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Children's Python CB21

Children's Python CB21

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Its scientific name is Antaresia Childreni and it is a common site in places such as Darwin. They are a very docile species and pose no threat to humans. Juveniles can be a bit nippy but like all Python species, they do not contain any venom. It is a constrictor snake, meaning it kills its prey by coiling its muscular body around the prey and constricting it until it suffocates.

 

Description

The Childrens Python usually grows to about 1 metre in length. They are usually reddish-brown in colour, with many darker blotches running the length of their body. These blotches are often more visible on younger specimens.

In certain lighting, the Children’s Python has a rainbow sheen to it, similar to a Brazilian Rainbow Boa, although not as pronounced. They are a relatively slender snake with a similar build to that of a Corn Snake.

 

Natural Habitat and Distribution

The Childrens Python is native to the northern parts of Australia in spanning from Western Australia, through the Northern Territory and into Queensland. The can also be found on the Torres Straight islands which are located north of the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.

They thrive in a wide range of habitats such as savannahs, grasslands, scrub, rocky regions, monsoon forests and dry woodlands. They are generally found on the ground but will occasionally climb trees and rocky regions in search of prey.

 

Childrens Python Behavior

The Childrens Python is a nocturnal species. It will spend most of the day sheltering in termite mounds and rock crevices to avoid the heat of the day. At night they come out in search of prey.

Like other pythons, they are a non-venomous snake that constricts its prey before swallowing it whole. They prefer to stay on the ground to hunt for food but can be very resourceful and adopt different hunting techniques. They are known to feed on micro-bats which they catch by dangling from stalactites in caves, snatching the bats out of the air as they fly past.

Lifespan

 The Children’s Python has a lifespan of about 20 years in the while but is known to live for over 30 years in captivity.

 

Children’s Pythons as Pets

The Childrens Python is a very easy species to care for. Once their basic requirements are met they are a very hardy snake. They tend to have a very docile temperament and rarely bite. Most bites are due to a feeding response as opposed to a defensive or aggressive strike.

They don’t require extremely large setups as they generally only grow to a little over 3ft in length. They are generally suitable for regular handling and will actively explore their surroundings.

 

Feeding a Childrens Python

An adult Childrens Python can be fed every 7-10 days on appropriately sized mice or rats. Their food should be about the same thickness as the snake’s body. Hatchlings and juveniles should be fed every 7 days to accommodate growth. It is important not to handle your snake for at least 24hrs after feeding as this can stress the snake and may result in regurgitation. Hatchlings will begin feeding on pinkie mice and the size of their food can be gradually increased as the snake grows.

You should not feed your snake live prey as it can injure them. Most prey items fed to snakes have sharp teeth and claws and can injure your snake if he doesn’t eat it straight away. In the wild, the rodent will have the opportunity to run away if the snake doesn’t choose to eat it. However, in a confined space, such as an enclosure, the rodent will be forced to defend itself against attack. This is cruel for both the snake and the rodent.

Like many snakes, Children’s Pythons can occasionally go off their food. This is normal and nothing to worry about providing the snake is a good size and not losing an excessive amount of weight.

 

Always ensure your snake has a clean supply of water to drink from. This should be changed regularly as your snake will go to the toilet and bath in it. Water should be provided in a heavy, shallow bowl to prevent the snake from tipping it over. Your snake may also bath in the water bowl to help it shed.

 

Childrens Python Housing

As this is a relatively small snake, they do not need an extremely large enclosure. A fully grown adult will be more than happy in a 3ft x 2ft x 2ft enclosure. This can be decorated with driftwood and plants. Hatchlings should be kept in a smaller enclosure for the first 10-12 months.

These snakes will thrive in a wooden vivarium. Wood is an excellent insulator of heat so this type of enclosure makes it easier to control their temperature requirements. The enclosure should have good ventilation to allow air flow in and out of the setup.

They can also be housed in glass vivariums but you will need to pay closer attention to temperature fluctuations. If using a glass vivarium, it is important to provide the snake with additional hiding spaces as they will feel more exposed in this type of setup.

It is also possible to house a Childrens Python in a racking system. It is however important to choose a rack big enough to accompany the snake and allow for a thermal gradient (hot and cool side).

Whatever type of enclosure you choose, it is important to ensure that your snake has adequate hiding places. A Childrens Python will spend much of the day curled up in a hide. At a minimum, you should provide your snake with at least one hiding space at either end of the enclosure (hot and cold side).

This snake can be quite active at night so it is a good idea to give them a couple of climbing branches and plants to explore. They are very intuitive reptiles, so to keep the snake entertained you can rearrange their furnishings every so often. You will quickly notice them exploring their new surroundings.

A clean supply of drinking water should be present in the tank at all times. A humidity level of around 50% should be maintained to allow your snake to shed properly.

Light and Heat

Like all reptiles, Royal Pythons are cold blooded and therefore depend on their surroundings to get heat. In the wild, a reptile will bask in the sun or sunbath on a heated rock to keep warm. They can then cool down by going into the shade or taking refuge in a burrow. These conditions can be replicated in an enclosure to help your snake with thermal regulation.

A Children’s Python enclosure should be about 32oC (90F) at the hot end and 25oC (78F) at the cool end. Temperatures can drop by about 5oC at night.

You can provide heat for your snake with a ceramic heat emitter or heat lamp. It should be set up on one of the ends of the enclosure to allow a thermal gradient along the setup. The wattage of the heater depends on the size of the enclosure but it should be connected to and controlled by a good thermostat.

 

Hot bulbs can burn a reptile so ensure all heat lamps are covered using a bulb guard. A snake does not feel heat in the same way as a person, so it is possible for them to get nasty burns.