AROD > Reptiles / Squamata / Pythonidae
|Etymology:||The family name comes from the genus Python, which was the name of a giant snake killed in Greek mythology by Apollo.1 - Storr et al. (2002). Snakes of Western Australia. Western Australian Museum. 309|
Formerly included as a subfamily (Pythoninae) within Boidae, Pythonidae is now recognised as its own distinct family.
All members of this family are non-venomous, killing their prey by constriction. This suffocates the prey item, and possibly also causes circulatory failure. Constriction is thought to be a primitive behaviour and is exhibited by a number of other snake families.2 - Greene & Burghardt (1978). Behavior and phylogeny: constriction in ancient and modern snakes. Science, 200(4337):74-77.
In Australia, pythons can be distinguished from other land snakes by the higher count of midbody scale rows (more than about 30 versus fewer than about 25).
Oviparous - 13 out of 13 Australian species
Smallest Australian species: pygmy python (Antaresia perthensis) at 40 cm
Longest Australian species: olive python (Liasis olivaceus) at up to 650 cm
|Number of Australian genera:||4|
|Number of Australian species:||13|
- Storr, G. M.; Smith, L. A.; & Johnstone, R. E. (2002). Snakes of Western Australia. Western Australian Museum. 309 - search web for this book
- Greene, H. W. & Burghardt, G. M. (1978). Behavior and phylogeny: constriction in ancient and modern snakes. Science, 200(4337):74-77.