(Antaresia stimsoni & maculosus)
The Children's python group of species is found across most of Australia with the exception of the far south and southeast. There are four species recognised in Australia: the pygmy python (A. perthensis) which lives in mid-western Australia around the Pilbara region; the large-blotched python (A. stimsoni) which is found across most of inland arid Australia through to the coast of central WA; the spotted python (A. maculosa) occuring along the coastal regions of north-eastern Australia and; Children's python (A. childreni) distributed across northern Australia.
The diversity of colour, pattern and form exhibited by this species complex is fascinating and remarkable. Few pythons in the world can offer so much variation and come from such a wide range of habitats. Their placid temperament in captivity and small size make them an excellent snake to collect and display. We love them and, although space and time are at a premium, cannot imagine our collection without a handful of different species of Children's pythons.
Most of our focus has been on the large-blotched pythons, or as it is known by most the "Stimsons" pythons. Their colour and variation is probably the greatest of any of these species. As illustrated in the pictures above, we have animals originating from the deserts of South Australia through the central MacDonnell Ranges to the north-west of Western Australia and across to the Gulf of Carpentaria. The behaviours of the stimsons from these different areas (such as the MacDonnell Ranges versus the Gulf of Carpentaria) varies greatly too. We find it hard to believe that with futher research some of these forms will not be given at least subspecies status. Hopefully as herpetology grows in Australia, more people will keep and take an interest in the provenance and associated variation in these pythons.
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