Species group: Boas, Anacondas and Pythons
Scientific name: Antaresia childreni
Children’s Pythons are indigenous to Australia and occurs in areas from the coast of Western Australia through the Northern Territory and into northwestern Queensland. Their natural habitats include coastal plains, grasslands, dry forests, riverbeds, and rocky areas.
Appearance / health:
One of the smallest pythons in the world and named after the 1842 curator of the British Museum’s zoological collection, John George Children, the Children’s Python averages only a little over two feet in length. They are light brown in color with dark blotches while juvenile. As adults, the blotches fade and the snake becomes somewhat pattern-less and reddish brown in color.
Behavior / temperament:
Children’s Pythons are popular as pets because they are easy to care for and non-aggressive. Under ideal conditions and proper care, they are expected to live for about 30 years.
Children’s Pythons are best kept in medium woodland-stype enclosures (15-20 gallons) with sturdy branches for climbing. The recommended substrate is aspen shavings. A bowl of water should be provided, as well as hiding places or hide boxes. Day temp: 80-90F
The relatively small-sized Children’s Pythons can be kept together in pairs or groups. Fresh water should always be available. The enclosure should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
Captive bred Children’s Pythons are usually on an exclusively rodent diet. In the wild, they prey on bats, small lizards, frogs, and small mammals.
Children’s Pythons are egg-layers. The female lays 10-15 eggs and incubates them for about 45 days.
great pets, best beginner snake, great temperaments, good eater, constant handling
dimmer light setter, relatively hefty appetite
Rating of my Childrens Python - Summer
I got Summer as an Xmas present from my family 6 yrs ago, i have always loved animals & reptiles in particular, so had been 'hinting' for a while to anyone who would listen, lol. She was about 5 months old when i got her, & now, 6 yrs later i think she is at her full adult size, which isn't very big, but that is to be expected, seeing as the Childreni is the 2nd smallest type of python in Australia!
Overall i can't really rate on the ease of acquiring a Childreni, as i got her as a gift, but the rest i can, so here is my rating/review:
- she is very very tame & docile, she been handled her whole life, and nothing bothers her, when my niece & nephew (hes 5 & shes 8) come to visit, the first thing they want to do is hold her, & they play around with her & stuff (they know to hold her gently though!) for hours, & Summer takes it all, she is a great snake to have around children.
- it is very very easy to clean her enclosure, most of the time she sheds in one piece, and her faeces are always long & dried out, i just use a tissue to pick them up, & any shed too, & its all clean. VERY easy!
- i keep a ceramic dog bowl in her enclosure full of water, so she can't tip it over, sometimes i'm lucky enough to see her drink from it, otherwise she sometimes like to take a bath in it, hehehe, she enjoys her pool.
- she prefers eating rat fuzzies over adult mice, & she eats them live or thawed from frozen, & shes a good eater, she never refuses to eat (she did a bit at first, until i worked out that she doesnt like mice).
- she doesn't bite, in the whole time i've had her, she has only bitten me twice, & both times were when she was only a year old. Both times she bit me because i hadn't washed my hands after handling her rat pinkies, so i still smelled like rat, & she took a tentative bite of my hand, then let go straight away when she realised i wasn't food. It didn't really hurt either, & the bleeding stopped after washing it under the tap, they have very small teeth which are very needle-like & dont really hurt, just a small stinging sensation, so you have to be careful if they accidentally bite you, dont rip your hand away cos it might tear their teeth out! Since then, she has never bitten me again, or even gone for me ever.
- when i take her out of her enclosure, she can be a bit active, usually trying to find somewhere to hide, or hang from, usually me! She can be very quiet, sometimes i can sit & watch a whole movie, & shes either wrapped around my neck/shoulders (staying warm) or huddled in my arms, & she won't move the entire time, i'm always amazed when she does that.
Minuses: (nothing really major)
- i rated her appearance as a 4 because she is meant to be a bit spotty, but you can't really see her spots as they're a bit faded, which might bother some ppl, it did bother me at first, but not anymore, i love her the way she is now. (lol)
- i rated visibility as 3 because she hides alot, i have a half log (real wood) at her 'hot end' of her enclosure, which she basks under, & a bunch of rocks (also real) at her 'cold' end which i've made a small cave out of, which she loves & hides in when she wants to cool down, so most of the time i can only see a bit of her body poking out or her head sometimes. She is also nocturnal, so thats another reason i hardly see her out & about during the day, also the reason for my rating of 3 for 'activity level' (i hardly see her!)
- because shes nocturnal, she comes out at night to 'hunt', so very late at night you will hear an occasional 'thump', which is her falling off her branches, lol. I have set up some branches close to the 'hot end' of her enclosure, (real branches) & they criss-cross so its like a jungle gym for a snake (lol, i dont know how else to describe it), & she obviously likes using it, but for some reason she falls off sometimes. But its not very high, so nothing to worry about, just the noise wakes you up sometimes!
- when she was younger (and smaller) she used to be able to JUST squeeze into the lamp cage around the heat lamp, which was supposed to shield HER from it, but she'd manage to get into the cage & burn herself, so she has some scars which are taking a while to shed out (i took her to the vet when that happened). Now that shes bigger & doesnt fit into the lamp cage, its no longer a problem, but thats something you should check for, that the lamp cage holes are small so they can't get in.
- when she was smaller, she was an escape artist, she escaped twice, both times from different places in her cage (once from the light hole at the top of her cage, & i dont remember where from the 2nd time), the 1st time she got out (from the light hole) it took me a day & a half to find her, i was soooo stressed out! I searched the whole house high & low (which is a feat in itself, snakes can go pretty much anywhere!) & i was lucky that i happened to see her head poking out as i walked past - she was hiding in the back of a speaker in the loungeroom! So watch out, they can hide ANYWHERE!
Thats it, overall I think the Childrens python is a great snake to own, very easy to maintain, & not expensive to keep (as they are small so they eat smaller rodents/animals), & also very docile, great for children & also great for beginners. :-)
From snakeyez82 Mar 30 2009 6:25PM
Children's Python - Antaresia childreni
The Children's Python is a minute species of Python found in Australia. They are very easy to keep and make an excellent beginner snake. I love keeping these pythons because of their size and because they are such low maintenance snakes. They might not be the most colorful snakes in the world but they certainly are beautiful. there is something really awesome about holding a tiny snake and knowing that it is actually a python. Highly recommend to beginners and intermediate keepers..
From RobWedderburn Dec 3 2015 2:23AM