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Blood Python

Avg. Owner Satisfaction

4.2/5.0

(21 Reviews)

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Species group: Boas, Anacondas and Pythons

Other common names: Malaysian Blood Python; Red Blood Python; Malaysian Red Blood Python; Sumatran Red Blood Python

Scientific name: Python curtus brongersmai

The Basics:
The striking, highly-variable colors and massive girth of the Blood Python have long rendered it a favorite of snake keepers worldwide. Once considered a difficult captive, its husbandry and breeding requirements are now well-known.

The Blood Python is found in Sumatra, Thailand, Vietnam, western Malaysia and several islands in the Straits of Malacca. It most commonly inhabits moist, forests, swamps, and low-lying, overgrown fields. Well-irrigated oil palm plantations are frequently colonized.

Appearance / Health:
The Blood Python is a heavy-bodied snake that averages 4-5 feet in length, with rare individuals approaching 6 feet. Weights of 10-20 lbs. are common, with obese pets sometimes tipping the scale at 40+ pounds. The pattern of coloration is complex, with brown, orange, deep yellow, mahogany or red blotches, stripes and spots decorating the unusually-thick body. Of the 3 related Blood or Short-Tailed Pythons, (formerly considered subspecies of Python curtus), true deep-red coloration is only seen in this species. Hatchlings are yellowish brown, sometimes with an orange tint, and develop the adult coloration over time. Youngsters from the same clutch may develop into adults showing very different color patterns.

With proper care, captive longevity may exceed 20 years. Dry sheds are common in terrariums where the average humidity is consistently below 40%, but skin and respiratory infections will take hold in overly-damp environments. Air circulation that allows the tank to dry out after heavy misting is essential.

Behavior / temperament:
Blood Pythons have a reputation for aggressiveness, and even long term pets may expel air, hiss, and bite when approached. Others calm down in time, but their extreme bulk makes safe handling (for both snake and snake owner) difficult. Animals grabbed behind the neck may twist and jerk violently, with broken vertebrae sometimes resulting. Adults are not suitable pets for children.

Housing:
Blood Pythons are relatively inactive but do not thrive in tight quarters. .  Youngsters may be accommodated in terrariums of a length equal to their own, and adults require custom-built cages measuring at least 5 x 5 feet (although success has been had in smaller cages).  Newspapers, terrarium liners, cypress mulch, eucalyptus bark and similar materials may be used as substrates.  A dry cave or hollow log serves well as a shelter, but many prefer to push below newspapers or beneath artificial plants. A water bowl large enough for soaking should be available. Humidity: 60-70%; Ambient Temperature: 80-82 F; Basking Temperature: 86-88 F.

Diet:
Wild Blood Pythons are ambush predators, lying in wait for squirrels and other rodents, jungle fowl, civets, and a host of other creatures. Pets readily accept mice and rats, but obesity is a common problem. Adults generally require a meal only each 14-21 days. Digestion seems quite slow in this species, with defecation (by adults) occurring infrequently (every 1-3 months in many cases). Hatchlings can be fed weekly.

Breeding:
Exposure to your region’s natural light cycle, or a gradual artificial reduction in day length, may stimulate reproduction. Temperature manipulation seems unnecessary. Females produce clutches of 10-35 eggs, which may be incubated in moist vermiculite (1:1 ratio of vermiculite to water by weight) for 55-65 days.

Written by Frank Indiviglio

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Member photos

from breeders/sellers

(Breeders and sellers have to jump through hoops to get RightPet listings, literally, we make them do circus tricks. Unfortunately no one has met our high acrobatic standards for this animal yet, but hopefully they will soon!)

from shelters/rescues

(We've had no luck finding any of these frisky fellas so far, even though we've put up wanted posters and everything! But don't worry, we're working on it!)

The New Encyclopedia of Snakes

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