Area: Malay Peninsula, Thailand and Sumatra
Habitat: Tropical forests, palm plantations
Food: Mammals, rodents like rats but also birds
Size: 36 to 72 inches.
Babies: The eggs hatch after a period of 70 to 80 days, and the hatchlings are 12 to 18 inches in length.
The blood python (Python brongersmai) is medium-sized non venomous snake species found in the Malay Peninsula, Thailand and Sumatra and other smaller islands.
They are also known by other common names such as red blood python, Malaysian blood python, Sumatran blood python, red short-tailed python or Brongersma's short-tailed python.
The species is found in tropical forests, palm plantations, and tropical swamps and marshes in the Malaysian peninsula, eastern Sumatra and outlying islands.
Adult blood python males typically range from 36 to 60 inches in length, females are smaller and reach between 48 to 72 inches. Some specimens have been recorded to reach 96 inches in length.
The blood python is a heavy-bodied snake with a thick, muscular body and variable markings and coloration. They have flat, broad and long heads very distinct and wider than the neck.
These are unique snakes with a huge girth relative to their length due to this robust structure, they look somewhat overweight and older specimens can weigh 20 pounds or more.
The body color ranges from tan, brown, yellow to a cherry red, bright red or oxblood covered with lighter gold, tan, gold or orange and black blotches and stripes. The belly is usually white, very often with small blackish markings
These snakes are primarily crepuscular animals and are usually active around dawn and dusk.
They spend most of their time underwater waiting for prey to pass by. Then use heat-sensing pits, similar to those of venomous pit vipers, to detect their warm-blooded prey.
Their longevity in the wild is unknown, but probably around 20 years, in captivity even more than 25 years.
The species specific name "brongersmai" was given in honor of Dutch herpetologist Leo Brongersma.
The blood python feeds mainly on small mammals, rodents like rats but also birds. These stealthy snakes, strike suddenly from concealment, seizing the prey and killing it by constriction.
Blood pythons are oviparous snakes, meaning females lay eggs. This species reproduces biennially, with females producing 12 to 16 eggs, however larger clutches have been reported with up to 30 eggs being laid.
Female of this species like other pythons will coil around the eggs and shiver her body, producing heat to help incubate the eggs. But since this demands a lot of energy they will only do so if ambient temperatures drop below 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
A female may lose up to half its body weight during the incubation period. The eggs hatch after a period of 70 to 80 days, and the hatchlings are 12 to 18 inches in length.
The blood python becomes sexually active at 2 to 4 years of age and a lengths of 3 to 5 feet.
This is due to the species increasing population and and wide distribution, it is found in protected areas but also capable of thriving in human modified habitats.
The main threat to the species is the possible overexploitation for pet and leather trades, since it's heavily harvested in some parts its range. The population numbers must be monitored to ensure sustainable levels of harvest. The blood python is listed on CITES Appendix II.