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New Tree Python

October 22, 2015

The newest arrival at Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium has been named after Lord Voldermort’s favourite reptile companion.

Staff have named the Biak green tree python Nagini in honour of the giant snake in Harry Potter. He is currently around 50cms in length and was bred in captivity.

 

When fully grown he could reach lengths in excess of 180cms, some females have been identified in the wild which were over two metres long.

 

The species takes its name from the small island of Biak off the northern coast of Indonesian New Guinea where it is most commonly found. It is one of around 10 different types of green tree pythons which have so far been identified.

 

Spending most of their time off the ground in trees or bushes, they have a particular way of resting in the branches; they loop a coil or two over the branches in a saddle position and then rest their head and upper body in the middle.

 

In the wild their diet consists mainly of small mammals, like rodents and other reptiles. The python ambush their prey by holding on to a branch with their prehensile tail and striking out from an s-shaped position, before constricting their victim.

 

Green tree pythons can lay up to 25 eggs at a time. Hatchlings range in colour from a lemon-green with broken stripes and spots, golden or orange-red.

 

As the snakes become mature their colour changes to the adult green. This usually occurs when the snake is anywhere from six months to a year old. The speed of colour change varies hugely with some individuals changing colour overnight and other taking a month or more to transform.

 

Scientists believe the colouration changes as the snake’s habitat alters from lower down on the rainforest floor where the darker colours help to camouflage the young snakes to up in the green canopy where the adults live.

 

Nagini is the latest addition to the aquarium’s Jungle Room which is home to a number of exotic reptiles; including snakes, lizards and iguanas as well as scorpions and spiders.

 

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Issued by Blue Reef Aquarium. For more information and to arrange interviews, picture or filming opportunities please contact Leanna Lawson or Chrissie Daniels on 01424 718776.