Morelia boeleni

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Morelia boeleni
Boelen Python 01.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Boidae
Genus: Morelia
Species: M. boeleni
Binomial name
Morelia boeleni
(Brongersma, 1953)
Common names: Boelen's python,[3] black python.[2]

Morelia boeleni is a species of python, a nonvenomous snake in the family Pythonidae. The species is endemic to the mountains of New Guinea.[3] No subspecies are currently recognized.[2][4]


The specific name, boeleni, is in honor of K.W.J. Boelen, M.D., who collected the holotype specimen.[5][6]


Adults: The upperside color pattern is dark bluish-black or purplish-black and the anterior part of underside white to pale yellow. The white extends up the flanks as a series of streaks. The upper and lower lips are also patterned with pale or whitish labial scales. The black portions are commonly iridescent with an oil-slick like sheen. The body is stocky and the head large. Neonates are predominantly red upon emerging from the egg. Gradual black pigmentation presents itself as the neonate grows and sheds. Ontogenetic color charge begins as the juvenile snake approaches 1 meter in length. Adults may be up to 3 meters in length.[7]

Conservation status[edit]

The unmistakable and famed Boelen's Python receives the highest legal protection possible in Papua New Guinea. It is currently listed on CITES Appendix II.

Common names[edit]

Locally it is also known as the Blu Moran or Papa Graun. Within Indonesia, it has several names depending on which language is used. Bahasa Indonesia: Ular Hitam, Ular Sanca Bulan, Piton Hitam, and Ular Buleni.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Found in Indonesia (Western New Guinea in the Wissel Lakes region) and Papua New Guinea (the provinces of Eastern Highlands, Central and Morobe, and Goodenough Island).

The type locality given is "Dimija (3[°] 56' S, 136[°] 18' E), Wissel Lakes, Dutch New Guinea, about 1750 m (5700 feet) above sea-level" [Western New Guinea, Indonesia].[1]

The species inhabits forested montane regions of over 1,000 m (3,300 ft) elevation. It is generally encountered on the forest floor, but is also reckoned to be an able climber.


The diet consists of mammals, lizards, and birds.


This species is considered to be highly desirable by private keepers due to its beauty, but is also exceptionally rare in collections.[8] Although captive-born snakes are fairly hardy in captivity,[9] wild-caught individuals are considerably more difficult to keep successfully.[10] Captive breeding is exceedingly rare, and the conditions necessary are still unclear.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré TA (1999). Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ a b c Simalia boeleni at the Reptile Database. Accessed 20 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
  4. ^ "Morelia boeleni". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Brongersma, 1953. p. 317.
  6. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Morelia boeleni, p. 29).
  7. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^

Flagle, A.R. Stoops E.D 2009. Black python: Morelia boeleni, Frankfurt Chimaira Buchhandelsgesellschaft mbh. Contributions to Natural History Vol. 26. 160pp. ISBN 9783930612864

Further reading[edit]

  • Brongersma LD (1953). "Zoology Notes on New Guinean Reptiles and Amphibians II". Proc. Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Amsterdam (Series C) 56: 317-325. (Liasis boeleni , new species, p. 317.)

External links[edit]