Blood Python – Non Venomous – Not Dangerous

Blood Python from Southern Thailand - Python brongersmai
Blood Python from Southern Thailand rubber plantation.

Blood Python (Python brongersmai)

Thais say: (ngoo lahm pad ped)

Length: Average length is less than 2.5 meters max. Usually smaller than 2 meters. the one pictured here is 1.7 meters. Adult Blood Pythons typically are 137-182 cm (4.5-6 feet) long. Females are slightly longer than males. These snakes weigh 5-9 kilograms (12-20 lb).

Range: In Thailand only on the island of Phuket and in the far south from Krabi province and southward. The pictured Blood python came from a rubber plantation near Tub Kaak, Thailand in province of Krabi. Found on the Malay Peninsula.

Habitat: Flat land & marshy forests. Blood pythons prefer to live near water. They are often found on rubber plantations, as this one was. They typically hide under leaves and brush, or you can find them in the water. These snakes don’t go far when hunting, instead they lay still waiting for rodents or other mammals to walk by.

Active Time? Nocturnal – active at night.

Food: Rats, mice, chickens.

Defensive Behavior: A short powerful strike from the s-position. As mentioned, they can easily twist out of a snake handler’s grip.

Venom Toxicity: No venom. Little danger. These pythons bite with provocation, but they have a very short strike. Though their strike is short – they pack a powerful bite.

Offspring: Oviparous, with up to 30 eggs being laid at a time. After the eggs are laid the female mother coils around the eggs and vibrates, or shivers, to produce heat (88 to 90 degrees F) which the eggs need to develop. She lays 12-30 large eggs 60-70 days after mating in the first couple months of the calendar year. The eggs are 14-16 cm long and weigh about one-hundred grams each. Young Blood Pythons have same coloring as adults and are 30-40cm at birth. First shed is 2-3 months. Blood pythons can reproduce at between 1.5 and 4 years. Breeding can be started by cutting down the daytime light to 8 – 10 hours and setting night temperature to the mid-70’s. Bring the female to the male’s cage. Misting the snakes with water can facilitate breeding. Female Blood Pythons typically shed 14-20+ days after ovulation; eggs are typically laid within 30 days of post-ovulation shed.

Blood Pythons may live 25 years in captivity.

Notes: We caught another wild blood python on a rubber plantation just like this one. When catching this species one must be sure about the grip from the time grabbed because as short as it is, it is full of muscle. Though this snake appears fat, it is muscle. It is exceptionally strong when pulling out of a hold.

This snake can change the color of it’s head from dark to light gray.

These snakes can have a temper if caught in the wild. They can settle down with daily handling and stroking. Babies born in captivity are usually more calm than adults. Eventually holding them is a possibility. The Thai-Malaysian Blood Pythons bite more quickly than do the Indonesian variety.

The skin of these snakes is highly prized and they are hunted because of it. Their numbers are shrinking because they are killed for their meat and skins. Over 60,000 blood pythons and short-tailed python skins are taken each year.

Substrate: Best? Newspaper. Cover the bottom of the cage with a thick pile of newspaper and crumple up some loose balls so the snake can hide under it.

Blood Python Tail - from southern Thailand
Snake tail? Hard to believe, right?

Python curtus brongersmai

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Pythonidae
Genus: Python
Species: P. curtus
Subspecies: P. c. brongersmai

Trinomial name: Python curtus brongersmai

Classified by Stull in year, 1938

About Vern Lovic

All posts by Vern Lovic. Amateur herpetologist roaming about Thailand on field herping trips to find cobras, kraits, coral snakes, and other snakes native to Thailand. Thailand has over 200 snake species with many of them venomous.

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