Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus Niloticus)
Nile Crocodile Belly Skins
Terminology of the nile crocodile skin
Quadrants: The skin is divided into 6 Quadrants (S1-S6) as per the graphic
Outskirts: The outside area of Quadrants 1-4 (S1-S4) and consisting of inner soft bones and raised horn-back scutes
Head: Quadrant 5
Belly: Quadrant 1-4
Tail: Quadrant 6
The size of a belly skin is determined by the width across the belly between the 3rd bony plate of the innermost large raised horn-back plates. These plates are referred to as scutes. The inner soft bones can be included in the size.
The grading of the Nile Crocodile Skin
The skin is laid out on a clean, flat surface. Mentally divide the skin into 6 sections as per the graphic and check the surface for defects.
A Grade 1 skin has no defects in S1 through S4 and allows for defects on S5 or S6. Or you can have small defects that are visible on either the outskirts of S1 and/or S2 or on S3 and/or S4, with defects on S5 or S6 subject that the upper half or bottom half of the belly is clean.
A Grade 2 skin will have smaller defects or one large defect in one of S1 through S4 and other small defects on the outskirts of other sections as well as defects on S5 or S6. Or three-quarters of the belly will be clean with a few (less than 3) small defects on the outskirts of S1 to S4 and can also include defects on S5 or S6.
On a Grade 3 skin the continuous sections of S1-S2 or S3-S4 will be clean even though defects are on other sections. A skin will still be considered a grade 3 if three-quarters of the belly is clean with significant damage on the outskirts and S5 and S6. A skin will be graded as a grade 3 with significant defects on one of S1 through S4 and other smaller defects on the outskirts of the other sections S1 through S4 and allows for defects on S5 or S6.
A Grade 4 skin will have a continuous clean sections S1-S2 or S3-S4 clean with significant defects in other sections. A Grade 4 skin can also have one clean section (S1 to S4) with larger defects on all other sections.
Defects will occur on all 6 Quadrants on a Reject skin.
Nile Crocodile Backstrap
Terminology of the nile crocodile backstrap
Backstraps are harvested from the back of the crocodile and includes the crown (top of the head) and 4 lines of hard scutes.
The backstraps are measured from behind the crown up to the last double scute (butterfly) before becoming a single line.
The grading of the nile crocodile backstrap
Backstraps are ungraded. A backstrap must be useable for belt production and is sold in different sizes.