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Simalia - Gray, 1849

Pronunciation: SIM-ah-LEE-ah
Etymology: unknown.

Taxonomic notes:

Several genetic studies indicate that the genus Morelia, as classically recognised, is not monophyletic (Rawlings et al. 2008; Pyron et al. 2013; Reynolds et al. 2014; Barker et al. 2015). The genus Similia Gray, 1894 has been resurrected to accommodate species within the S. amethistina complex (Reynolds et al. 2014). In Australia this includes scrub python (Simalia kinghorni) and Oenpelli python (Simalia oenpelliensis). The genus is morphologically differentiated from Morelia sensu stricto by the presence of plate-like scales on top of the head, and from other Australian python genera (Antaresia, Aspidites, and Liasis) by the presence of two large, deep thermoreceptive pits ("heat pits") on the rostral scale.

Statistics: Reproductive modes:
Oviparous - 2 out of 2 Australian species

Size range:
Smallest Australian species: scrub python (Simalia kinghorni) at 350 cm
 Longest Australian species: scrub python (Simalia kinghorni) at up to 500 cm
Number of Australian species: 2

scrub python (Simalia kinghorni)
Wooroonooran National Park, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
scrub python (Simalia kinghorni) distribution range map Simalia kinghorni
Scrub python
Year described
(Stull 1933)
Very large and slender. Pale yellow/brown with many darker blotches, some coalescing into a mesh-like pattern. Iridescent sheen.

Oenpelli python (Simalia oenpelliensis)
Arnhem Escarpment, Northern Territory
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
Oenpelli python (Simalia oenpelliensis) distribution range map Simalia oenpelliensis
Oenpelli python
Year described
(Gow 1977)
Light brown to fawn on top, paler on sides, with irregular darker blotches.

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