Angolan Python

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Is the Angolan Python right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Dwarf Python, Angolan Dwarf Python

Scientific name: Python anchietae

The basics:
The Angolan Python is small, hardy, and beautifully-colored, but scarce in the trade due to difficulties in obtaining breeding stock (please see below). Otherwise, it would no doubt be as popular a pet as its close relative, the Ball Python. As captive born animals become more available, it just may take the pet trade by storm! The Angolan Python is endemic to southwestern Africa, where it ranges through southern Angola and northern Namibia. Strict laws prohibiting collecting and ongoing civil wars have prevented this snake from becoming well-established in the pet trade. It frequents arid, rocky habitats that receive less than 10 inches of rain yearly, and where seasonal temperatures fluctuate from below freezing to over 120 F – all of which makes for a tough, hardy snake!

Appearance / health:
The Angolan Python is stoutly built, but a bit more slender than its cousin the Ball Python, to which it is often compared. Adults average 3.5 – 5 feet in length, with reports of some reaching nearly 6 feet. The body is reddish brown to nearly black in color, and marked with irregular, black-edged blotches of white or cream.

Behavior / temperament:
Angolan Pythons are often relatively calm in disposition, and generally tolerate gentle handling. Like all snakes, however, they must be handled with care.

A single adult may be housed in a 30 to 55 gallon aquarium. Ambient temperature: 74-77 F. Newspapers, cypress mulch, eucalyptus bark and similar materials may be used as substrates. A dry cave or hollow log serves well as a shelter. The enclosure’s screen lid must be secured by cage clips. Ambient temperature: 78-85 F; basking temperature: 92 F.

Droppings should be removed as they appear, and the entire terrarium should be cleaned each 1-2 weeks. Obesity is the major health concern to be aware of (please see below).

Little is known about the diet of wild Angolan Pythons, but they likely prey upon small burrowing mammals such as rats, shrews and mice and, perhaps, ground-dwelling birds. In common with many reptiles from harsh habitats, they are very efficient at storing fat; obesity leading to failed reproduction and early death is a common problem among pets. Small food items – i.e. small rats or rat pups even for large adults – are preferable to large. Except for breeding females and growing youngsters, Angolan Pythons are best fed every 14 days.

Only 10 individuals were known to be in US zoos in the 1960’s, and captive breeding did not occur until 1981. Fortunately, private hobbyists are now having increasing success. Breeding activity is stimulated by a 2-3 month period of reduced temperatures (65-70 F by night, 75-80 F by day) and day-length. Clutches generally contain 3-7 large eggs, which may be incubated in moist vermiculite at 85-90 F for 55-75 days. Angolan Python hatchings are gorgeous, being a rich, “chocolate” brown in color and sporting yellow blotches.

Written by Frank Indiviglio


handsome creature, white markings, stocky build


rare species

Helpful Angolan Python Review

Angolan Python

From Digitalsec Mar 21 2014 5:04AM


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