Boelen's python

Simalia boeleni

''Simalia boeleni'' is a species of python, a nonvenomous snake in the family Pythonidae. The species is endemic to the mountains of New Guinea. No subspecies are currently recognized.
Boelen's Python New Guinea This Boelen's Python is 3.1 mtrs (10ft 2 inches) long. Known in the mountains Papua New Guinea as Blek Moran (Black Python) or Papa Graun (Literally: "Owner of the Land!"). They also have been called "Blue" Moran because of the iridescent blue color they show in the sunlight. They are only found in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea and on Goodenough Island just off the coast. Ever since coming to PNG I have wanted to see one of these! I asked quite a few people about them. Even though they exist only here, very few people have seen one. They are endangered and fall under New Guinea's highest protection. I rescued this one from a group of men who would have eaten it if I had not bought it from them. Because I could not care for it properly, I released it in a safe environment. Three weeks after I parted with it someone brought me an 8 footer to sell. I quickly declined, not wanting to promote them being hunted out. Fall,Geotagged,Papua New Guinea,Simalia boeleni

Appearance

In ''S. boeleni'' adults, the upperside color pattern is dark bluish-black or purplish-black, and the anterior part of the underside is 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 m in length, usually around 2 years of age. Adults may be up to 3 m in total length .

Naming

The specific name, ''boeleni'', is in honor of K.W.J. Boelen, M.D., who collected the holotype specimen.Locally, ''S. boeleni'' is also known as the ''blu moran'' or ''papa graun''. Within Indonesia, it has several names depending on which language is used. The common Indonesian names of this snake are ''sanca hitam'', ''sanca bulan'', ''piton hitam'', and ''ular buleni''.

Distribution

''S. boeleni'' is found in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea .

The type locality given is "Dimija , Wissel Lakes, Dutch New Guinea, about 1750 m above sea-level" [Western New Guinea, Indonesia].

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

Status

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. It is difficult to truly assess the conservation status of these snakes, as they are incredibly secretive and difficult to find in the wild.

Habitat

''S. boeleni'' is found in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea .

The type locality given is "Dimija , Wissel Lakes, Dutch New Guinea, about 1750 m above sea-level" [Western New Guinea, Indonesia].

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

Food

The diet of ''S. boeleni'' consists of mammals, lizards, and birds.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassReptilia
OrderSquamata
FamilyPythonidae
GenusSimalia
SpeciesS. boeleni
Photographed in
Papua New Guinea