As a child, my parents took me to the zoo very often! I liked all the animals, but slowly my favorite became the reticulated python which was magnificent!!
It was incomprehensible for my parents. Like other people, they found reptiles scary and even repulsive!! However, my visits to the zoo and love for the python continued until I moved out of the city for a new job.
One day a friend of mine got a reticulated python as a pet!! The minute I laid my eyes on it, I knew that I had to get one for myself. I read as much as I could and also spent a lot of time at my friend’s house to learn the day to day handling. Finally, I got my reticulated python!
The reticulated python is from a species of snakes that belong to the family Pythonidae. It is native to Southeast Asia. It is the world’s longest snake and also among the heaviest! Just like all the pythons, it is a non-venomous constrictor. They are present in most parts of the world.
They are excellent swimmers and have been able to reach many islands. These make for fascinating pets, and if you are thinking of getting one, then read on. Let me share some information with you, which can help you in making up your mind.
These are one of the largest snakes in the world! Some specimens have gone on to grow to a length of 32 feet with a weight of350 pounds! It is not normal, and only a few gain these immense dimensions. The adult reticulated python on an average is between 10 and 20 feet long. There is a dwarf variety of reticulated pythons that have a maximum length of 12 feet and some super dwarf pythons which reach only 6 to 8 feet in length.
On average, a reticulated python can live up to 20 years. Most have a life span of 15 to20 years. Some pythons can reach 25 years or even 30 years of age, but these are very few.
It is one of the most beautiful snakes with a beautiful pattern on the skin. This pattern is the reason why we call it the reticulated python! It is also famous as “retic”! it has a large and muscular body. The iridescence and pattern on the skin make it attractive to python lovers. These are gorgeous and fascinating creatures!
There are many patterns and color mutations available. These designs or morphs dictate prices and availability. Tiger, albino, and dwarf are the most popular. In the wild, they tend to be olive, dark green, black, white, and gold.
People were scared and nervous around these creatures when they did not understand them fully! They are not very dangerous. Young ones get anxious when they are bigger animals, including humans.
They require gentle yet firm handling daily to get them to become confident. Once in a while, they can hiss and even strike or bite. Mealtimes can get dangerous if you are not careful.
Cage or House
First and foremost, the cage or tank for your reticulated python must safely contain it. The racks must be tight-fitting and strong. Baby pythons can fit inside a shoebox-sized cage. Adult pythons need a box with 2 by 3 by 6 to 8 feet dimensions. If your python is longer or bigger, then you must choose a cage accordingly. The material of the cage or terrarium should be strong and easy to clean. Use good quality cleaning agents to clean and maintain the cage.
Heating and Lighting
Reptiles have unique heat and light requirements. Thermoregulation is essential, and you must get an excellent thermostat to make sure that you provide the right temperature.
There are many options available like heat pads, spot lamps, heat tapes, and heat panels, etc. which you must look into to find the most suitable options. Try to maintain the temperature between 76 degrees Fahrenheit and 92 degrees Fahrenheit.
Substrate for all reptiles is essential! The wrong choice may result in infections and ailments of many kinds. The easiest and cheapest is the newspaper! Even cut pieces of cardboard work well.
If you are looking for a natural substrate, then aspen or cypress mulch can be a good option. Make sure that you clean and change the substrate regularly. Use the right cleaning agents and keep the cage hygienic as far as possible.
Young reticulated pythons need small food like baby mice for the first few meals before moving on to adult mice. It will vary from snake to snake and depend on the appetite and health and many other factors.
- From hatchling to 4 feet: feed one or two small mice every 3-4 days
- 4 feet plus: switch to medium-sized rats and then onto large rats
- From 4 feet to maturity: feed one or two prey animals every 7 days
- Mature pythons: start with 3-pound rabbits and move to larger ones
There should be a large dish full of clean water in the cage. Change water every day. Make sure that it is heavy enough, so your pet does not tip it over. It does not have to be large enough to soak in. These pythons are generally good swimmers and like to soak or get wet, especially when they are shedding.
It will amaze you to find the prices ranging from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars! The price depends on the colors and morphs. Size also matters.
Dwarf pythons are more expensive than normal ones. Super dwarf reticulated pythons are even more costly. Buying from a breeder is better than getting a fresh import. These may be cheaper but may carry deadly parasites.
You have already shown great courage and a sense of adventure when you decide to get a reticulated python as a pet!! Now, all you have to do is make sure that you have the best equipment and understanding of these fascinating creatures.
Reticulated Pythons are not for faint-hearted! Look after them well and give them the best you can to develop a unique bond with this unique creature!