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The genus name Antaresia was proposed by Wells and Wellington. It appears to have been accepted by most authors since 1991 without dispute.

The genus encompasses the smaller Australasian pythons, formerly lumped in the genus Liasis, and occasionally referred to as Bothrochilus. (Bothrochilus is now usually only applied to the species 'boa'). Etymology for the name Antaresia comes from Antares, the yellow giant star in the 'tail' of the constellation of Scorpius. Incidentally, Richard Wells named his daughter Antares.

Three of the four species in this genus were formerly referred to as Children's Pythons before they were split into three species in the 1980's. These were the Children's, Stimson's (=saxocola) and Spotted Pythons.

Wells and Wellington (1985) described one of the species as A. saxacola. It is regarded as the same species as A. stimsoni. The latter name is in fact the junior synonym of the former. This appears to make saxacola the correct name to use. However common usage at present favors stimsoni over saxacola. With regards to ICZN rules and procedures, the question is whether or not just over a decade of use qualifies the name stimsoni to take precedence over the proper name saxacola. This author does not believe it does, but until the ICZN makes a firm ruling on the matter (one way or other), the question will to some extent remain open for interpretation by individual authors.

For the purposes of this paper, I will take the potentially unpopular step of identifying the said species as saxacola. Refer to Aplin (1999), Hoser (1999d) and Wells and Wellington (1999) for details about the timing of publication of the descriptions of saxacola and stimsoni, and details as to why the names remain in dispute. Refer to Hoser (1993a, 1999b) and references therein for details of these snakes. Breeding these snakes in captivity is detailed by Barnett, (1979, 1987 and 1999) and others. Ant-hill Pythons (A. perthensis) are discussed at length by Hoser (1992, 1995 and 1999c). A further paper on breeding this relatively little-known species in captivity is that by Maryan and George (1998). A breeding record previously unreported by this author is one by the Perth Zoo in 1995. They reported hatching two eggs. Browne-Cooper (1998) and Hoser (1999c) discuss feeding in wild A. perthensis.


Antaresia childreni (Gray, 1842)
Antaresia maculosus (Peters, 1873)
Antaresia perthensis (Stull, 1932)
Anteresia saxacola (Wells and Wellington 1985)
Antaresia saxacola campbelli subsp. nov. (this paper)
Antaresia saxacola stimsoni (Smith 1985)
Total of 4 species, three subspecies (of one).

The above was from the paper - A revision of the Australiasian Pythons.
(Originally published in Ophidia Review 1(1) in "Autumn" 2000 - (Publication date: October 2000), pp. 7-27).

For the text of the full paper

To download the original of this paper - with photos exactly as it appeared in the journal Ophidia Review - as an Adobe Acrobat pdf file

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