Taxonomy

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Young 'Tiger' reticulated python

 

In order to understand the Reticulated python we must look at the taxonomic class in which it resides.

In mid 18th century a Swedish botanist named Carl Linnaeus collected and classified plants and animals into a then unique system. This system has since been adopted by the scientific community worldwide and now forms the basis for classifying each and every living organism known to mankind. This system groups together individual life forms that have similarities, these groups are then put with others that are similar, and so it goes on until we reach the top of the chain.

All animals are placed in the “kingdom” named Animalia. This contains each different group of animal on earth. Here we find the class of animals we are looking for.
Within the class Reptilia there are 4 orders – Chelonia (containing tortoises and turtles), Crocodilia (containing crocodiles, alligators caiman and gavial), Squamata (containing snakes, lizards and worm lizards) and Tuatara (containing only the 2 Tuatara species).
The contents of the order Squamata are split into 3 sub orders – Amphisbaenia (the worm lizards), Lacertilia (the lizards) and Serpentes (the snakes).
The sub order that interests us most, Serpentes, contains approximately 2700 snake species.
This large sub order is then divided again into 2 infra orders – Scolecophidia (the blind snakes) and Alethinophidia (all other snakes).
It is within the latter named infra order (which contains some 15 families) that we find the Pythonidae.

From the original number of 2700 snakes we are now presented with 8 genera comprising of 26 species.
The genus containing the subject of this site holds only 10 full species:

Python anchietae – The Angolan Python

Python breitensteini – The Short Tailed Python

Python brongersmai – The Red Blood Python

Python curtus – The Black Blood Python

Python molurus – The Indian Python

Python regius – The Royal/Ball Python

Python reticulatus – The Reticulated Python

Python sebae – The African Rock Python

Python natalensis – The lesser African Rock Python

Python timorensis – The Timor Python

 

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