Locality : Padaido

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I will introduce you to a somewhat unique insular locality Morelia Azurea Azurea - Padaido that often goes unnoticed or is little known in captivity, although you have probably heard of it before.

It is often mistaken for the Biak, although it does not inhabit the same biotope or the same island... I know that many of you think it lives on the same island as the Biak... But not at all, quite the opposite.


To understand the Padaido, its way of life and behavior, we need to start by understanding the context and the geographical area. Indonesia, composed of, among others, 17,000 islands (Biak, Yapen, etc.)... archipelagos (like the Aru Islands), is bathed by two oceans: the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The annual tropical climate allows for dense vegetation that covers even the rocks, and coral reefs that protect their micro-islands.


The Padaido Islands, which consist of several islands, are administratively part of the Kabupaten of Biak. They are located southeast of Biak, in the Pacific Ocean.

Biak Island covers an area of 2,455 km²... And this is a very interesting detail.

In comparison... The Padaido Islands, for example, have Pulau Auki with an area of 8.5 km², Pulau Pai with 9 km², Pulau Padaido with 9.6 km²... and Pulau Bromsi, the largest one, with 17.4 km².

This demonstrates the extreme fragility of their habitat, but also explains the intense radiance bathing their islands, the possible temperature contrasts, and the variations in water. They are smaller in size than the Biak (which are the largest Viridis and dominate as predators on Biak Island). The Padaido's coloration also presents distinct differences compared to the Biak (only in pure bloodlines, as crosses lose this distinction).

Morelia Viridis

The Padaido has a lighter green background color, with a much more prominent presence of yellow than the Biak, as well as a very marked white spotting. The spots are truly more intense than those on the Biak. In fact, young specimens show the early development of white scales.

Given that the forest on Biak Island is denser and larger, it is easily understandable and logical that the Padaido's green color becomes darker in adulthood. For the Padaido, their diet can be deduced from their biotope: frogs, lizards, birds, small mammals... Overall similar to the Biak, although I believe that the Padaido may consume more birds, as they ultimately live in very restricted biotopes.

Morelia Viridis

In captivity, I have noticed that the Padaido Viridis greatly appreciate a well-lit terrarium, even before the completion of their ontogenetic changes. They do not hesitate in the presence of light. After 6 months, it's all over, the initial shyness is forgotten. They are not too discreet, why should they be? On their micro-island, no one attacks them, except for the youngest... But once they reach adulthood, apart from searching for food, life is quite calm for these "dominants", and the predators of their youth become their prey!

They are localities that feed well, just like the Biak, making them easy to start and raise. Moreover, they have a character that is ultimately calmer and more composed than the Biak, equally curious by nature. However, a piece of advice for the night... It is not advisable to put your hand in the terrarium... The Biak influence remains strong!

Credits text and photos : Steve Schmitt