Ambariyanto, Harlow PS, Mumpuni. 1999. Ecological attributes of two commercially-harvested Python species in Northern Sumatra. J. Herpetol. 33 (2): 249-257. (Python brongersmai, new combination).