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Back to Education IndexPython Reticulatus, also known as the (Asiatic) reticulated python is a species of python found in Southeast Asia. Adults can grow to 7m+ (25 ft) in length but normally grow to an average of 3–6 m (10–20 ft). They are the world's longest snakes and longest reptile. Like all pythons, they are nonvenomous constrictors and normally not considered dangerous to humans. Although large specimens are powerful enough to kill an adult human, attacks are only occasionally reported.
An excellent swimmer, Python Reticulatus has been reported far out at sea and has colonised many small islands within its range. The specific name, Reticulatus, is Latin meaning "net-like", or reticulated, and is a reference to the complex colour pattern.
They are sexually dimorphic in size, as females attain larger sizes than males. The largest reticulated python ever measured which was 25 ft 2 inches (7.67m) and weighed 350lbs (158.8kg) and holds the record for the largest snake in the world according to the Guiness Book of World Records, 2011. This is also a long lived snake; accounts of specimens 25 years old are commonplace in captivity.
Reticulated pythons have a reputation of being aggressive. Because of their large size alone this animal should be given great respect. They are relatively non-social animals, as are most snakes, and prefer to be solitary. However, reticulated pythons have an aggressive feeding response, not aggressive behaviour and are not generally confrontational. Wild caught snakes have a hard time adjusting to captivity and often bite to avoid interaction, leading to the misinterpretation that this is an aggressive animal. However those reticulated pythons which are captive born and raised properly show no signs of aggression.
Their natural diet includes mammals and occasionally birds. Small specimens up to 3–4 m (10–14 ft) long eat mainly rodents such as rats, whereas larger individuals switch to prey such as Viverridae (e.g. civets and binturongs), and even primates and pigs. Near human habitation, they are known to snatch stray chickens, cats, and dogs on occasion. Among the largest, fully documented prey items to have been taken are a half-starved Sun Bear of 23 kilograms that was eaten by a 6.95 m (23 ft) specimen and took some ten weeks to digest as well as pigs of more than 60 kg (132 lb). As a rule of thumb, these snakes seem able to swallow prey up to one-quarter their own length and up to their own weight.
This page is about the Impressive Reticulated Python (Python Reticulatus)
Click HERE for a Reticulated Python care sheet.