White Lipped Python

Natural habitat

Found in tropical habitat in New Guinea and several surrounding islands. Highly active and semi-arboreal snake, it is found in a range of habitats throughout the islands. In captivity, providing a similar range of moist to dry cage options often helps increase success in keeping this species.

Recommended Reading

Pythons

Behavior

A smart, inquisitive snake that is often considered "foul tempered". With patience and caution, these snakes can be tamed down to make satisfying and rewarding pets. Potential owners be warned, however - with these snakes, it's not "if" you get bit, it's when! Judicious use of common sense (wash your hands after touching rodents, don't poke it in the face, etc) will help minimize any unfortunate encounters, and the snake will appreciate courtesy and confidence in a handler.

Captive environment

As these snakes grow quite large, start babies off in a simple, small starter cage such as a 15 gallon glass tank or a small glass terrarium. Once the snake outgrows the baby cage, it can be moved up to the large adult sized cage. Solid sided Vision cages are excellent options for adult animals, with the larger sizes such as the V622 being excellent for a single adult or pair of adult snakes. Taller solid-sided cages such as the Penn Plax cages can be extremely rewarding to house your snakes in, however, as the larger and taller models such as the Home Unit 6 offer enough space vertically and horizontally to permit the widest range of natural behaviors from your snake.

A bedding that will readily hold moisture and allow it to evaporate into the cage for humidity is mandatory for this species, and products such as cypress mulch, orchid bark, or pulverized coconut husk are ideal. The use of moss, such as New Zealand Sphagnum Moss or Green Sphagnum Moss not only help make the cage more visually appealing but also aid in increasing humidity in specific areas of the cage. Packing one or two hides in the cage with damp moss will create a moist hiding spot, which will help the snake shed in one complete piece.

There should be cage furnishings that allow the snake to climb, bask, and hide. Branchy pieces of wood such as grape wood, sturdy vines, and wooden jungle gyms are all excellent options for creating a visually appealing range of options for your python to climb and bask on. In addition to these climbing materials, these snakes will enjoy and utilize hiding places such as caves, cork flats, cork rounds, and half logs.

In addition to wood products, live plants can help create visual barriers for the snake to hide behind as well as boost humidity within the cage in a natural way. For larger snakes that tend to crush live plants, use of fake vines and bushes will help spruce up the cage.

Temperature

These snakes are one of a few that will utilize a basking spot, although care must be taken that the snake cannot burn itself on any bulbs used in or near the cage. During the day, a daytime basking light can be used in combination with a full spectrum light to help display the animal to its best colors as well as create a naturalistic photoperiod. A non-visible source of heat such as a heat pad or radiant heat panel should be on at all times to provide a source of heat that will not dry out the snake. A natural drop in temperature at night is normal and should not cause any problems for the snake; just be sure that the temperature does not drop below 75 in the warmest spot of the cage.

Humidity

This snake loves a humid enclosure, and thrives best when misted at least once or twice daily. A hand spray bottle is the the most conventional way to increase humidity, but a fogger provides an extremely visually appealing way to add humidity to the cage.

A large bowl of fresh water should be available at all times, and replaced immediately if the water is fouled. These snakes will occasionally soak, and do frequently defecate in the water, so care should be taken that the water is kept fresh for them at all times.

Water requirements

A large bowl of fresh water should be available at all times, and replaced immediately if the water is fouled. These snakes will occasionally soak, and do frequently defecate in the water, so care should be taken that the water is kept fresh for them at all times.

Nutritional requirements

In the wild, this snake cheerfully consumes anything that it can, including birds, mammals, and smaller reptiles. In captivity, however, these snakes thrive on a simple diet of appropriately sized mice and rats, and do not need to be fed birds or other mammals for "variety". Frequently, switching up the diet can cause more problems than benefits, so it's best to stick to the tried and true feeder rodents.

Baby white lipped pythons typically feed on pinky mice, but grow quickly and move on up in mouse size. After your snake eats, you should see a noticeable lump in its stomach indicating that it's fed. If you can hardly tell that the snake has recently eaten a meal, it is time to move up a size in rodents.

Copyright 2014 LLLReptile and Supply Co., Inc.
Phone: 888-54-REPTILE (888-547-3784); Fax: (760) 439-1921

website by [ i ] motion creative