05 July 2014 2 of 2

TIMOR-LESTE (Dili Distr.)



We had all gone to dinner, except Laca that is. He had gone to speak to some of his friends who had been playing football. He interrupted the meal when he walked into the dining hall carrying a plastic bag containing a dead snake - a 1.8-m Macklot's water python (Liasis mackloti mackloti) that had been killed at 16:00 that afternoon. It was apparently killed after having been seen crossing the road out of a vegetable garden, and the scared local threw large rocks, one of which killed the snake by breaking its back.

It is always a shame to see python killed by local people who do not realise what a valuable pest controller pythons can be in the gardens during the night. We should think of these kinds of snakes as we would of our dogs, which guard our house. The difference here is that the snakes guard people's crops from being eaten by rodents!

We spent the next hour or so photographing and then fixing the dead python, a male, as a museum voucher specimen and documenting its snout-vent and total lengths, and scale counts.


Dead on road Macklot's water python
Liasis mackloti mackloti

Click on any image to enlarge it