The reticulated python snake, known scientifically as the Python reticulatus, is a snake that is native to southeast Asia in tropical areas. Their normal home environment are hot, tropical rainforests near the equator. Also, they are normally found near water and are very skilled at swimming. In fact, they have populated a number of islands in their range, reaching them, ostensibly, by their swimming ability.
The python is a larger snake, typically growing up to 25 feet (7.62 meters) or even larger. They rarely get longer than 30 feet (9.14 m), however, although some legends have them getting as long as 50 feet (15.24 m). These stories have never been verified, and though some have offered rewards for a specimen longer than 30 feet (9.14 m), no one has, as of yet, been able to claim that reward.
The python snake is identified in a number of different ways. It has a series of complex patterns on its skin, often taking the form of irregular diamonds in a number of different colors. The outline of the diamonds on a python are usually darker in color, mainly black, whereas the interior of the diamond shape is much lighter in color. Albino pythons are mainly white, with perhaps a yellowish outline of the diamond shapes.
The python is solely a meat eater. Unlike some carnivorous snakes, however, it has no venom. Rather, as a member of the boa family, it is a constrictor, waiting to ambush its prey and then squeezing the life out of it. The ambush can either come from above, with the snake dropping from a tree, or ground level, with the snake hiding on the ground.
The python snake is one of the most common types of snakes kept as pets. Care should be taken to learn as much about the history as possible of any animal being considered as a pet. Wild animals caught and kept in captivity will not be as socialized as those who are born in captivity. Therefore, those wishing to keep a python as a pet should try to make sure it was one born in captivity.
Sexual maturity of the python snake is generally reached after the age of 2 but before the age of 4. Males are approximately 8 feet (2.43 m) long by this time and females may reach a size of 11 feet (3.35 m). Mating takes place between September and March. As many as 80 eggs can be laid and they are incubated for nearly three months before hatching. After the eggs are hatched, the female generally shows no interest in the offspring. They are on their own to find food and shelter.