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PYTHON[python reticulatus]

GEOGRAPHY The reticulated python occurs throughout indonesia,southeast asia,malaysia,burma,indo china and tons of islands in these and other nearby areas.Different island morphs have now been discovered,some being only 10 feet in length as adults.A huge variety of colors are popping up in various island forms and many are still yet to be discovered.In the next few years there will be many different sub species of retics available as dealers will soon have to refer to many different looking retics.Whether or not they become "official" will yet be seen.

SIZE Well every one knows this is possibly the largest snake in the world with specimens to 30 feet and slightly over being found.Juveniles are between 18"-24"and sometimes larger than this.Adults are typically between 15 and 20 feet.However different geographic individuals have different lengths,some as small as 10 or 12 feet and others which will grow to over 20 feet.Adult retics are very large powerful snakes it is not uncommon to see a retic that is over 20 feet to weigh 200-250 pounds.A typical 15 foot retic will weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.

CARE Well these snakes are not that hard to take care of.They require as juveniles plastic sweater boxes or a similar size enclosure.Adults will need a custom made enclosure that is SECURE and ESCAPE proof.They require a temp in the low 80 s with a basking spot in the high 80 s.Humidity should be slightly high for this species.As when humidity gets to low they seem to have a slight bit of trouble breathing which may sound like a slight whistle and forceful exhalations that do not sound like a respiratory problem.They will also have trouble shedding if humidity is low and this could be a problem for larger animals because I would never attempt to pull off a dry skin on one of my adult retics even though they are handlable because it is just to dangerous!So substrate should consist of newspaper or sterilized bark products cork bark.For adults newspaper seems to work well because of the large enclosure to be lined and the amount of times it will need to be cleaned!Alarge soaking container is necessary to keep humidity high and so it will not be tipped over when they get a drink I hate it when they do that!Good ventilation is also necessary.When these snakes reach adult sizes they are I hate to say it VERY dangerous.Their constricting power should not be underestimated as I have heard of 5 men not being able to free one of a 25 foot retic!They should be handled only when someone else is present and when they reach huge sizes[over 20'] it may be best not to handle them at all.Reticulated pythons are very active snakes,it is a great zoo display snake because people cant say well it just sits there!This means they also need a large enclosure.Retics are also more dangerous because of this high metabolism.They seem to be able to digest larger meals and dont mind attacking things that appear to large to eat.They should be handled very carefully when full grown.Always use a shield and never let your guard down.Remember things can be avoided!Even if a retic attacks if you take the neccessary precautions you will still be safe!

FEEDING Small retics are sometimes large enough for smaller rats and if fed frequently will grow fast!Small retics should be fed every 3 to 4 days on appropriate sized rats and mice.When they become larger they will require large rats and small rabbits.Adults will require guinea pigs rabbits or even pigs every 10 days.

BREEDING Retics are ready to breed at males=8-10 feet and females=12' or over.Typical cooling at night into the lower 70 s for a couple of months with a daylight lowered from 12 on to 8hours on during this time.Retic males will combat very viciously so males should be kept seperately at all times!Copulation will sometimes occur only at night.Females have been observed waving their tails and flipping it around violently when a male is introduced and they are already gravid or are not ready to breed[pers.observation]. Mating to egg laying occurs between 2 and 4 months.Females may typically lay with thier bellies up as egg folicles grow larger and they become more uncomfortable.They should have a basking site of 90 degrees however they usually wont use it until they shed.After they begin basking they may move away from the basking site preferring cooler temps before laying their eggs. Females shed 3- 4 weeks before laying between 10-50 eggs averaging 25-35.First time breeding females typically will have very small clutches e.g. a 19 foot female only laid a clutch of 15 eggs first time where as a female of 15 foot layed 35 eggs third time.If incubated at 90' they will typically hatch between 80 and 90 days.


NOTES This is one of the most gorgeous and impressive snakes available.However with its adult size and care it is only qualified for very experienced herpetoculturists with lots of extra money to house and feed them.They are usually great aggressive feeders and can be raised to tolerate handling to the point as to become so called"dog tame" however like any snake even a dog tame specimen may have a "bad hair" day and when they do look out!Remember they are not a dog!I give them 3-4 on temperament because most captive raised or captive born specimens can be raised to be very gentle some wild caughts however can be down right scary so be warned on them.Of course I give a 1 on housing and size because of obvious reasons.They usually are very inquisitive and a heck of alot more active than the other giant burmese python,which also makes them more dangerous.This snake however is a joy to look at and I own several.They are very impressive I never look at mine without thinking"how in the heck can a snake get that big.