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Antaresia childreni (GRAY, 1842)

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Higher TaxaPythonidae, Henophidia, Pythonoidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Children's Python
G: Gefleckter Python
E: Large-blotched Python, Stimsons Python [stimsoni]
G: Stimsons Python [stimsoni] 
SynonymLiasis Childreni GRAY 1842: 44
Nardoa Gilbertii GRAY 1842: 45
Liasis Childreni — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1844: 438
Liasis maculosus PETERS 1873: 608 (fide STIMSON 1969)
Liasis childreni — BOULENGER 1893: 77
Liasis childreni — ROSS 1980
Liasis stimsoni SMITH 1985
Liasis stimsoni orientalis SMITH 1985: 270
Antaresia saxacola WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985 (nom. nud).
Antaresia childreni — KLUGE 1993
Liasis childreni — SHINE 1994
Antaresia childreni — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 162
Antaresia stimsoni — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 163
Antaresia childreni — COGGER 2000: 606
Antaresia stimsoni — COGGER 2000: 610
Antaresia saxacola campbelli HOSER 2001(rejected name, KAISER et al. 2013)
Antaresia stimsoni orientalis — FRANZ 2003
Antaresia stimsoni orientalis — WILSON & SWAN 2008
Antaresia stimsoni — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Antaresia childreni — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Antaresia childreni — WALLACH et al. 2014: 45
Antaresia stimsoni — WALLACH et al. 2014: 45
Antaresia stimsoni orientalis — WACHTEL 2018
Antaresia childreni — ESQUERRÉ et al. 2021 
DistributionAustralia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia)

Type locality: unknown

stimsoni: Australia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia); Type locality: 15 km south-east of Nullagine (21°8’S, 120°12’E), WA, Australia  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.16.78, (formerly, collected J. Gilbert.
Holotype: WAM R63108 [stimsoni]
Holotype: AM R69087. Type locality: Wilcannia, New South Wales, Australia [campbelli]
Holotype: WAM R48646 (erroneously given as R46846 by SMith 1985) [orientalis] 
CommentType species: Liasis Childreni GRAY 1842: 44 is the type species of the genus Antaresia WELLS & WELLINGTON 1984.

NCBI taxonID: 461325 [stimsoni]

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018).

Distribution: see Esquerré et al. 2021 for maps of both morphologically and genetically defined populations.

Subspecies: HOSER’s (2001) description of Antaresia saxacola campbelli is rather vague and questionably referers to a new subspecies. For example he diagnoses the new subspecies by the following description: “A. s. campbelli is also distinguished from other A. stimsoni by its softer reddish and less contrasting colour with finer patterning. The head is also a different shape. The snout has a less box-like anterior when compared with other A. stimsoni...”.

Synonymy: A. stimsoni and childreni appear to form a genetic gradient across their range and are thus difficult to separate as species, hence Esquerré et al. synonymized stimsoni with childreni. Wells and Wellington did not provide a description for A. saxacola, thus the name was considered a nomen nudum by Underwood and Stimson (1990) and Shea and Sadlier (1999). 
EtymologyNamed after John George Children (1777-1852), a British entomologist who became a Fellow (1807) and then Secretary of the Royal Society. He worked in t11e British Museum (1816-1840). 
  • Barker, Dave; Barker, Tracy 1995. The southern stars of Australia: Australia's small pythons. Vivarium 6 (4): 30-35
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1844. Erpetologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol.6. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 609 pp. - get paper here
  • Escoriza Boj, D. 2005. Australia. Reptiles and Amphibians, Part 2: Desert and tropical savanna. Reptilia (GB) (41): 52-57 - get paper here
  • Esquerré, D & J S Keogh. 2016. Parallel selective pressures drive convergent diversification of phenotypes in pythons and boas. Ecology Letters, 19(7): 800-809 - get paper here
  • Esquerré, Damien, Stephen C Donnellan, Carlos J Pavón-Vázquez, Jéssica Fenker, and J Scott Keogh. 2021. Phylogeography, Historical Demography and Systematics of the World’s Smallest Pythons (Pythonidae, Antaresia). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 161: 107181 - get paper here
  • Even,Eddy 2005. Reptielen zoeken in Australië. Lacerta 63 (2): 48-65 - get paper here
  • Franz, V. 2003. Pythons of the World. Reptilia (GB) (27): 16-23 - get paper here
  • Franz, Volker 2018. Die Südpythons der Gattung Antaresia – charmante Zwerge aus Australien. Terraria-Elaphe 2018 (4): 20-27 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1842. Synopsis of the species of prehensile-tailed snakes, or family Boidae. Zoological Miscellany 2: 41-46
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  • Kluge, Arnold G. 1993. Aspidites and the phylogeny of Pythonine snakes. Rec. Austral. Mus. (Supplement 19): 1-77 - get paper here
  • Longman, H. A. 1915. Reptiles from Queensland and the Northern Territory. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 3: 30-34. - get paper here
  • Maryan, Bradford 1984. The occurence of the Childrens python (Liasis childreni) on Dirk Hartog Island, W.A. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 15 (1-2): 48
  • Mattison, Chris 2007. The New Encyclopedia of Snakes. Princeton University Press
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
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  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1873. Über eine neue Schildkrötenart, Cinosternon effeldtii und einige andere neue oder weniger bekannte Amphibien. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1873 (October): 603-618 - get paper here
  • Polleck, R. 1988. Liasis childreni GRAY, 1842. Sauria 10 (3) Suppl.: 113–114 - get paper here
  • Ross, R. 1980. Erfolgreiche Zucht des Gefleckten Python (Liasis childreni). Herpetofauna 2 (9): 28-29 - get paper here
  • Ross, R. 1983. Reproduction of the Childrens python (Liasis childreni) in a terrarium. Litteratura Serpentium 3 (1): 18-21 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Dieter 2010. Vermehrung und Zucht von Riesenschlangen. Draco 11 (44): 4-17 - get paper here
  • Sheargold, Tony 1981. Literature: Notes on the Reproduction of Children's Pythons (Liasis childreni) Gray 1842. Litteratura Serpentium 1 (6): 255-256 - get paper here
  • Shine, Richard 1994. Sexual size dimorphism in snakes revisited. Copeia 1994 (2): 326-346 - get paper here
  • Shine, Richard; Claire Goiran, Catherine Shilton, Shai Meiri, Gregory P Brown 2019. The life aquatic: an association between habitat type and skin thickness in snakes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, blz136 - get paper here
  • Somaweera, R. 2009. Snakes of Darwin. Poster, University of Sydney
  • Sternfeld, R. 1925. Beiträge zur Herpetologie Inner-Australiens. Abhandlungen Herausgegeben von der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft, 38: 221—251
  • 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.
  • Wells R W; Wellington C R 1984. A synopsis of the class Reptilia in Australia. Australian Journal of Herpetology 1 (3-4): 73-129 [31 Dec 1983 on cover]
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  • Winchell, S. 2009. Pythons Australiens. Reptilia (Münster) 14 (79): 16-27 - get paper here
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