Short-Tail Python Gallery #1 - Sumatrans
Not many keepers realize that this python species was essentially unknown in captivity until the very late 1980s. Here at VPI, we had what was probably the very first live specimen of Python curtus in captivity. It came to as a hatchling in early 1989, misidentified as a baby Borneo. Imagine our surprise when it turned black as it grew. By then a few "black bloods" were trickling into the USA, and we realized that these animals from southern and western Sumatra were a different taxon.
We have worked continuously with the species since receiving that first baby, and they rank high amoung our favorite pythons. Sumatran Short-tail Pythons were first bred in captivity here at VPI. Along the way we realized that this species is quite variable in color and appearance. The populations in southern Sumatra are larger and blacker than the orange-headed race that is found along the northwest coast.
We were ecstatic to receive the first albino specimens back in 1999/2000. They are pictured here and you can see that they are some sort of tyrosinase-positive type of albino--we call the appearance the VPI caramel-albino. The original wild-caught albinos came from the Sumatera Utara Province, a region south of Medan in northern Sumatra.