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Python brongersmai STULL, 1938

IUCN Red List - Python brongersmai - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaPythonidae, Henophidia, Pythonoidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Blood Python, Red Blood Python, Malaysian Blood Python, Sumatran Blood Python
G: Blutpython 
SynonymPython curtus brongersmai STULL 1938
Python curtus brongersmai — COX et al. 1998: 15
Python curtus brongersmai — CHAN-ARD et al. 1999: 213
Python brongersmai — PAUWELS et al. 2000
Python brongersmai — KEOGH, BARKER & SHINE 2001
Aspidoboa brongersmai — HOSER 2004
Python brongersmai — SCHLEIP & O’SHEA 2010
Python brongersmai — WALLACH et al. 2014: 619 
DistributionSumatra, Thailand (Grossmann & Tillack 2001), Vietnam, W Malaysia

Type locality: Singapore, 1.3666667°, 103.8° (WGS84) , Error: 16.01 m.  
TypesHolotype: MCZ R-29779 
DiagnosisDescription: Top of body is red, reddish brown, charcoal-grey, pale grey or brown; an indistinct narrow, dark stripe is present along middle of forehead; supralabials are dark; a pale, narrow post-ocular stripe extends to angle of jaws; dorsal pattern comprises vertebral spots; dark blotches on flanks are rounded and set within paler areas; belly is anteriorly cream and posteriorly dark, with grey smudges and blotches. Body is short and robust; head is elongate, flat and distinct from neck; vertebral region is ridged; tail is short; cloacal spurs are present (Das 2012: 16).

Coloration: Shine et al. (1998) classified this species into four types, based on their predominant dorsal colour: brown, orange, red or yellow. In the study area, all blood pythons are brown or orange-brown at hatching, and develop their adult colours gradually. The analyses of DNA sequence data by Shine et al. revealed no genetic differences between the colour morphs of P. brongersmai (S. Keogh et al., unpublished work; cited in Shine et al.). Studies of captive snakes indicate that all four colour morphs are interfertile and readily interbreed, with offspring
from a single litter often developing into adults of two or three colour morphs (Barker and Barker 1996; D. and T. Barker, personal communication, cited in Shine et al.). However, the four colour morphs of P. brongersmai differed significantly in most of the traits that Shine et al. measured. In both sexes, for example, red snakes were substantially larger and heavier than yellow snakes.

Scalation: The ventral scale count is >167 in brongersmai but <165 in the other forms (GH Rodda, pers. comm.). 
EtymologyNamed after Leo Daniel Brongersma (1907-1994) [obituary in Copeia 1995: 513  
  • Auliya, M. & F. Abel 1999. Neue Erkenntnisse zu Python curtus (Taxonomie, Autökologie, Biologie und Schutz). Herpetofauna 21 (120): 25-34 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Booth, Warren; Gordon W. Schuett 2015. The emerging phylogenetic pattern of parthenogenesis in snakes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 118 (2): 172–186, DOI: 10.1111/bij.12744
  • Brongersma, L.D. 1947. Zoological Notes from Port Dickson, 1. Amphibians and Reptiles. Zoologische Mededelingen 27: 300-308 - get paper here
  • Chan-ard, T., Parr, J.W.K. & Nabhitabhata, J. 2015. A field guide to the reptiles of Thailand. Oxford University Press, NY, 352 pp. [see book reviews by Pauwels & Grismer 2015 and Hikida 2015 for corrections] - get paper here
  • Chan-ard,T.; Grossmann,W.; Gumprecht,A. & Schulz,K. D. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles of peninsular Malaysia and Thailand - an illustrated checklist [bilingual English and German]. Bushmaster Publications, Würselen, Gemany, 240 pp. [book review in Russ. J Herp. 7: 87] - get paper here
  • Cox, Merel J. 1991. The Snakes of Thailand and their Husbandry. Krieger, Malabar, FL, xxxviii + 526 pp.
  • Cox, Merel J.; Van Dijk, Peter Paul; Jarujin Nabhitabhata & Thirakhupt,Kumthorn 1998. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Ralph Curtis Publishing, 144 pp.
  • Das, I. 2012. A Naturalist's Guide to the Snakes of South-East Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford J, ohn Beaufoy Publishing - get paper here
  • Das, I. & Yaakob, N. 2007. Status of knowledge of the Malaysian herpetofauna. In Status of biological diversity in Malaysia & threat assessment of plant species in Malaysia. in: L. S. L. Chua, L. G. Kirton & L. G. Saw (eds.), Status of biological diversity in Malaysia & threat assessment of plant species in Malaysia. Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong, pp. 31-81
  • FIGUEROA, ALEX; MARTYN E.Y. LOW, KELVIN K.P. LIM 2023. Singapore’s herpetofauna: updated and annotated checklist, history, conservation, and distribution. Zootaxa 5287 (1): 001–378 - get paper here
  • Franz, V. 2003. Pythons of the World. Reptilia (GB) (27): 16-23 - get paper here
  • Herrmann, Jan-Matthias 1998. Haltung und Nachzucht der Buntpythonunterarten Python curtus curtus und Python curtus brongersmai. Elaphe 6 (4): 7-12
  • Keogh, J. Scott; Barker, David G.; Shine, Richard 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 - get paper here
  • Mattison, Chris 2007. The New Encyclopedia of Snakes. Princeton University Press
  • Natusch Daniel J. D., Lyons Jessica A., Riyanto Awal, Mumpuni, Shine Richard 2019. Interspecific divergence in biological attributes of short-tailed pythons (Python breitensteini and P. brongersmai) from Kalimantan and Sumatra. Australian Journal of Zoology 66 (4): 272-278 - get paper here
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • NIJMAN, VINCENT. 2022. Harvest quotas, free markets and the sustainable trade in pythons. Nature Conservation 48: 99–121. - get paper here
  • Schleip, Wulf D & O’Shea, M. 2010. Annotated checklist of the recent and extinct pythons (Serpentes, Pythonidae), with notes on nomenclature, taxonomy, and distribution. ZooKeys 66 (2010) : 29-79 - get paper here
  • Shine, Richard ; Ambariyanto; Peter S. Harlow; Mumpuni 1998. Ecological divergence among sympatric colour morphs in blood pythons, Python brongersmai. Oecologia 116:113-119 - get paper here
  • Stull, O.G. 1938. Three New Subspecies of the Family Boidae. Occ. Pap. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 8: 297-300.
  • Syafiq MF, Badli-Sham BH, Grismer LL, Ahmad AB 2023. Uneven species occurrence and richness of lowland snakes (Serpentes, Squamata) in Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia, with new locality records. ZooKeys 1168: 11–39
  • TEYNIÉ, ALEXANDRE; PATRICK DAVID, & ANNEMARIE OHLER 2010. Note on a collection of Amphibians and Reptiles from Western Sumatra (Indonesia), with the description of a new species of the genus Bufo. Zootaxa 2416: 1–43 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Wirth, Michael & Jochen Geiger 2012. Eine Terrarienanlage zur Haltung und Aufzucht von Riesenschlangen. Draco 12 (48): 52-60
  • Zug, G.R. & Mulcahy, D.G. 2019. Identification guide Amphibians and reptiles of South Tanintharyi. Fauna & Flora International, 101 pp.
  • Zug, George R.; Steve W. Gotte, and Jeremy F. Jacobs 2011. Pythons in Burma: Short-tailed python (Reptilia: Squamata). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 124 (2): 112-136 - get paper here
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