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Amethystine Python
Morelia Amethystina



globeGEOGRAPHY From Papua New Guinea,Irian Jaya,N.Australia,many islands in Indonesia including Aru,Ceram,Kei,Mullucan,Tanimbar,Obi,Halmahera,Buru,Sula and many more They are found in a variety of habitats icluding dry fields and rainforest.Typically found near water and in the trees.Although they are found on the ground just as frequently.

CAREI still remember the first time I saw an amethystine python.I had a friend who managed a pet store who loved reptiles.I of course had dealt with many reptiles myself.He called me one day and said you have to see this new snake I received today an amethystine python!I went down to the store and watched as he fed unwanted parakeets to this snake.Funny story about that.This snake loved parakeets so much he fed it almost daily!The unsuspecting owner of the chain of pet stores sent all of the other stores parakeets to his store thinking wow he sure sells alot of parakeets!!Any how I thought it was one nice looking snake.I got a call a few days later from him saying you work with reptiles so do you think you could come down and clean the enclosure of this one I have not touched it since I got him and I can not get him out!Well sure I thought no problem.I got to the store put on a couple of gloves and opened the top of the enclosure.As I went for the snakes head I was surprised as the snake jumped up and almost bit me in the nose!I was standing up bent over!This snake was only about 6 feet.So the first thing I noticed about this animal was that it jumped farther than any snake I had ever seen!I cleaned the enclosure with a friend every week for him because he could not do it and boy every week was a new adventure.Thus I learned about the amethystine or "scrub" python.There are a few varieties of this snake.Well more than a few and they stretch out over a large geographic variation.There are bar neck phase, yellow phase, black phase, silver phase, australian phase, partly barred phase , patternless phase, brown "chocolate"phase, green phase, and blue phase!!Not to mention a red phase and others, and I am sure more will surface.These snakes have a gorgeous irridescence!The green colors of the rainbow seem to shine the most on these snakes they are totally gorgeous.And they better be most have an awful temper!I have heard this reffered to as a strong feeding response.Well if any one has been chased around a room by a 12 foot specimen raise their hand!O.k. so you can not see my hand raised.I was literally chased around a room of course while the two guys helping me ran out of the room similar to my anaconda experience.Now dont get me wrong there are some "tame" specimens usually locality specific being imported now but on the whole this snakes personality leaves something to desire.This would not be so bad if they did not have a gigantic head full of teeth as large as an emerald tree boa!Amethystines can jump approximately half their body length.I had a friend who was bitten in the stomach by one!He was standing up!So that tells you the total power this snake possesses.However enough bad stuff about this species.Truly this is one of my favorite snakes.Imports usually are pretty good feeders.They will usually start feeding on rats when the lights go out and they are safe in their hide box.Most imports like to drag their prey in to their hide box.Which is absolutely essential for this species.Any snake as testy as this does not need the extra stress.The enclosure should be covered up as they will strike the glass at you and start bleeding because of it.When the snake gets calmed down then you may begin to show it that you will not hurt the snake and once this is done the cover can be removed.How do you do this?Well always walk to the enclosure slowly slowly reach your hand up sit in front of the enclosure they will get used to activity around the enclosure and eventually ignore it.However They usually never tolerate handling and will bite as soon as they are touched.This is one of the most intelligent snakes available.They like to lay with their heads out of the hide box seemingly to detect any would be predators or annoying humans.Once I use the "cap" trick on the hide box a couple of times for a mean specimen it remembers that trick and can not be done again!Once you do a trick to capture them a few times they will not let it be done again thats how smart they are!Trust me they can recognize people and get used to them working around the enclosure but when someone comes in that is unfamiliar all hell is breaking loose!In fact I have a male who will only let me reach in and get his water bowl.I have worked with him for 8 years however I still can not touch him!These snakes require high humidity.80% works well.They have terrible sheds when humidity is low.Also I have noticed that their nostrils become dry and they have problems breathing when humidity is too low.Even more so than blood pythons.The temps should be in the low 80s with a basking spot of about 90.This is a very slender snake and although they may reach 12 feet they only weigh about 10 pounds.The bar neck phase seems to be the largest averaging about 9 feet in length.Although females may reach 10 feet or slightly larger.Although I have never seen one large enough to be a threat to my life as suggested by some.Most of the other forms average anywhere between 4-5 feet [tanimbar] to 6-7 feet [mollucan yellows] and anywhere in between.Most adults range between 7 and 10 feet in length.They are very good swimmers and require a large soaking container.They are also superb climbers and will rest in an arboreal position like an emerald or green tree for long periods of time.They are fast moving and strike with little provocation so caution should be exercised.These snakes have huge eyes that see all.They can see approximately 20 feet with seemingly clear vision.I did and experiment to find that out.They have a habit when established to lie in their hide box but leave their head and neck exposed.I think this is because these snakes like to monitor their surroundings to make sure everything is safe.They protect their territory with all out aggression which you have to admire about them.The more I hate their temperament the more I like them does that make sense?The female pictured below has the worst temper of any snake I have seen striking at any one walking within 10 feet of her enclosure.She was raised in captivity but remains "wild".I lucked out getting that picture I told someone to stand in front of her to get her attention as you can probably see!She is about 7 feet.The scales on scrub pythons is as smooth as silk something I only can enjoy by far.They are sensitive to bad conditions like a d alberts python.It looks especially shimmering after a shed.They have a great tolerance for cold.I have never seen one with a respiratory infection unless the enclosure was extremely dry.

FEEDINGAmethystines are strong feeders.Most will eat any thing you want to give them.Babies can eat pink rats or mice however the smaller forms may require fuzzy or pink mice.The adults can be maintained on large and jumbo rats for their entire life.I feed these like the papuan pythons.I feed more often smaller meals.Dont get me wrong they will gorge themselves and end up with huge lumps in their stomachs but I think more frequent smaller meals for adults maybe two or three large rats a time do well depending on size.Some adults only reach an adult size to be able to eat only one large rat at a time.

BREEDINGAmethystines have not been bred in large numbers.Obviously because no one wanted to have a pair of these guys.Cuation must be excersized when placing them together as they will fight and bite regaurdless of sex or breeding time or whatever.They require a lowered light cycle and temps down into the 60s in most cases at night.Low 70s may work but high 60s have been consistent with results.They being from Indonesia can be bred at any time of the year.Most early breedings have occured in July, August and September.However now that more established animals are available the typical January thru April will work.Males should not be placed together during breeding season.Trust me just dont do it!!After breeding eggs are laid around 90 days later they shed typically 30 days before laying.If incubated between 88 and 90 degreed they will hatch in about 75-85 days.The juveniles do not look like the adults in most color phases.They appear more reddish and patternless in most casses.Much like the BOA MANDARITA.Hatchlings are somewhat arboreal and should be provided with climbing braches.They usually start feeding well on pink rats or smaller mice.However some color phases may prefer lizards and pink mice.They grow fast if fed well and can breed at 3 years of age in most cases.The juveniles can be raised to tolerate handling however some may still remain untrustworty.

INDEX- ADULT SIZE 2 HANDLING 1 HOUSING 2 FEEDING 4 TEMPERAMENT 1

NOTES Well the index has low numbers but I dont have one for beauty because most of these are a 10!Only truly dedicated keepers should attempt buying these snakes.They require large enclosures with tall branches to climb on.However they do well with one branch.But if you have the space and the money go for it.They look great in a 10 foot high enclosure with a live tree!Watch your hands when working with them as their teeth are quite dangerous!I give a 2 on adult size because they are large but really most are not that large.They can become incredible feeders!Trust me they will eat anything and everything!Any day so that is a plus.I have had trouble getting imported tanimbars to feed well and maybe thats because they are a little shyer than most scrubs some are very tame!

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