Malay common name: Ular Sawa Batik
English common name: Reticulated Python
Scientific name: Python reticulatus
rank: Data Deficient
Photo Source: Carnivora Forum
You can find me living in tropical rainforests, wetlands, and grassland forests. It might be tricky to spot me though because the pattern on my body helps me blend into the shadowy forest undergrowth. This helps me hide from animals that like to eat me. It also disguises me so that my prey will wander close enough for me to strike. I use a special organ that allows me to detect the heat radiating from my preys’ bodies to locate them. I’m not a venomous snake so I use constriction to kill my prey before swallowing it whole. As young snakes, we eat rodents and bats while larger adults, like me, eat animals as large as binturongs, mouse deer, pangolins, and wild pigs.
After consuming a large meal, I need to rest and wait many days for it to digest. I’m important for rainforest ecosystems because I help keep prey populations from getting too high. I’m not usually a danger to humans, though you shouldn’t let me wrap my body around you, just to be safe. I’m the longest snake in the world and usually grow up to 6 metres long but that’s because I am female. The males only grow up to 4.5 metres. In 2016, a reticulated python found in Penang set a new world record at a length of 8 metres long!
I’m an excellent swimmer and can be found near bodies of water in forested areas. To survive, I need to live in habitats that have plenty of moisture and temperatures between 24 and 34 degrees Celsius. You can spot me in the wild in Taman Negara National Park, just be sure to keep a safe distance from me.