The carpet python also called the diamond python, is a type of python that is popular as a pet because of its docile nature. In the wild, it can be found in Australia as well as other remote regions of the continent. In captivity, they may live up to 20 years, but their natural lifespan is unknown. As a large snake, the carpet python needs a big enclosure to give it room to grow and hide from predators or prey.
The scientific name of Carpet Python is Morelia spilota. They usually live in Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, and the northern Solomon Islands. This snake is not venomous.
There are seven basic subspecies of carpet pythons. They are-
- Jungle carpet python (Morelia spilota cheynei)
- Southern carpet python (Morelia spilota imbricata)
- Irian Jaya carpet python (Morelia spilota variegata)
- Coastal carpet python (Morelia spilota mcdowelli)
- Inland carpet python (Morelia spilota metcalfei)
- Papuan carpet python (Morelia spilota harrisoni)
- Diamond python (Morelia spilota spilota).
Depending on the subspecies, they have wide-ranging colors. Jungle carpet pythons have a striking appearance with their yellow and black signs. The coastal carpet python has an appearance of brownish with yellow stripes. The Irian Jayas are brownish with tan-colored signs. The Diamond carpet python is black colored with yellow or white spots.
The size (or length) of a mature Carpet python may range from 5 feet to 9 feet on average. The subspecies which have a smaller length in this range are the Irian Jaya pythons. A mature snake of this subspecies is about 5 feet long. The subspecies with a bigger length is the Coastal Carpet pythons. They have a body length of about 9 feet. Male and female snakes are almost the same in size. Though female snakes are generally larger in some subspecies, like- Diamond and Coastal carpet pythons.
These snakes are named ‘Carpet pythons’ because of their amazing colors and patterns that are similar to the carpets found in the Middle East. If you plan to pet a Carpet python, take a long-term plan. Carpet pythons are long-lived animals. In captivity, they usually live for over 20 years.
They are generally active both in daytime and night-time, though some differences may be noticed in different subspecies.
Reasons to choose carpet python is not difficult. Here are the reasons to choose carpet python as a pet-
1. Carpet pythons are easy to maintain.
2. They are readily available in the pet trade.
3. Carpet pythons are hardy snakes and can adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions.
4. They have a docile temperament and make great pets for first-time snake owners.
5. Carpet pythons are relatively small snakes, so they do not require a large enclosure.
6. Carpet pythons are not poisonous.
7. These Snakes are easy to breed.
8. Carpet pythons produce non-aggressive offspring that can be used for breeding purposes.
Carpet Python Care Guide
If you are thinking of getting a carpet python, this care guide will tell you everything you need to know about keeping your new pet healthy and happy. Carpet pythons are one of the most popular types of snakes kept as pets, and with good reason. They are beautiful snakes with a wide variety of color patterns, and they can live for 20 years or more with proper care.
Carpet Python Behavior
It is often said that Carpet pythons are pets of intermediate people. It means that you should only decide to keep a Carpet python as a pet if you have previously kept other reptiles or snakes. And also you must be ready for a more challenging snake.
Young Carpet pythons show a tendency to defend themselves from predators. When they become older, you will find them more docile and calm.
These snakes naturally use a high-tech tracking system for finding their food. They can easily understand the presence of other animals by the heat-sensitive pits on their bottom jaw. They can track the body warmth of other animals by these pits.
Carpet pythons usually hunt by ambush. When the target passes by the snake, it will attack the prey.
As these snakes are not venomous, they catch their prey and suffocate it. They suffocate the prey by constricting it and then swallow it whole. These snakes generally eat smaller animals, for example- rats, possums, and birds. Smaller or younger snakes normally eat lizards.
Housing For Carpet Python
When you decide to keep a carpet python, you must think and understand the reptile species’ needs before making any decisions on how to make a house for them.
Experienced reptile owners and collectors nowadays suggest enclosures that are made of glass, PVC, plastic, or polyethylene. Choose a cage where the door is located in front and the door should be made of glass or acrylic plastic.
If you have more than one Carpet snake, you should house them separately, apart from the days of breeding. You can keep the hatchlings in small lunch box size tubs. Provide some suitable hiding places, a dish of clean fresh water, a proper heating source, and climbing branches.
The captive habitat made for your snake must be secure, comfortable, and escape-proof. Wire fronted cages are not suitable for your pet Carpet python.
The enclosure should be ventilated enough. Any sign of condensation can indicate damp conditions and/or poor ventilation. You must take appropriate initiatives to avoid the dangerous health problems of your snake.
You should provide a temperature gradient in the enclosure. Because your snake has to often balance its temperature. If you manage a gradient, the snake can thermally regulate to either a warmer or cooler zone of the captive habitat.
You can provide a gradient of 72° Fahrenheit for the cooler zone and up to 90° Fahrenheit for the warmer zone. This is an optimal condition for your snake. You can use ceramic heat emitters, for example- Ceramic Reptile Heat Emitter or Radiant Heat panels for your pet snake. You can place this heating source on the top of the enclosure.
There are some disadvantages while using ceramic heat emitters. One of them is that they cause the air to dry out which significantly works for lowering the cage humidity. It is recommended to use radiant heat panels. This is preferable for larger cages.
Naturally, Carpet pythons like to bask for several hours each day beneath a radiant heat panel or a spotlight. You must place the heating source at an optimal distance. Otherwise, any direct physical contact of the snake with the heat source can cause dangerous and life-threatening thermal burns.
The light and heat source should be set in such a way that these can be switched on through a timer swap. The overall temperature at the warmer side of the enclosure should not drop under 20° Celsius at night. To ensure ideal growth and general health of the hatching pythons (<1 year), a heat source should be provided 24 hours per day.
You can set the heat source at one end of the cage to create a gradient of temperature. The spot where your pet will bask should reach about 33° to 38° Celsius.
You will find the appropriate heating source and lighting equipment at the reptile pet stores and also from online reptile equipment stores/suppliers.
These snakes seem to thrive regardless of the humidity level. But experts opine that the Carpet python’s health is better in the descent humidity in the enclosure, which is around 50%. This humidity level can be obtained by using a water bowl in the cage.
You can apply occasional misting systems to the enclosure using a misting tool. When the time for shedding comes, the misting process of the cage will be beneficial for your pet Carpet python. Make sure to allow complete drying before the next misting. Otherwise, the moist cage can be an optimal environment for growing bacteria.
Many professional reptile keepers or owners use the technique of keeping a large water dish in the cage besides balancing humidity, this water bowl will offer your pet a place where it can soak in when it wants to do that.
You can use a wide variety of substrates for your pet Carpet python. Newspapers are a good choice as substrates. These are easy to replace when needed and also cheap. For rack systems and smaller cages, you can use paper towels as substrates.
You must remove and replace the wet or damp newspapers and paper towels. Otherwise, these can lead the Carpet python to many skin infection problems. Some decent substrates are- aspen or cypress wood such as Zoo Med Forest Floor Natural Cypress, etc. These look more naturalistic as well as absorbing odors.
Diet And Feeding
These snakes usually eat mice or rats of appropriate sizes according to their own body size. Young Carpet pythons become very active when they are hungry. Younger snakes require feeding every 7 – 10 days. But adult Carpet pythons are often ready to have their food immediately after defecation.
You must thaw the frozen food items before offering them to your snake. You can do this by slowly warming the foods in a container that is filled with warm water.
Adult Carpet pythons may take their food regularly or even after several months. They may abstain from eating for long periods, sometimes for six months consecutively. If your pet snake is not interested in taking its food, offer it held in thongs.
Carpet pythons are low-energy animals. They spend most of their time doing nothing apart from basking. So, they may have digestive problems when there will be a shortage of proper heat.
If sufficient heat is not possible to provide after feeding, avoid feeding. Otherwise, the food may decompose and start rotting in the stomach, before it can be digested, which will result in regurgitation, gastrointestinal disease, or even the death of your pet snake.
Carpet pythons are semi-arboreal and so they have a natural defensive attitude to keep them safe from predators. You should remember their defensive attitude while handling. We can give you some handling tips.
Wait and your pet snake should get the time to know you. You should not attempt to handle the snake unless a few days have passed after bringing the pet Carpet python. In this time, it will be familiar with you and its new habitat.
After letting it be familiar to you, try to gradually increase the amount of handling time each day. Support your snake’s body while handling. In fact, this snake likes to perch on branches.
At the very beginning, avoid touching your snake on its head. Your snake can react defensively if it does not trust you. You should avoid fast movements. While handling your pet snake, do not restrain it.
When you are an owner of a pet Carpet python, you have to learn how to ‘read and understand’ them. Though many snake species are easy to read and understand, the carpet pythons are not so. They require time before you can read them.
When your pet Carpet python realizes that you will not hurt it, it will often enjoy or at least tolerate your handling. Just wait, relax and give your snake enough time to get used to you and the new environment.
Many Carpet pythons will let gentle handling over it. Many snakes will like to explore when you handle them and will reach furniture, bookshelves, etc. whatever they think they can climb on. You must pay attention to what your snake does behind you.
Naturally, reptiles are very good at hiding their diseases and health problems. You will normally notice the health problems when they become very serious. This is why you must get your python checked up by an experienced reptile veterinarian. This checkup should be done at least once every 6-12 months.
Some common problems that the Carpet python faces are- wheezing, lethargy, diarrhea, dysecdysis (trouble shedding), prolonged inappetence outside of the cooler months of the year, abnormal movement, and regurgitation. Suggestions of a veterinarian are needed in these situations.
You should always give them proper care and husbandry. Your proper care and routine husbandry will help prevent some common issues that are associated with captive pet snakes.
Choosing the right carpet python for your environment is not an easy task. Carefully consider the local climate and what types of prey are prevalent in that area. You’ll want to find out if any of the pets that live in the house are prone to leave their food around the house. Depending on the size of the snake, you may want to choose one with a smaller cage because, even though they are still live animals, there will be less chance for them to throw up.
The age of the snake. If possible, it is best to purchase a snake that is between six months old and two years old. This will give you the greatest selection from which to choose. At this age, they have not yet matured and their personality is still developing.
If you decide to keep a Carpel python or any other snake as a pet, you need to gain proper knowledge about it. Because snakes are not like other pet animals. They have special requirements. They also have the right to get all their requirements in captivity. You must ensure all their necessities. This task is thrilling and adventurous as well as dangerous.
Today we have discussed how to take care of Carpet pythons, and what is required to acquire knowledge to take care of them. We hope you will keep a snake or a reptile as a pet after knowing them well.
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