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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2021



Boelen's Python

Species : Simalia boeleni
Maximum Size : At least 3 metres

The unmistakable and famed Boelen's Python is Papua New Guinea's most important snake species, receiving the highest legal protection possible. Locally it is also known as the Blu Moran (= Blue Python) or Papa Graun Moran.

The species inhabits forested montane regions of over 1000 metres elevation. It is generally encountered on the forest floor, but is also reckoned to be an able climber.

The upperside is dark bluish-black or purplish-black, and the anterior part of underside white to pale yellow. Pale bands two or three scales wide extend onto the flanks, and the upper and lower lips are also patterned with pale scales. The body is stocky and the head large.

One of the two snakes illustrated here is confidently estimated to be at least 3 metres in length, and might well be one of the longest records for the species.

The distribution of Boelen's Python is  limited to the main island of New Guinea, though it is also reported from at least one other nearby island.

Fig 1 : Adult Boelen's Python lies unconcealed on the forest floor.

Fig 2 : Typical montane cloud forest at Mananda, Southern Highlands Province (elevation 1700 metres) - haunt of Boelen's Python.

Fig 2 : Close-up of the head showing the typical facial patterning.

Fig 3 : Flank of a 3-metre specimen, with typical truncated barring.

Snake photos thanks to Shane Convey

References : H6



Fig 1
ゥ  Shane Convey
Fig 2
Fig 3
ゥ  Shane Convey
Fig 4
ゥ  Shane Convey