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Volume 12 | Number 1 | May 2023 v12i1.297 taprobanica 12 1


Volume 12 | Number 1 | May 2023
Short Note
ISSN: 1800-427X (printed)
eISSN: 1800-427X (online)

Submitted date: 6 Dec 2022
Accepted date: 10 May 2023
Published date: 12 May 2023
Pp. 23, pl. 12

A rock python (Python molurus) predates on a porcupine (Hystrix indica)

H. Aththanayaka, S.L. Prakash & S. Karunarathna*
*Corresponding author. E-mail: suranjan.karu@gmail.com

The endemic Sri Lankan subspecies of rock python, Python molurus pimbura is the largest snake found in Sri Lanka. Though distributed island wide, it is listed as Near Threatened due to the rapid population decline. This is a common victim of illegal trade (as pets and for skin/meat). The prey items of the rock python are poorly documented, but it is not unusual for them to take difficult prey such as porcupines. In India, Bhupathy & Vijayan (1989) observed 14% of the python diet was porcupines, but this is a rare observation for Sri Lanka. The Indian crested porcupine, Hystrix indica is the largest and a most widely distributed rodent in Sri Lanka. They live in large burrows dug deep into the ground and give birth to 2–4 young at a time. Predations on porcupines are rare because of their sharp quills, so predators do not attack unless starving.

Section Editor: Thasun Amarasinghe
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