Locality : Kofiau

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A little bit of geography... This island locality resides in the Raja Ampat archipelago, located in the far west, on the smallest of the islands, called... Kofiau Island!


Due to its relatively restricted habitat, they are very rare to find. Fortunately, the island is less visited and less touristy, which helps in preserving its natural environment, and occasionally, some specimens circulate in Europe. Another advantage is that there is absolutely no possibility of crossbreeding with other localities in the wild.

The "classic" form displays a distinct and beautiful contrast of three colors, with an absolutely stunning yellow ventral zone that slightly extends onto the lower jaw.

Morelia Viridis

As adults, they boast a magnificent green color, not too dark and rather bright (lighter than Biak, Yapen, or Padaido), displaying a well-marked and vibrant blue, which is visible and evenly distributed (although not always, as it varies among individuals). It's worth noting that the level of white spotting remains low, whether it is the classic or yellow type, with only a few scattered scales on the body.

To date, no known natural "Mite phase" exists, except for designer forms (which refers to the presence of black scales giving an overall speckled appearance). The head is notably distinct from that of Biak, Aru, or Yapen.

Morelia Viridis

Regarding growth, it takes a minimum of about 5 to 6 years for a female to reach adult size and acquire a solid and stable bone structure before being able to reproduce, while ensuring the animal's health. For males, it usually takes a minimum of 3 to 4 years, but since they are not burdened with egg-laying, it is less problematic to breed a "precocious" young male.

In summary, the growth is slower, and sexual maturity is achieved later compared to mainland localities. The ontogenetic change is also relatively long, especially for females. It is worth noting that the Aru island locality exhibits a slightly shorter ontogenetic change. However, this process is less spectacular and intensive compared to many mainland localities. Apart from Biaks, I find that island localities do not display as much contrast and gradual transitions compared to the stunning step-by-step changes observed in Cyclops, Sorong, Nabire, Arfak, etc.

Morelia Viridis

And what about size? It is quite variable for an island locality. Overall, the Kofiau Morelia viridis is slightly smaller than a Biak or Yapen, but closer to the average size of an Aru. However, Kofiau is by no means a small locality; on the scale of island localities, it is not the largest. I find it to be rather long and slender, but please note that it still remains a "large" Morelia viridis.

As for temperament, it is also highly variable but significantly milder than that of Biak or Padaido, and closer to the "relatively" calm nature of Aru, except for the juveniles, which can be quite nervous. However, when it comes to feeding at night, it is undeniable that they exhibit the traits of an island locality, with sharp and lively long teeth!

A remark: regarding growth, all the breeders I have discussed with agree on this point: the initial stages are very challenging for this island locality, with significant losses and a relatively low average number of eggs per clutch. On this tiny island, their diet mainly consists of lizards and amphibians, and perhaps insects during the early days... This could explain the difficulty and losses during the first few months of establishment.

However, once this delicate period is surpassed, they become hearty eaters and no longer pose any problems.

Credits text and photos : Steve Schmitt