For reptile owners, the reticulated python symbolizes the phrase “go big or go home.” Although the anaconda is the world’s largest snake, the reticulated python is the world’s longest snake. This snake, which is native to Asia, can grow to be 30 feet long and weigh up to 350 pounds.
However, most reticulated pythons in captivity grow to be between 10 and 20 feet long and weigh between 100 and 200 pounds; females grow larger than males. They have a gorgeous color palette that includes olive green, gold, and tan, as well as the diamond-like pattern that gives them their name. The albino reticulated pythons, which might be white, lavender, or purple, are among the most attractive.
They can be a bit feisty as pets and aren’t suited for beginners. Prepare to spend many hours every week cleaning the snake’s environment, regulating heat and humidity levels, and giving a balanced meal.
As you can expect, the world’s longest snake will require some space to stretch out. When your reticulated python is young, keep it in a 10- to 15-gallon tank or vivarium, then move it to a larger cage when it reaches about 3 feet in length. A fully grown reticulated python requires at least 3 feet of width, 6 to 8 feet of length, and 2 feet of height.
However, keep in mind that a baby python can grow intimidated if given too much space. Some owners want to have enclosures of varied sizes in which the snake can grow. The addition of stones, plants, and other décor to the enclosure will make it appear smaller and more comfortable for the snake. Every dwelling should have at least one hiding place.
This might be a small box with an aperture for a juvenile snake. Larger retics, on the other hand, may require something more tough, such as a hollow log. A dish of clean water for drinking and possibly soaking will also be required for the python. The dish should be sturdy enough that the python will not be able to flip it over or break it.
The temperature in the enclosure should be kept between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, with at least one basking place between 88 and 92 degrees Fahrenheit. Having various temperature zones in the housing allows the retic to balance its own temperature. Outside the cage, there are a variety of appropriate heat sources, including ceramic heaters and basking lamps.
These snakes don’t require any kind of UV lighting. However, their container should have ambient lighting that replicates the natural day-night cycle.
Reticulated pythons prefer humidity levels ranging from 50% to 70%. The water dish in the cage will offer some humidity, and you can softly spritz the space if the humidity level needs to be raised. Using a reptile hygrometer, check the humidity on a regular basis.
The enclosure’s bottom should be lined with appropriate bedding or substrate. The substrate helps to keep the enclosure damp and can simulate the look and feel of the snake’s native surroundings. Newspaper, paper towels, and flat indoor-outdoor carpet are all options. Replace soiled substrate as needed, and change the substrate completely every three months.
The longest-growing python species is the reticulated python. Under the care of a determined keeper, captive specimens can grow to be over 20 feet long. Under proper care, the common species can grow from an 8-foot-long, sexually mature male to a 14- to 16-foot female. Their size potential is amazing, and a 2-foot neonatal retic can grow to an astonishing 10 feet or more in 12 months if fed heavily.
Several island variants of the reticulated python appear to be smaller than their mainland counterparts. These “dwarf” constrictors may be suitable for keepers who anticipate caring for a medium-sized constrictor.
Smaller dwarf forms, such as super dwarfs and Jampea, Selayar, and Honey island dwarfs, can grow from a sexually mature 4- to 5-foot male to reproductive females reaching 6 to 10 feet on average. These island-specific animals are thought to have evolved to the constraints of an island environment.
If you intend to keep retics, you must first grasp the mechanics of their behavior. If a reticulated python bites or acts aggressively, it is because it is afraid of something in its environment, including its keeper. It is the keeper’s obligation to gain the trust of the snake. Retics, who appear to be perpetually hungry, are built to eat. They have high metabolic rates and can develop swiftly.
The more you feed the snake, the bigger it gets. Slower growth and a smaller snake result from a lack of food. Retics seem to be constantly on the lookout for food, and it is the keeper’s obligation to teach them when, when, and what to eat.
Because they are at the bottom of the food chain, hatchling and juvenile retics are extremely protective. Everything larger, in their eyes, is a possible predator looking to consume them, and it is critical to be mindful of this mindset when interacting with them. If you have the opportunity to work with an experienced reticulated python keeper before purchasing a retic, we strongly advise you to do so.
Reticulated pythons who repeatedly bang their heads against their enclosures can hurt themselves. It can cause swelling of the head as well as other problems such as mouth rot. If you observe pressing, clean the enclosure and check the temperature. When they are unpleasant, Retics prefer to push.
Loss of appetite and pus or leaking from the mouth or nose are symptoms of mouth rot. It is critical to see a veterinarian as soon as possible to treat mouth rot before the illness spreads to other regions of the body, such as the esophagus and lungs.
Mites and other parasites can create difficulties in any snake, so keep their housing clean on a regular basis and wash your hands before and after handling. Respiratory problems are common in reptiles, and they are frequently caused by incorrect enclosure temperatures.
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