Simalia Clastolepis 'Moluccan python'

The Simalia Clastolepis, a.k.a. Moluccan python is medium sized python from the Moluccan islands. Before the year of 2000 this species was considered as a Simalia Amethystina  but after a field study by M. Harvey,
D. Barker, L. Ammreman , and P.Chippendale. The Amethystina complex was renewed and three new species were born. Morelia Nauta, Morelia Clastolepis and Morelia Traycae. Clastolepis derived from the Greek word klastos and means broken in pieces. This python reaches an average length of 2,5 meters and seldom passes the 3 meter point. What is special about this species is that the males grow bigger than the females . When born both genders have a bright yellow coloration
but when the females get mature they tend to get darker than the males.

Since the Simalia Clastolepis is a snake that likes to climb and is a medium sized snake it needs a large vivarium.  A cage that is 1,5 meters wide, 1 meter deep and 80cm high would be perfect. Try to keep this species in a temperature range of 28 till 32 degrees Celsius during the day and 22 till 24 degrees celcius during the night.Because this species lives in the Moluccan rainforests it needs a humidity of 70 till 80 percent.

The Moluccan python is not a snake for a beginner because they are know for there food response like the other python in the Amethystina complex. When opening the cage make sure you keep a distance between yourself and the snake because they can suddenly launch themselves towards you. They are not aggressive but after smelling food make sure to be very careful because they will not hesitate to mistake your arm for a prey item. The Moluccan python can be fed with with large rats.

Breeding Simalia Clastolepis is very difficult. It is hard to get them to copulate and after a succesfull egg laying it is very hard to raise the juveniles properly. A small temperature drop will be enough to get the animals started at the same time try to raise the humidity during this time to simulate the raining period. During the gestation the females tends to get darker after every shed. This is also different from other python species which tend to get brighter during the gestation. A darker skin means it takes less energy to get warm which is perfect for a female during the breeding season. Normally the female will lay about 6 till 14 eggs which can be incubated in a 30,5 till 31 degrees Celsius temperature range.

When born the juveniles are about 60cm long. Normally a juvenile snake will shed it’s skin after 10 days but this species does it after 6 till 12 weeks. This means you need a lot of patience to het them to eat because juveniles normally start eating after there first shed. This means that they will go without food for 3,5 till 4 months after being born. The juveniles can be cannibalistic so make sure you house them separately.

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gallery/morelia clastolepis 2

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