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Some Python reticulatus anecdotes

Posted: November 2nd, 2014, 12:44 am
by dendrelaphis
Some old anecdotes and pictures featuring Python reticulatus. Although rather comon, it’s certainly one of my favourites.

We were on Palua Pangkor, Malaysia, staying in a resort near the rainforest. I had asked the staff to cal me in case they saw a snake. So one morning, we were just having coffee, I received a call. A snake was found in the kitchen of the restaurant. So we took the snake bag and went there. Indeed, a snake was lying on the floor of the kitchen, a small (roughly 2 meters) P. reticulatus. It had devoured a large prey that night. As a result it was unable to move. So we bagged it and took it to the edge of the forest. When I opened the snake bag, I expected to see an angry Python, but the first thing I saw was an adult cat:

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It was in fact the cat which I had been feeding the night before while having diner in the restaurant. I then got the snake out:

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It’s so amazing to see such a large cat coming out of such a small snake. I left the cat on the forest floor and when I returned a few hours later, I saw a huge Varanus salvator licking its lips at the spot where I left the cat…….

During another vacation on Pangkor, I received a call around midnight. A small python had been spotted next to a road near a small village. The guy who called me brought me there with his motorcycle. While driving, I asked him how large the python was. He told me it was roughly 1 meter. No problem there then. Although I thought he was bringing me directly to the spot, it turned out he was first going to collect 9 friends who wanted to see how this Dutch guy was going to catch a python. It felt a bit awkward. However, with a 1 meter python in my mind, it was ok. However, when we arrived at the spot, to my huge surprise, I saw a large adult P. reticulatus. Its head more or less hanging downwards in a ditch along the road, ready to catch any cat or dog walking through that ditch. I turned around and saw 10 guys watching me in expectation… I asked them in disbelief how they could think this was a 1 meter snake. As it turned out, they thought that the part of the snake that stuck out of the jungle was the whole thing…. Whereas it was actually only a small part of it. Now I felt really awkward. I guessed the snake to be 3,5 maybe 4 meters and didn’t feel like catching it in front of all those guys. So I took some pictures and then touched its nose with my snake hook. It started to move out of the jungle to make a U turn and indeed it was pretty big (I suspect at least 3,5 meters). So to the disappointment of my audience I decided to let this guy go……

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Pulau Tioman (Malaysia) is the place where I have seen most pythons. And the most remarkable experience was finding 3 specimens in a single tree next to a small river. That was so amazing. Some pictures:

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And my wife’s leg after trying a catch a 1,5 meter specimen (-:

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Finally, a specimen from Sarawak:

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Re: Some Python reticulatus anecdotes

Posted: November 2nd, 2014, 4:22 am
by Hans Breuer (twoton)
Very interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Re: Some Python reticulatus anecdotes

Posted: November 16th, 2014, 6:39 pm
by Ruxs
Awesome snakes to encounter - I've heard of people finding two in a tree but never three, thats crazy! I've found 5 retics in my time but only in two locations in Southern Thailand, I seem to strike out everywhere else. The most interesting anecdote was one drizzly night in an area where I usually find several snake species a night, but this time we didn't find any of the usual snakes, instead we just found two large retics. Even though I visited the location many times after that I didn't see a single retic, even though the common species were just as prolific as ever.

Re: Some Python reticulatus anecdotes

Posted: November 17th, 2014, 9:46 am
by dendrelaphis
and that's why searching for snakes can drive you so crazy (-: I once caught a Bungarus flaviceps on Pulau Tioman. This species is so beautiful and conspicuous. But my camera malfunctioned and the pictures were really bad. But I never found another specimen. Knowing they're out there and not finding them makes you even more obsessed.

Re: Some Python reticulatus anecdotes

Posted: November 17th, 2014, 1:55 pm
by Ruxs
And thats the nature of the beast, I've found 4 Bungarus flaviceps somehow!

Re: Some Python reticulatus anecdotes

Posted: November 17th, 2014, 10:07 pm
by dendrelaphis
That's really amazing, they're so rare. I'd prefer finding a B. flaviceps over an O. Hannah.

Re: Some Python reticulatus anecdotes

Posted: November 17th, 2014, 10:52 pm
by Hans Breuer (twoton)
dendrelaphis wrote: I'd prefer finding a B. flaviceps over an O. Hannah.
How many times have you found either species?

Re: Some Python reticulatus anecdotes

Posted: November 18th, 2014, 5:57 am
by Antonsrkn
Amazing post, I need to get back to Asia as soon as possible to find some pythons! In my opinion retics are one of the most beautiful snakes out there, gorgeous animals. I particularly like the photo with the one curled up on the branch.

Re: Some Python reticulatus anecdotes

Posted: November 18th, 2014, 8:37 am
by dendrelaphis
Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
dendrelaphis wrote: I'd prefer finding a B. flaviceps over an O. Hannah.
How many times have you found either species?
I found only one B. flaviceps and three O. Hannah. Obviously, O. Hannah is very impressive but there's something about B. flaviceps that intrigues me. Its coloration and the fact that it's so rare and a true primary rainforest inhabitant. But perhaps it's simply my frustration, having found only one.......

Re: Some Python reticulatus anecdotes

Posted: November 19th, 2014, 7:44 pm
by Hans Breuer (twoton)
Understandable. I've also only found one flaviceps. But if it's any consolation, that was on a road through highly developed land (tertiary forest, agriculture)

Re: Some Python reticulatus anecdotes

Posted: November 20th, 2014, 8:20 am
by jons
finally a post worth commenting on..........superb!

Re: Some Python reticulatus anecdotes

Posted: November 20th, 2014, 8:51 am
by Kelly Mc
jons wrote:finally a post worth commenting on..........superb!

The regurgitated take out isn't the only thing catty on this thread :lol:


On a more on topic note, I see how often large prey is taken in the wild, across board from snakes, to lizards and line it up to the canonized advice of captive feeding recommendations and there is a dichotomy.

We don't know how often snakes in the wild regurgitate when threatened or disturbed or lizards acquire obstructions from heavy carapace chitin and ingested bits of stratum (actually there is one article) but I am speculating it is more the anomalous factors of captivity that restrict capabilities than prey size.