Simalia Tracyae 'Halmahera Python'

Simalia Tracyae is a large arboreal python from the island Halmahera which belongs to the Indonesia Archipelago.
First described in 1994 by David Barker while the species was still called Morelia Amethystina. Barker allready thought this would be a seperat species but further studies on live specimens and museum specimens was necessary. In 2000 the Halmahera python was finally recognized as a seperate species together with Morelia Clastolepis and Morelia Nauta. Being a gentleman David G. Barker named this species after his wife Tracy Barker and the name Simalia Tracyae was born.Simalia Tracyae hunting

The Halmahera python is a larger species which can attain a length of 2,5 till 4 meters. Sometimes it is called a heavy bodied snake but in my opinion this is not true. This species has a slender body which allows the animals to hunt in the canopy like can be seen in the photo on the right. The Halmahera python can be recognized by its distinct red irises. Although this color can change during the day. My male has browner irises during the day and at night they are fire red. This species has a large head with a rounded snouth. The body has a pale brown/greenish/yellow background color which is covored with thick dorsal stripes that are brown/black. There is a great variety in the background color of these animals. My male is very light while the female is alot darker. There is said that the background color of these animals can change during the day but I have never seen this.

There is no offspring known in the world so untill this time there has only been worked with wild-caught or farm bred animals. Simalia Tracyae is a nervous species, when wondering there cage after dark they will totally freeze when they have seen you in the room. Because of this I try not to handle the animals unless it must be absolutely necessary. Both my animals stay calm when they are touched but the female will his when provoked to much,

In the wild they live above the ground and in the canopies. Young animals can be placed in a high curver which allows the animals to climb. the benefit of a curver is that it gives the animal a seclude feeling. This allows the animal to acclimate better because there is a minimum amount of stress. In a later stadium the animal can be placed in a terrarium. Adult animals can be housed in a cage of 120x60x60 but I think that 150x60x60 would be better. A heating source from above is necessary so a heatpanel is perfect. Make sure the branches are not to close underneath the panel because the animal can burn itself. Make sure you use enough branches and foliage for the animal so it can hide when it wants and feels secure.

I feed my animals with thawed mice and rats, I just leave the prey item in the cage during the night and in the morning it has been eaten.
I never encountered any problems like food refusal or agressive behaviour towards myself. I do not use life prey items because these animals are very shy and this gives the prey item the opportunity to become the predator and hurt or damage the snake.

Simalia TracyaeThis species has never been bred in captivity, I think the key is to attain a young wild caught female so it can acclimate well to the captive conditions. Adult females from the amethystina complex are very difficult to breed in captivity. This together with the low amount of animals in captivity causes this species to never have been bred in captivity.

When you try to breed this species try to attain the same techniques which are used for breeding Morelia Amethystina. A quiet and secluded environment for the female must be the key. I hope in a few years time I will see several young Halmahera pythons hatch from there eggs.

Photos used in this care sheet are not from my animals.