Biak Green Tree Pythons
Biak Green Tree Pythons are found on Biak Island, a small island located in Cenderawasih Bay near the northern coast of Papua, an Indonesian province, and is just northwest of New Guinea. Biak is the largest island in its small archipelago, and has many atolls, reefs, and corals. Biaks tend to be one of the larger forms of Green Tree Pythons. An insular form, which is currently recognized as Morelia azurea. This locality type takes a long time complete the ontogenic color change. (Sometimes as long a 5 years before the color/pattern finally stabilizes).
Although sometimes less informed sellers may refer to a Biak Locality Type as a “HIGH YELLOW” before it has even completed the change, this is often just a sales tactic…so keep this in mind when considering purchases. Biaks are identifiable with a few key characteristics: They possess a more elongated head, the nasal scales often seem to look pronounced, giving them a “dragon-headed” appearance. The tail gradually tapers to a thin sharp point, ending with a black tip. Biaks can begin life as either red or yellow neonates. Regardless of their color as a neonate, they often retain some percentage of yellow coloration into adulthood. (Once in a while there are extreme examples of adults with loads of yellow!) Sometimes Biaks that start as red neonates will mature to show a black net pattern of half moons along the dorsal line. Biak green tree pythons can be quite variable, displaying deep forest green, olive drab, sage and vivid green along with yellow, white and even blue.
Their attitude has been described as feisty or high strung in comparison to other locality types. This is a subjective perspective. As they mature many do seem to mellow out. All are individuals (and opinions about their disposition) will vary considerably. Biaks make a wonderful addition to every keeper’s collection. They tend to have a very good feeding response. This characteristic is sometimes utilized by those doing locality crosses/hybridization to improve the ease of getting neonates started feeding. For example: Biaks start feeding readily as neonates…Kofiau can be difficult to start on pinky mice. Kofiau X Biak crosses tend to be much easier to get started. Biak locality animals are often utilized in may different projects that involve crosses or hybridization.
Credit: Harlin Wall