Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Bristol snakes 6: Amethystine Python

Amethystine Python, Bristol
Every reptile house has at least one species of giant snake on show, and usually these are Burmese Pythons Python bivittatus, Reticulated Python P. reticulatus, Common Boa Boa constrictor, or Green Anaconda Eunectes murinus. At Bristol, there is a different, and much less often seen species, the Amethystine Python Morelia amethistina (note spelling). There is 2 pair on show, each around 3m long.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Bristol snakes 5: Savu Python

Moving on from the boas, we come to the, in many ways similar, pythons. Except for the introduced Burmese pythons in Florida, pythons are restricted to the warmer parts of the Old World, with various species ranging from Africa across into Australia. Here at the zoo there are two species on show in the Reptile House, the Savu Island and Amethystine pythons, plus Royal pythons that are used in education talks, but it is the Savu Python that I will begin with.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Bristol snakes 4: Cuban Boa

Cuban Boa

The other boid species currently on show at Bristol are Cuban boas, Chilobothrus (formerly Epicrates) angulifer. These are fairly typical medium-sized (for boas) snakes, reaching around 3m usually, although a length of 4.8m is on record. They are confined to Cuba, and are currently classed as Near Threatened by the IUCN. The chief threats are human persecution and deforestation, but at present at least it is not as threatened as some of its relatives on other West Indian islands.