Dwarf and Super Dwarf Reticulated Pythons

Understanding Dwarf and Super Dwarf Reticulated Pythons

In reticulated pythons, the terms Dwarf and Super Dwarf (D and SD) do not refer to “morphs” in the common use of the term. They refer to the locales from which the animals originated. Very specific islands in Indonesia are home to reticulated pythons that mature at much smaller sizes than their mainland counterparts.

Crossbreeding and Definitions

Crossbreeding—in particular with mainland retics to introduce morph varieties into the smaller animals—has necessitated the need for clear definitions to help ensure buyers have reasonable expectations for an animal’s mature size. 

Locality Percentage as an Indicator

While an animal’s locality percentage does not provide certainty for the animal’s mature size, it is currently one of the best indicators available. It’s important to have a definition for these terms for them to be understood and useful.

The remainder of this article explains the definition used widely across the industry and how they will be used on MorphMarket.

Introduction of Locale Tags

One thing to keep in mind is that in the early days of Super Dwarf retics coming into the pet trade, exporters were protective of their hunting grounds for these extra-small animals. For a time, all incoming SD retics were from "unknown" locales because the exporters refused to identify them. So there are legitimate lines of SD retics from Unknown locales. Therefore, we have also created a locale tag to include that information. Sellers can use "Unknown (Super Dwarf)" or "Unknown (Dwarf)" locale tags as well as the named ones. 

Locales and Sizes

This chart describes the locales and sizes of the retics found there. The largest two of these smaller animals are considered “Dwarf.” The smallest three are considered “Super Dwarf.” The two locales in the middle may be referred to by either term. 

To be considered a D or SD animal, the locales in an animal’s lineage must add up to at least 50%
Some examples: 
  • 50% Kalatoa = SD
  • 50% Jampea = D
  • 37.5% Madu = Neither
  • 25% Kalatoa, 25% Madu = SD
  • 25% Kalatoa, 25% Tombolongan = SD
  • 25% Madu, 12.5% Karompa = Neither
  • 25% Madu, 25% Jampea = D
  • 25% Karompa, 25% Unknown SD = SD
  • 25% Selayer, 25% Jampea = D
  • 25% Kalatoa, 25% Madu, 12.5% Jampea = SD

Percentage Requirements

  1. When using locale tags for Dwarf (D) and Super Dwarf (SD) Reticulated Pythons on MorphMarket, it is permissible to include the tag in the title. However, if the animal's lineage is less than 50% of a specific locale, the percentage must be clearly specified in the title. This ensures transparency and prevents potential misinterpretation. For example, if a seller uses the locale tag "Kalaotoa" in the title, it implies that the animal has at least 50% Kalaotoa lineage. If the animal is of lower percentage, the seller must include the precise percentage in the title.
  2. The plain D and SD tags may only be used when the seller knows the exact percentages of the locales in that animal’s lineage, and those locales add up to 50% or more
  3. Note that Super Dwarf is a subset of Dwarf, which means that any percentage of SD locale can be included in D calculations, but D percentages cannot count toward determining SD.
  4. In addition, those percentages must be listed in the ad’s description if the D and/or SD tags are to be used. We encourage sellers to also include the sire and dam, with their percentages, in the description field, or using the Offspring Groups feature to display the parents on the listing.  

Handling Unknown Percentages

  • Locale tags can still be used even when exact percentages are not known or do not exceed 50%.  For example, if the animal you are advertising is 25% Kalatoa and 75% mainland, you can still use the Kalatoa locale tag, but you may not use the D/SD tags. 
  • We have introduced Unknown (Super dwarf) and Unknown (dwarf) tags which can be used like the other locale tags.
  • Users will still find your animals in all the other ways, including latest listings, genetic traits or other characteristics.

Additional Resources

We recommend that everyone interested in D/SD retics review this video. Garrett Hartle of Reach out Reptiles gives an excellent lesson with memorable visuals on the definitions of Dwarf and Super Dwarf, where they come from, and how to understand and calculate percentages in your breeding projects.

In addition, MorphMarket provides a rich community built "encyclopdia of traits" in the form of the Morphpedia, where you can use the Dwarf and Super Dwarf filters to learn more about these animals.

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