Sumatran short-tailed pythons (P. curtus) are also found on Sumatra, but in the southern and western parts of the island. They range in color from dusky brown to jet black, with black, gray or silver heads. Some have orange or yellow heads, and are occasionally mistaken for Borneo short-tails. Hatchlings are typically lighter in appearance and darken considerably with age. The Sumatran short-tailed python is often called the “black blood python,” another confusing label which we think should be avoided.
While blood pythons are considered the largest and Sumatran short-tails the smallest, all three species average 4 to 5 feet in length as captive adults. Healthy adult weight at this length is approximately 10 to 15 pounds. Older adults may reach lengths of more than 6 feet and weigh 20 pounds or more. All are heavy-bodied, terrestrial snakes, and a 5-foot-long specimen of any of the three species is a solid, impressive animal! Hatchlings are approximately 8 to 12 inches in length, and blood pythons are the chunkiest of the three as youngsters.