Hi. I am hoping to get into pythons, but don’t know where to start. I know ball pythons are definitely a no (sorry my bp people) because I want something uncommon, and not something I can just see at Petco.
I am also looking for more suggestions to what pythons are great for a first snake. I am thinking Children’s python because of the temperament and size, but am SUPER open and looking for other possibilities.
Currently I am thinking no Colubrids, large boas, or pythons above 6 feet. I was looking at GTPs, Jungle Carpets, or Super dwarf retics but most sites say they are not for “beginners”. I do not consider myself a beginner in the reptile hobby, but I am relatively new to snakes. Green Tree Pythons seem very managable for me, but this is not through any experience, simply through research on a screen.
I would also like to try my hand at breeding after a few years of caring for them, so difficulty to breed would also be a factor.
You mentioned green tree pythons, I have no problem with them, small sized, if you got the setup down they are usually good eaters. If your looking for something to handle often though I wouldn’t recommend them, some tolerate it, but a lot don’t. That’s your preference though, more display type vs hands on type. I would say some smaller carpet species like the Irian Jaya would be great! Easy feeders, not hard to care for or breed. Just know coastals can get 10’ so just be sure what you are getting. I also like their cousin the diamond python, very pretty but may be slightly harder to breed. Other then that what about short tailed pythons, although some can get over your 6’ mark most likely won’t. They come in a lot a beautiful morphs, easy to keep, feed, and not too difficult to breed. Also love the black head pythons, but they may be a little big and harder to breed then carpets, and short tails. Good luck with whatever you decide on!
I myself was looking into Children’s Pythons or the other very similar Anteresia group species for my own first snake, and I gotta say they have very few bad points, especially for beginners. I was really considering them before I found my perfect choice (the African Black House snake, for me. Not a python but many very similar good points) I think you won’t be disappointed with a Children’s python. They’re delightful.
If you’d consider a boa instead, Rosy Boas are actually surprisingly uncommon around the Rockies, and I think I can only name one person breeding them in this region. They come in some very striking natural localities of colors, as well as genetic morphs like albinos. They were another strong contender I was feeling really good about for a first snake. Usually great eaters, often extremely friendly to handling, and eyecatching looks.
EDIT: Thought of one more! Given you have some experience, a Woma Python might also be an option for you. They don’t get too big and are hardy, voracious eaters. Who doesn’t want a golden snake with tiger stripes?
@bughunter07, my friend, you are going to love snakes. I know it.
So for my non-boa recommendation, I would suggest getting a carpet of some kind either a jungle or a bredli as they are bulletproof snakes. Though when they are babies they can be a lit nippy as with most baby snakes, as Don mentions, this goes away with some size to give them ‘confidence’ per say. Feeding them is a breeze from what I have see/read about both localities over my own independent research due to myself considering one of these incredible pythons as a pet/project. I don’t know if you know but there is a wonderful podcast called Carpets and Coffee, where you can learn about everything you need to know. They both are incredible types of pythons, and both can be very addicting lol, I hope and know you will enjoy one of them if you go this route.
Well, I myself am partial to short-tails. Most care guides cite them as an “intermediate” species, but that’s mostly just because they’re a little less tolerant of husbandry errors than some other species…but since you already have experience managing temps and humidity, I think you’d be fine. They’re relatively short (under 6’), though they are very chonky, so an adult will be hefty…which can be good or bad depending on what you’re looking for. You basically get the girth of a large snake with only a fraction of the length. They can be nervous as babies, but usually tame down pretty quickly (my baby blood chilled out after just a few short handling sessions).
Woma pythons might be another option to consider. I haven’t kept them myself (yet ), but they’re beautiful, are a pretty manageable size, and are supposed to be relatively easy to care for. Much like short tails and many other snakes, they’re often a bit nervous and nippy as babies, but usually tame down with patient and consistent handling.
A carpet would also be a solid choice. They don’t really speak to me for some reason (couldn’t exactly say why), but I’ve known quite a few people who love them. They’re gorgeous snakes.
Since you already know how to create and manage habitats, I think you’d be just fine going with a more “intermediate” species. It just comes down to what species speaks to you and ticks all the right boxes based on what you’re looking for.
Ok, so some possible finalists for which snake I should get are:
Green Tree Python
Irian Jaya Carpet python
Children’s Python/Spotted Python
@chromatic_creations is this a Spotted python or Children’s? Have you bred them, and if so, is it difficult and how many eggs do they have? Thanks!
Here is some “boxes to check” of what I am generally looking for. A couple of these might not matter as much depending on the snake:
Enclosure less than 3 feet either side. (And yes, I know this will eliminate some species)
Gentle(ish) temperament. (My mom says so)
Uncommon, but not so rare it breaks the bank.
Forgiving in minor husbandry slip-ups. (Possibility of accidents)
Handle able for a short person (5’9") who is shaped like a twig. (Snake can’t be taller or more muscle-y than me, for obvious reasons.)
I do like the idea of Children’s pythons. They seem to fit my budget, open space, and handleability.
EDIT: Anybody have egg-eating snakes? I like the idea of a communal setup for these, but of course, still would like to breed the snakes in the future. A quick Google search brought up virtually nothing useful. Are they easy to breed in captivity? Thanks!
Yep, they will probably end up being my new addiction lol. I already got all my dream isopods (for now) and need another obsession
The isopods are the only reason I am going to be allowed to expand my collection. My dad saw how much money I make and if I can get through High school without dedicating every evening and weekend to a work shift, I am all for expanding and trying my hand at breeding some amazing new snakes I personally love choosing my work hours.
I have a 1.2 of Stimson’s Pythons. As of 2021, Stimson’s have been recognized as a locality of Children’s Pythons, instead of a subspecies. I have not bred them yet, hoepfully next year.
You are spot on with Children’s Python checking off most, if not all, of the boxes you’ve laid out. The only downside, if there really is one, is the lack of morphs here in the United States. Being an Australian species, there is no export/ import of the morphs that are out there.
Ok, what size enclosure would they need? I have some spare 24L-18W-18H Exo terras, but just wondering if they can go in these. Based on the size of the snake in the picture, they look pretty small on your hand? What do you house yours in?
Egg eating snakes are basically impossible to keep or breed if you don’t have a regular supply of fresh Finch or Canary eggs to keep the babies alive. Then as adults they tend to do well with species of quail eggs, and some females take small chicken eggs.
This is not a great time, in the USA, to take up keeping birds or fowl of any sort… There’s a lethal avian flu going round causing mass culls of entire farms. The price of eggs is going to be going up and up.
I’d say give Egg Eating Snakes a miss.
Children’s pythons would fit your size and friendliness requirements while being less usual but not bank-breakingly expensive.
If you’re open to a technically non python species, African House Snakes come in a ton of colors, act like little bitty retics according to reliable retic keepers, and the ones I have handled are very friendly- when startled, more inclined to flee than strike.
Yeah, I second this regarding egg eating snakes. Plus they can be kinda hard to find CBB (some species moreso than others). I’m not sure if they’re actually difficult to breed, or if it’s just hard to source eggs small enough for hatchlings (or both).
I had a couple egg-eating species on my wishlist until I fully realised the challenges in keeping them (or even finding them CBB). I think they’re probably great snakes for people who have a source of appropriately-sized eggs…but that’s not most people.
Stimson’s max out around 3’. I keep mine in a ARS rack system, but you’ll want a minimum of about 90cm x 45 cm x 45cm (approx 3’ x 1.5’ x 1.5’, or as close as you can get) for an enclosure. Even though Stimson’s are technically considered terrestrial and I keep mine in a rack system, they are very inquisitive and will utilize climbing structures, to a degree, if provided. Hope this helps!
I agree 110% with the Bredl’s python recommendation! As far as the OPs finalist list, IJs/papuan carpets are an excellent option as well. GTPs can be an option I’d suggest to buy CBB if you can since imports can be problematic both in health and attitude. Plus with GTPs you don’t have as much wiggle room for error as you do the Ants or carpets especially with imports. Antaresia are awesome as well, personally I’ve preferred spotteds to children’s.
How so? I personally would love to hear your thoughts on them; care and husbandry wise. I get that it is biased but who cares. Carpets are awesome in general, definitely something I look forward to keeping in the future.