Python molurus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Etymology, synonyms, names in other languages
Python - Python (a fierce dragon dwelling on Parnassus, killed by Apollo), soothsayer, molurus - a huge, huge, giant, long tail.
Tiger is named for the distant similarity in coloring and partial coincidence of the ranges of this snake and tiger.
Indian python, Black-tailed python (English).
Tigerpython, Tigerschlange (German).
P. m. molurus - light tiger python, Indian tiger python, Indian python, Tigerpython.
P. m. bivittatus - dark tiger python, Burmese python, Dunkler Tigerpython, bivittatus - two-ribboned, two-stitched.
P. m. pimbura - Ceylon tiger python.
Modern systematics subspecies P. m. pimbura, considered synonymous with P. m. molurus.
The record size of this python is 9.15 m.
P. m. molurus - up to 6 m.
P. m. bivittatus - up to 8 m and more.
P. m. pimbura - up to 4 m.
P. m. molurus - Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
P. m. bivittatus - India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Southern China (including Hainan Island), Hong Kong, Malaysia (Kalimantan Island), Indonesia (Kalimantan Islands, Java, Sulawesi and Sumbawa).
P. m. pimbura - Sri Lanka.
Introduced in Florida, USA.
Biotope and lifestyle in nature
Tropical rainforests, sparse light forests, foothill forests, mountain slopes (up to 2000 meters above sea level) and stony low mountains covered with shrubs, caves, floodplains of rivers and streams, banks of reservoirs, outskirts of towns and cities. It climbs trees well, but prefers a terrestrial lifestyle, spends the day in crevices, forest rubble and other shelters, hunts during twilight, night and morning hours. It swims well, but is not in the reservoirs for long. Sometimes pythons are kept in homes, as a cult and rodent protected animal.
There are no fundamental differences in the size and color of males and females. In males, the tail is long with a characteristic thickening at the base, from the anus it is cylindrical, then turns into a cone. In females, the tail is shorter, without thickening at the base, conical. The males are clearly visible relatively large, claw-shaped rudiments of the hind limbs, located on the sides at the anus, in females they are smaller and not so stand out. Females are usually massive and larger than males.
For tiger pythons, a horizontal terrarium is necessary for tropical animals. The volume of the terrarium for this large snake should be several cubic meters. The temperature is maintained with the help of a thermo-string or thermocrick In the warm corner in the daytime - up to 30-32 ° С, at night - 24-26 ° С. In the terrarium, you need to install a reservoir where the python could easily fit and lock during molting. In the terrarium should be placed strong shelves and wide snags, on which the snake willingly crawls. Soil in the terrarium is not necessary, but you can use artificial, chemically inert, specialized coatings - mats or cover the bottom of the terrarium with filter paper. Once a day, the terrarium should be sprayed with warm water. Humidity is also maintained with the help of a rain plant, connected via a time relay and operating 2-3 times a day for 2-3 minutes, or a fog generator, which is placed in the reservoir during the humidification session. It is better to contain one by one.
In nature, they feed on various mammals and birds: small ungulates, rodents, monkeys (langurs and macaques), pheasants, ducks, pigeons. Large specimens even attack leopards and jackals, and can eat an adult pig.
In terrarium conditions, pythons are fed, depending on the size, with laboratory mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, quails. Diet for adult snakes: 1 time in 8-10 days - 8-12 adult rats, weighing 200-300 grams or 1-2 rabbits. For young animals: 1-3 adult mice - 1 time in 5 days or 1-2 rat, weighing 40-60 g. Starter food for newborn tiger pythons: adolescent mice or 5-6 day old rats. They drink water, for which purpose it should regularly be changed in an artificial pond of a terrarium. Together with feed, you must give a variety of mineral supplements, for example: crushed egg shells, preparations containing calcium. Mineral water can be added to the drinker (Borjomi). No more than once a month with food to offer concentrated vitamin preparations. Well-balanced feeding for reptiles to give according to the instructions.
Pythons usually become sexually mature at the age of 2.5-4 years. Recorded pregnancy females at the age of 1.5 years. Oviparous species.
After withdrawal from the wintering, the snakes are irradiated and fed, adding to the feed preparations containing vitamin E, for 2-3 weeks. The first sign of the beginning of the mating season is: refusal to feed the males, who do not eat during the entire period of sexual activity, 3-4 months. Then males and females sit down to each other. Copulations last for a long time from 2 to 5 hours. Pythons can mate from September to February. After mating, after 60-155 days, the females lay eggs, for which they should prepare a platform in a warm corner of the terrarium, laying it out with a thick layer of sphagnum, where the female can settle well, put the clutch back and turn around, calmly incubate. Sometimes a high house is placed above the platform, with a top or side entrance where the female can safely crawl and stay inside for incubating eggs. The house should be installed long before laying, so that the snake got used to it and examined it. During the entire period of "incubation", the sphagnum is moistened along the edges and new moist portions of sphagnum are placed around the female. Free areas of the terrarium are constantly sprayed with warm water. If the female does not "sit down" on the clutch, or, for some reason, she has left, the clutch is removed and placed in an incubator at a temperature of 31-32 ° C. The number of eggs in the clutch is from 8 to 110 pieces (45-60 on average). During the incubation of the clutch, the female does not feed, it regulates the condition of the clutch, ventilating it and getting rid of bad eggs, and also maintains the necessary temperature regime due to micro contractions of the muscles of the body. The female may leave the clutch for a while, but usually this does not happen. A reservoir should be installed not far from the clutch to increase the overall humidity and allow the female to drink without leaving the clutch. In 55-85 days, the babies hatch from the eggs, which begin to feed after the first molt.
Seasonal and daily rhythm
The duration of daylight hours and daytime work during the period of activity of the animal is 12 hours. Irradiation with UVB lamps with UVB 4-7% during the daylight hours, such lamps can perform both the function of illumination and irradiation. For irradiation, you can also use erythemal lamps - for 15 minutes, 3 times a day. In the absence of the above-mentioned lamps, it is possible to irradiate household appliances of the UFO type from 1 to 5 minutes during a week, from a distance of 50 cm - once a month. When irradiated with erythemal lamps and UV-type devices, the animal must be in dry conditions. In the summer, at a temperature not lower than 25 ° С, animals can be taken out on a sunny, sheltered from the wind.
Seasonal rhythm for young animals almost can not adhere to, but for adult pythons, in preparation for breeding, the following is necessary. In August, during two to three weeks, the daylight hours and the duration of daytime heating are gradually reduced, at 8 hours of the day, the snakes are stopped to be fed, the water is removed and the nighttime heating is turned off. Then, at the 4-hour daylight hours, daytime heating is turned off, and then, after a couple of days, lighting. The temperature during the cooling period should be at the level of 17-19 ° C. To maintain humidity, a terrarium in one corner is sprayed every two days. Periodically put in a terrarium drinker. The duration of the cooling period is 1-2 months, in normal condition of the animal. The snakes are taken out of wintering in the same rhythm in which they were laid, gradually increasing the light and heat day. At 8 hours of the day, include night heating and offer food to pythons.
Life expectancy up to 25 years. Terrariumists obtained and fixed lines of color variations of the subspecies P.m.bivittatus, completely different from the typical ones: albinos, olive-green, zigzag, etc. For such a selection, natural individuals deviating from the norm are used, crossing representatives of different populations. It should be noted that albino tiger pythons are much smaller than usual (up to 3.5 m). In zoos, sub-species hybrids were obtained.
Equipment listrequired for the maintenance of the tiger python, see a brief description of the species.
Tiger python: subspecies, description
In our modern times, such huge snakes can often be found in private possessions, in home terrariums. Tiger pythons are one of the most popular boas for keeping in a house or apartment. Even the fact that these beautiful creatures are very large does not stop lovers of exotic (there are cases when the reptile of this species has reached sizes of more than 9 meters). In nature, tiger pythons are divided into subspecies:
- Two-ribbon (dark tiger python).
- Indian (light tiger python).
- Python tiger ceylon.
Two-ribbon and Indian pythons have similar patterns — large, dark-red spots of irregular shape against a brownish background. On the sides there are small spots, inside of which the light circles - eyes. The dark python differs from the light one in a more saturated color and in the absence of white eyes in lateral spots. It grows up to 8 meters and has a very steep and evil temper. The Indian is inferior in size to its dark congener, it does not grow more than 6 meters, the character of the light python is much quieter than the aggressive double-web boa.
The Ceylon python is not inferior to the two other subspecies in its beauty of color and pattern. The character is flexible and calm, the length of such a snake is no more than 4 meters.
In talking about what kind of pythons are in nature, it is impossible not to recall an albino-udawa. This beautiful creature is much more beautiful than its dark relatives. The albino python python cannot survive in the wild because it does not have a protective coloration. Such a snake with bright yellow skin, which miraculously shimmers in the rays of light, successfully grown and bred in captivity. The body of this beauty is white, only the back is painted with patterns from yellow spots, because of this color the albino snake was called the “Golden Python”.
Before you start a snake of such a large size at home, you need to equip it with a suitable terrarium. Snake house should be equipped with additional heating, it is necessary to create an environment close to the natural. To do this, it is enough to place branches, snags and stones in the terrarium. At the same time pay attention to the fact that they were not sharp corners, about which a pet can get hurt.
For the normal existence of the python he regularly needs fresh water. Therefore, mini-pools and drinking bowls are necessary for animals. They must also be installed in order to maintain a high air humidity in the serpentine kingdom (90%). The temperature in the terrarium should be around 27 degrees during the daytime and about 23 degrees at night. For heating, it is better to choose one of the branches, placing a heat source above it. Thus, the reptile will be equipped with its comfortable and warm "sofa". In such a place to rest should be 33-35 degrees.
The tiger python will need more and more food as it grows. For starters, the owner needs to decide on what method of feeding he will use. If you give a predator live food, then the natural hunting instincts will play it with a vengeance. This is not always desirable, and even a python victim can protect your pet while defending itself.
If you feed a handsome frozen food, then these problems immediately disappear. The python will not be too bloodthirsty, and the possibility of injury in the heat of a hunting battle is excluded by itself.
The first feeding consists of one mouse once a week. Then the python, whose length reaches 1.5 m, will need a larger rodent, such as a rat. When the tiger's pet crosses the line of 2 m, it is recommended to use rabbits and chickens as feed.
All reptiles change their beautiful skin from time to time. During intensive growth, young pythons “change clothes” in this way once a month. An adult tiger python sheds once every few months. There is no exact determination of the frequency of molting. The snake can change the skin every 3 months, and maybe once in 6 months, it depends on the environment, on the age, on the size of the reptile giant.
The tiger python, with proper care, breeds well in captivity. The female of this large species of snake is considered one of the best moms among reptiles. After a mating period, she lays eggs (8-50 pieces), their number depends on the size and age of the expectant mother.
Having laid the clutch, the parent wound around her and begins incubation. The incubation period ranges from 70 to 80 days at a temperature of about 30 degrees. The temperature regime is maintained due to muscular contractions of the tiger “hen”. In due time, small pythonies are born 40-60 cm long.
Snake Pythons: Interesting Facts
Snakes can not only terrify people, many hand-held pythons live in domestic terrariums, which live peacefully alongside a person. But no matter how peaceful the reptile pet may be, it still remains a predator with a power that is dangerous to human life. This must always be remembered by the owner of a giant snake, about whose life many interesting facts are known.
In places where pythons live in their natural environment, people in rural areas treat them like domestic cats that exterminate rodents. Noticing such a snake neighborhood near his home, the owner is only happy and not at all afraid.
Pythons have a unique jaw structure that attaches too loosely to the bones of the skull. During the meal, the predator pulls one jaw onto the prey, while the other jaw, or rather the teeth located on it, holds the prey. Then, alternating the grip of the teeth and the tension on the jaw, the python completely swallows the food.
The tiger python bite is terrible and dangerous. From the mouth of this monster to escape almost impossible. In order to protect citizens from the irresponsible owners of huge reptiles, the authorities of some localities are beginning to pass laws that prohibit keeping snakes in their home terrariums that are longer than 1.8 meters.
If a person decides to settle along with such a great miracle of nature, then he should know that the tiger python has the amazing ability to break up terrariums, like simple cardboard boxes. Resting his nose in one wall of his house, and his tail in another, the snake begins to straighten up like a spring. As a result of such exercises, the predator is free. So the choice of a terrarium should be approached with the utmost seriousness.
What a dark tiger python looks like
It is not difficult to recognize this predator, since it can be up to 6 meters long. A normal python length is considered to be about 4 meters. Female individuals are usually longer and more voluminous than male individuals. The dark tiger python has very interesting patterns on the back, which is their distinguishing feature. The snake on its back has numerous brown spots with a black border. This squad also has a white python appearance. The dark appearance differs from the white one not only in coloring, but also in the absence of white eyes on brown spots on the body. The largest individual today is considered to be a female who lived in a snake park in Illinois (USA). She was given the nickname "baby", and this python reached a length of 5.74 meters and weighed about 75 kilograms.
Dark tiger pythons are nocturnal inhabitants of tropical forests. They feel very good in the water, and therefore adhere to the banks of rivers, lakes and marshland. The habitat is considered to be India and South China. Meetings with this kind of snake were recorded in East India, Myanmar, Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Young pythonites love to climb trees, and adults prefer to stick to the ground because of their large mass. Snakes living in the northern areas, hibernate. At such times, they find refuge in the empty trunks or at the roots of trees, and if there is none, they hide in the mountains under the ground.
This python is a favorite among owners of exotic animals. Although this snake is a predator, it is considered to be very calm and not aggressive in its behavior. This snake is very good at living in captivity. Why do they need a spacious terrarium of horizontal type with good sawdust and be sure to have a pool. The pool is needed for bathing a snake and good sawdust to ensure its seasonal change of skin. With regard to food, a dark tiger python in freedom can hunt both rodents and larger game such as young deer, goats or pigs. At home, a young python is recommended to be fed once a week, and an adult no more than once every 8-10 days. Такое кормление змеи объясняется тем, что она очень часто из-за неправильного питания страдает ожирением. Эта болезнь приводит к быстрой гибели животного. Ещё очень важно поддерживать температурный режим в террариуме, днём эта цифра должна составлять 30 – 32 °С, а ночью 22 – 24 °С. Размножаются эти змеи, как правило весной в начале марта и уже к лету откладывают от 12 до 20 яиц.
There are a lot of facts connected with this kind of snake, let us dwell on the most interesting ones. Maybe this is not so much an interesting fact as a warning for owners of exotic snakes. After cutting up any meat or just contact with furry animals, it is better to wash your hands. The dark tiger python is considered to be a harmless and very calm creature, but there were cases when the python killed its master. The meaning is as follows: the owner did not wash his hands after cutting the meat, went to see his Python man and he took him for a pig, first strangled to death, and then began to eat him, starting from his feet. If a young python does not kill, but it can painfully bite, then you need to be extremely careful with an adult. There were more interesting curiosities associated with this snake. For example, in Florida, some owners who either got fed up or simply could not keep a pet (an adult is difficult and dangerous to keep) simply set them free. Due to the favorable climate and conditions of this area, they are not badly taken root there. Most of them settled in the Everglades National Park and began to destroy rare species of animals and birds. As a result, the authorities declared a paid Hunt for a tiger python, which ended in complete extermination.