There are three species of short-tailed pythons, which can be distinguished by small differences in head scalation. In Blood Pythons (Python brongersmai), the labial scales fill in the entire gap between the bottom of the eye and the lip - in Borneo short-tailed pythons (P. breitensteini) and Sumatran short-tailed pythons (P. curtus), narrow subocular scales occur between the bottom of the eye and the top of the labial scales. Sumatran short-tailed pythons and Borneo short-tailed pythons can be distinguished from each other by the frontal and parietal scales on the tops of their heads. In Sumatran short-tailed pythons, the parietal scales do not join each other, or meet at an extremely sharp angle. In both Blood Pythons and Borneo short-tailed pythons, the parietal scales join together. Blood pythons are snakes with large girth. They are not very long species, with adult mature females at about 7 feet (records are at 9 to 10 feet), but they can be as thick as many much longer and heavier giant pythons, such as the Burmese Python. The tail is extremely short relative to the overall length. The color pattern consists of a beige, tan, or grayish-brown ground color overlaid with blotches that are brick- to blood-red in color.
Blood Pythons are found in Southeast Asia in southern Thailand, Malaysia (Peninsular and Sarawak) (including Pinang) and Indonesia (Sumatra, Riau Archipelago, Lingga Islands, Bangka Islands, Mentawai Islands and Kalimantan), where they feed on a variety of mammals and birds. The natural habitat of this species in Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand is lowland swampy habitats. In northern Sumatra, the species thrives in human-modified areas, particularly oil palm plantations where it may be more abundant than in natural habitats.
Blood pythons are becoming increasingly popular among snake keepers. They are easy to maintain and they do not require any unusual caging or protocols. These snakes are voracious feeders at all ages. Many keepers like the size of the species — they are big but not too big. Best of all, the variation of colors and patterns seen in blood pythons are without equal among boas and pythons. Still, many keepers today are hesitant to work with the species because of a reputation for irritability that dates far back into the history of the species in captivity. However, it is believed among experienced Blood Python keepers that their reputation from long ago is no longer valid.
Ideally, Males should be at least 2 to 3 years old and weigh at least 5 to 7 lbs, though larger is preferable and smaller is not completely unheard of. Females should be at least 3 years old and weigh 12 lbs, and no less than 10 lbs. Blood pythons can lay few to over 20 eggs at a time. In the wild, the female remains coiled around the eggs during the incubation period, and may shiver to produce heat. However, this action requires energy and the female will only do so if surrounding temperatures drop below 90 °F. The hatchlings emerge after 2.5 to 3.0 months and are about 30 cm (12 in) in length.