Significance to humans

Throughout their range, pythons are considered an important natural resource by indigenous peoples. Pythons are consumed as food, and python parts are used in folk medicine. Python skins from the larger species are a valuable commodity. During the 1990s about a million python skin exports were reported annually to CITES, but authorities believe that the actual number is higher. Many of the larger python species are considered to be livestock predators. Throughout many rural areas of Indonesia and Southeast Asia, reticulated pythons are feared as human predators. Conversely, pythons are revered by some cultures. They are kept in captivity all over the world. All species but one have been reproduced in captivity. The captive breeding of pythons for pets is a multimillion-dollar annual enterprise in the United States and Europe.

Halmahera Reticulated Python

1. Pygmy python (Antaresia perthensis); 2. Green python (Morelia viridis); 3. Halmahera python (Morelia tracyae); 4. Papuan python (Apodora papuana); 5. Blood python (Python brongersmai); 6. Reticulated python (Python reticulatus); 7. Ball python (Python regius); 8. Black-headed python (Aspidites melanocephalus). (Illustration by Brian Cressman)

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