Reticulated Python Sub-Species
The reticulated python is found in south and southeast Asia, it is one of the largest snakes in the world often reaching 16-18 feet in length and weighing up to 160 pounds. Long ago, Asia was joined as one mass of land, but due to the movement of the tectonic plates and sea level changes, it has been divided into many islands. This resulted in the geographic isolation of reticulated python populations, which over time resulted in the emergence of three subspecies.
The first subspecies is Python reticulatus reticulatus. Often referred to as “mainland” retics, this is the most common subspecies in the reptile industry, reaching lengths of up to 18 feet. Localities include: malaysia, borneo, sumatra, java, ambon, makassar, sulawesi, and yellowheads. They can be distinguished by their black tongues and orange eyes. Their coloration is a vague mixture of yellow, ochre, and brown. They can be further distinguished by their scale count; 304-325 ventral scales, 68-78 midbody scales, and two rows of 4-7 posterior prefrontal scales.
The second subspecies is Python reticulatus saputrai. Localities include: southwestern sulawesi and selayar. This is the subspecies which the golden child mutation is believed to have originated from, reaching 12 to 15 feet in length. They can be distinguished by their white-tipped purple tongues and gold eyes. Their coloration is bold, consisting of gold, yellow, and ochre. They can be further distinguished by their scale count; 330-334 ventral scales, 77-81 midbody scales, and two rows of 4-7 posterior prefrontal scales.
The third subspecies is Python reticulatus jampeanus. They are referred to as “dwarfs” or even “super dwarfs” in the pet industry reaching lengths between 6 and 11 feet. Localities include: jampea, kayuadi, madu, and kalatoa. They can be distinguished by their white-tipped pink tongues and silver or orange/golden eyes. Their coloration is almost void of yellow, consisting mostly of grays, silvers, and browns. They can be further distinguished by their scale count; 290-301 ventral scales, 60-70 midbody scales, and one rows of 4 posterior prefrontal scales.