I'm a wildlife biologist by training but a naturalist at heart. My masters thesis is looking into the day-to-day happenings of the poorly understood Panamint alligator lizard, Elgaria panamintina. I post things that interest me and often post updates on what I'm doing in the vertebrate museum, in the field, or in the lab.
Are bloods, black bloods, short tail, etc classified as Python curtus spp.? Or are they Python sp.?
In other words, in the reptile keeping community, do we say Python curtus brongersmai or do we say Python brongersmai when referring to Malaysian reds and such?
Well I don’t know much about taxonomy and classification because that’s not really my area, I’m just a nerd with fancy snake cages and pets. However in the ~keeping~ community I usually just refer to it as python brongersmai, python curtus, python breitensteini. I feel like typing out “python curtus brongersmai” “python curtus curtus” and “python curtus breitensteini” would take too much effort especially since it’s already well known that the three are related.
If anything, when I am feeling fancy, I’ll tag then as “Python c. ______” but usually I just go for python-whateverthesubspeciesis
Keogh et al. 2001 (article is behind a paywall, but the abstract is free) found adequate evidence to elevate the subspecies to full species status:
Python brongersmai, P. breitensteini and P. curtus.
More information about Pythonidae’s recent taxonomic updates (as of 2010) can be found here (no paywall).
As for referencing species by scientific name: the first mention should be the full name either italicized or underlined, ie Python curtus, then each repeated mention thereafter can have a shortened genus, ie. P. curtus, if there are subspecies after the first full mention you can shorten it to P.c. curtus (except that’s not a real subspecies anymore).
NEVER leave out the epithet (the second half of the scientific name, ie. brongersmai of Python brongersmai) when referring to a subspecies as it leads to confusion and is incredibly inaccurate. Never ever do that. Bad. very bad.