Young Short Tailed Python Care?

Hey guys, I’m looking to get into STPs. Currently looking into Borneo and Sumatran’s, but the general care seems to be quite similar/the same.

Whenever I do acquire one, I’m looking for a young animal, preferably one hatched this year. My question is, what is the care like? I know the general hot/cool temps., but from what I’ve heard, the young ones need to be kept quite ‘moist’ as they don’t tend to be using their water dish too often. But, I’m just wondering, is that something that I need to worry about if I get an animal that’s around a month or two old (July/August hatch month)? Or can they be setup similar to an adult (obviously more appropriate size hide and enclosure).


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I got a baby blood python back in February of this year. She was about 6 months old when I got her. She’s my first short tail, so I’m hardly an expert, but she’s been thriving for me.

I’ve never heard that they need to be kept extra-moist as babies. In fact, it’s my understanding that they are prone to developing RIs if kept too humid, especially if they don’t have adequate cross-ventilation. My blood python will soak in her water dish…in fact, she seemed to do it more when she was younger. I haven’t seen her do it in a while. I aim to keep the ambient humidity around 60% for my blood. I don’t really mist at all, I just keep a water bowl in there that’s large enough for her to soak in (I’ve up-sized her water bowl as she’s grown), and use coco husk substrate, and that keeps her humidity in the 60-70% range. The only time I mist is when she’s getting ready to shed, and even then, I’ll usually only mist lightly once per shed cycle.

Babies can be set up similar to adults. They do best when they have lots of cross-ventilation, so avoid glass aquariums with screen tops. Plastic totes with air holes in the top and along the sides work great, as do PVC enclosures, since most of those have vents on the side (and if they don’t, you can add your own). I’ve kept my blood in a series of plastic totes, which have worked great, though I’m going to put her in a nice PVC enclosure as her permanent adult home. I’m not sure if this is typical of bloods/short tails or if my girl’s just a weirdo, but my blood doesn’t seem to care for traditional hides. If I put them in her enclosure, she avoids them. So instead I just give her nice deep substrate she can burrow in and use lots of fake plants to provide cover. Lots of people use paper substrate with them, and I’m sure that’s fine, but my girl seems to enjoy being able to burrow, so I prefer the coco husk. (Plus the coco husk just looks a lot nicer than paper.)

Do keep in mind that short tails do best when kept at more moderate temperatures. A hot spot in the mid-80s is about right. They tend to get pretty grumpy and defensive when they get too warm, so keep that in mind when you’re putting together your setup. Lots of people seem to have success keeping them with ambient room temps in the low 80s, but that’s not a viable option for me, so my girl has an 85F hot spot, with the ambient temp on her warm end in the low 80s and a cool end in the high 70s.

I’ve found my blood python to be quite easy to keep. The environmental requirements are pretty easy to achieve, with their moderate temp and humidity needs, and she eats like a champ. She hasn’t even turned down a meal when deep in blue. They do tend to produce more liquid urine than many other snakes, but it’s easy to deal with. I just change the substrate on the side where she peed, it probably takes about 5 minutes. And my blood is very docile and gentle (so long as it’s not feeding time). She’s hook-trained and is a joy to handle. She was a little nervous and nippy when I first got her (pretty typical of baby snakes in general, regardless of species), but she calmed down after just a few handling sessions.

I think short tails are wonderful and vastly underrated snakes. They’re beautiful, they’re a great size, and they’re relatively easy to keep. I also get the sense that my blood python is very intelligent. That’s not really based on anything scientific, but she seems to have a lot more sense than my sand boa. I’m sure you’ll love whatever you end up getting. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the reply!

That’s pretty interesting, from what I’ve been reading/watching they’re supposed to be on the higher end of the humidity spectrum, moreso around 70-80%. And keeping them moist is coming from some breeders on YouTube where they’ll keep hatchlings on straight moist sphagnum moss to keep humidity up. But that was for hatchlings, I was just unsure of when that switch was supposed to be, I’m assuming after a few meals and a shed it would be fine and established.

For the temperature, I’ll be aiming for 83-85 hot spot with 75-80 cool side depending on temperature. Because as you said, higher temps. lead to grumpier animals from what I’ve gathered as well.

Appreciate the response! Great to hear keepers experience opposed to watching just videos/reading older forum posts.


There does seem to be some differing opinions on the “perfect” humidity level for STPs, but most of the more recent info I found and breeders and keepers I talked to encouraged a more moderate approach to humidity, citing the risk of RIs if consistently kept too wet. My experience is admittedly limited, but my girl has done great in the 60-70% range. Her first shed with me was a little rough and ultimately required a couple soaks for her to finally shed (for reasons I’m unsure of), but every shed since that first one has been perfect. In fact, the only time I bumped her humidity up into the 80s was during that first rough shed…and the increased humidity didn’t really seem to help, she still needed the soaks. Since then, her sheds and hydration levels have been perfect with 60-70% humidity. I suspect at least part of the problem with that first rough shed was that she’d outgrown her water bowl and couldn’t soak herself. I’ve noticed that with her subsequent good sheds, the shed is often a little damp when I remove it, so I suspect she just soaks on her own if she needs to. I didn’t even mist her at all on this last shed cycle, and she still shed perfectly in about 70% humidity.

It’s possible that new hatchlings do need to be kept more wet. I’ve never dealt with new hatchlings, so I wouldn’t really know. But I would think that by the time they’ve shed out, have had a few meals, and are being put up for sale, they’re likely past that stage. Though that might be a good thing to ask the breeder about when you find “the one.”

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Yes, that is specifically for hatchlings before their first shed, they have a tendency to dry up so moisture is important. It takes them a suprising amount of time to have their first shed. If you have an established hatchling post first shed then coco husk will be appropriate with a nice sized water bowl they can soak in if they wish. I keep all my subadult and older on just paper with no issues.