Python (genus)

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Python bivittatus тигровый питон.jpg
Burmese python (Python bivittatus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Pythonidae
Genus: Python
Daudin, 1803

Python is a genus of constricting snakes in the Pythonidae family native to the tropics and subtropics of the Eastern Hemisphere.[1]

The name Python was proposed by François Marie Daudin in 1803 for non-venomous flecked snakes.[2] Currently, 10 python species are recognized as valid taxa.[3]

Three formerly considered python subspecies have been promoted, and a new species recognised.


The generic name Python was proposed by François Marie Daudin in 1803 for non-venomous snakes with a flecked skin and a long split tongue.[2]

In 1993, seven python species were recognised as valid taxa.[4] Based on phylogenetic analyses, between seven and 13 python species are recognised.[5][6]

Species Image IUCN Red List and geographic range
Indian rock python (P. molurus) (Linnaeus, 1758)[7] Python molurus molurus 2.jpg NE

Python molurus Area.svg

African rock python (P. sebae) (Gmelin, 1788)[8]

P. s. natalensis (Smith, 1840)

Python natalensis G. J. Alexander.JPG NE

Natural Range of Python sebae.svg

Ball python (P. regius) (Shaw, 1802)[9] Female Ball python (Python regius).jpg LC[10]

Python regius distribution.svg

Burmese python (P. bivittatus) (Kuhl, 1820)[11] Python bivittatus (30854313993).jpg VU[12]

From southern Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam to northern Malaysia, southern China including Yunnan east to Fujian, Hainan and Hong Kong, Sichuan, Guangxi, Guangdong, and the Indonesian islands of Java and Bali.[12]

Sumatran short-tailed python (P. curtus) (Schlegel, 1872)[13] Python curtus (2).jpg LC[14]

Southeast Asia in southern Thailand, Malaysia (Peninsular and Sarawak) (including Pinang) and Indonesia (Sumatra, Riau Archipelago, Lingga Islands, Bangka Islands, Mentawai Islands and Kalimantan).[14]

Borneo short-tailed python (P. breitensteini) (Steindachner, 1881)[15] Python breitensteini (13106752324).jpg LC[16]


Angolan python (P. anchietae) (Bocage, 1887) Angolan Dwarf Python (Python anchietae).jpg LC[17]

Africa in southern Angola and northern Namibia[17]

Brongersma's short-tailed python (P. brongersmai) (Stull, 1938) (formerly P. curtus brongersmai) Python brongersmai, Brongersma's short-tailed python.jpg LC[18]

Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Bangka Island, Lingga islands, Riau islands, and Pinang[18]

Myanmar short-tailed python (P. kyaiktiyo) (Zug, Gotte & Jacobs, 2011)[19] P.kyaiktiyo II.png VU[20]

West of the Tenghyo Range, Myanmar[20]

Python europaeus (Szyndlar & Rage, 2003)[21] EX

Extinct species from the Miocene era, described on basis of vertebrae found in Vieux-Collonges and La Grive in France.[21]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Python anchietae

In Africa, pythons are native to the tropics south of the Sahara, but not in the extreme south-western tip of southern Africa (Western Cape) or in Madagascar. In Asia, they occur from Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, including the Nicobar Islands, through Myanmar, east to Indochina, southern China, Hong Kong and Hainan, as well as in the Malayan region of Indonesia and the Philippines.[1]


Some suggest that P. molurus and P. sebae have the potential to be problematic invasive species in South Florida.[22] The United States Department of Agriculture reports that only Python bivittatus is an invasive species in the United States.[23] In early 2016, after a culling operation yielded 106 pythons, Everglades National Park officials suggested that "thousands" may live within the park, and that the species has been breeding there for some years. More recent data suggest that these pythons would not withstand winter climates north of Florida, contradicting previous research suggesting a more significant geographic potential range.[24]


Ball pythons commonly exhibit mutations, such as this "Spider" morph, and are popular among snake keepers.

Python skin is used to make clothing, such as vests, belts, boots and shoes, or fashion accessories such as handbags. It may also be stretched and formed as the sound board of some string musical instruments, such as the erhu spike-fiddle, sanxian and the sanshin lutes.[25][26]

As pets[edit]

Many Python species, such as P. regius, P. brongersmai, P. bivittatus and P. reticulatus, are popular to keep as pets due to their ease of care, docile temperament, and vibrant colors, with some rare mutations having been sold for several thousands of dollars. Despite controversy that has arisen from media reports, with proper safety procedures pet pythons are relatively safe to own,[27] and deaths associated with them are isolated compared to other domestic animals, such as dogs and horses.[26][28]


The word 'python' is derived from Latin meaning 'serpent'.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b McDiarmid, R. W.; Campbell, J. A.; Touré, T. (1999). "Python". Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Volume 1. Washington, DC: Herpetologists' League. ISBN 1893777014.
  2. ^ a b Daudin, F. M. (1803). "Python". Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière, des reptiles. Tome 8. Paris: De l'Imprimerie de F. Dufart. p. 384.
  3. ^ Barker, D. G.; Barker, T. M.; Davis, M. A.; Schuett, G. W. (2015). "A review of the systematics and taxonomy of Pythonidae: an ancient serpent lineage" (PDF). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 175 (1): 1−19. doi:10.1111/zoj.12267.
  4. ^ Kluge, A. G. (1993). "Aspidites and the phylogeny of pythonine snakes". Records of the Australian Museum (Supplement 19): 1–77.
  5. ^ Lawson, R.; Slowinski, J. B.; Burbrink, F. T. (2004). "A molecular approach to discerning the phylogenetic placement of the enigmatic snake Xenophidion schaeferi among the Alethinophidia". Journal of Zoology (263): 285–294.
  6. ^ Reynolds, R. G.; Niemiller, M. L.; Revell, L. J. (2014). "Toward a tree-of-life for the boas and pythons: multilocus species-level phylogeny with unprecedented taxon sampling". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (71): 201–213.
  7. ^ Linnaeus, C. (1758). "Coluber molurus". Systema naturae per regna tria naturae: secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. 1 (Tenth reformed ed.). Holmiae: Laurentii Salvii. p. 225.
  8. ^ Gmelin, J. F. (1788). "Coluber sebae". Caroli a Linné. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae: secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. I, Part III (13., aucta, reformata ed.). Lipsiae: Georg Emanuel Beer. p. 1118.
  9. ^ Shaw, G. (1802). "Boa regia". General zoology, or Systematic natural history. Volume III, Part II. London: G. Kearsley. pp. 347–348.
  10. ^ Auliya, M.; Schmitz, A. (2010). "Python regius". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2010: e.T177562A7457411. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T177562A7457411.en. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  11. ^ Kuhl, H. (1820). "Python bivittatus mihi". Beiträge zur Zoologie und vergleichenden Anatomie. Frankfurt am Main: Verlag der Hermannschen Buchhandlung. p. 94.
  12. ^ a b Stuart, B.; Nguyen, T. Q.; Thy, N.; Grismer, L.; Chan-Ard, T.; Iskandar, D.; Golynsky, E. & Lau, M. W. N. (2012). "Python bivittatus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012: e.T193451A2237271. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012-1.RLTS.T193451A2237271.en. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  13. ^ Schlegel, H. (1872). "De Pythons". In Witkamp, P. H. (ed.). De Diergaarde van het Koninklijk Zoölogisch Genootschap Natura Artis Magistra te Amsterdam: De Kruipende Dieren. Amsterdam: Van Es. pp. 53–54.
  14. ^ a b Inger, R. F.; Iskandar, D.; Lilley, R.; Jenkins, H.; Das, I. (2014). "Python curtus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2014: e.T192244A2060581. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-1.RLTS.T192244A2060581.en. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  15. ^ Steindachner, F. (1880). "Über eine neue Pythonart (Python breitensteini) aus Borneo". Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften Wien. 82: 267−280.
  16. ^ a b Inger, R. F.; Iskandar, D.; Lilley, R.; Jenkins, H.; Das, I. (2012). "Python breitensteini". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012: e.T192013A2028005. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012-1.RLTS.T192013A2028005.en. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  17. ^ a b Auliya, M. (2010). "Python anchietae". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2010: e.T177539A7452448. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T177539A7452448.en. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  18. ^ a b Grismer, L.; Chan-Ard, T. (2012). "Python brongersmai". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012: e.T192169A2050353. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012-1.RLTS.T192169A2050353.en. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  19. ^ Zug, G. R.; Gotte, S. W.; Jacobs, J. F. (2011). "Pythons in Burma: Short-tailed python (Reptilia: Squamata)" (PDF). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 124 (2): 112−136. doi:10.2988/10-34.1.
  20. ^ a b Wogan, G.; Chan-Ard, T. (2012). "Python kyaiktiyo". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012: e.T199854A2614411. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012-1.RLTS.T199854A2614411.en. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  21. ^ a b Szyndlar, Z.; Rage, J. C. (2003). "Python europaeus". Non-erycine Booidea from the Oligocene and Miocene of Europe. Kraków: Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals. pp. 68−72.
  22. ^ "Python Snakes, An Invasive Species In Florida, Could Spread To One Third Of US". ScienceDaily. 2008. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
  23. ^ Invasive Species: Animals. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  24. ^ Avery, M. L.; Engeman, R. M.; Keacher, K. L.; Humphrey, J. S.; Bruce, W. E.; Mathies, T. C.; Mauldin, R. E. (2010). "Cold weather and the potential range of invasive Burmese pythons". Biological Invasions. 12 (11): 3649−3652.
  25. ^
  26. ^ a b
  27. ^ "Playing with the Big Boys: Handling Large Constrictors". Retrieved 2017-08-01.
  28. ^ "Untitled Document". Retrieved 2017-08-01.
  29. ^ Lewis, C. T.; Short, C. (1879). "Python". A Latin Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

External links[edit]