Carpet Python Facts
Scientific name: Morelia spilota
Size: 3 – 5ft
Lifespan: 15 – 20 years
Endangerment: Least concern.
Primary Colour: Black, Yellow, White, Patterned
Habitat: North, East & South Australia.
Difficulty of Keeping: Easy, Moderate.
Optimum environment Temperature: 90°F hotspot with ambient temp of 75°F+
What do they eat? Mice, Small Rats, birds and eggs.
Purpose: Carpet pythons love easting rodents, most can be found lurking in dirty areas where they inhabit, these snakes are great in reducing the grow of unwanted rodents in areas.
Eggs or Live birth: Egg baring snake.
Venomous: None venomous/ None poisonous
Are they kept in captivity? Yes, a carpet python is great pet but when young are known for being nippy and calming down with age and time.
Ease of keeping as a pet: Husbandary is easy once you have the setup ready with the correct temps and humidity.
Cost: Ranges between $50 – $500 dependant on morph or sub-species.
Introduction To Carpet Pythons
Carpet pythons in the wild live in Australia, these beautiful snakes are quite common, more so in the bush areas.
These pythons are great climbers and dependant on which type of sub-species it is they are fantastic climbs (semi-arboreal snakes).
The most common is the jungle carpet python, this is a black and yellow patterned snake.
When young the yellow is very bright and intense & with age and shed cycles.
This colour dulls down to a faded yellow colour.
Carpet Python Size
The size a carpet python will grow to is very much dependant on the type.
Coastal carpet pythons are the longest of the carpet pythons, growing up to 12ft+.
Not all will attain this huge size, across all the average is thought to be 5 – 7ft for an adult python.
- Irian Jaya pythons are the smallest growing sub-species getting around 4 – 5ft in length only.
- The most popular the jungle carpet python is a medium for all these between 5 – 9ft long.
When consider the size of the snake, length isn’t the only part that is considered.
A wider bodied snake will need more room in captivity, whereas a heavy body snake will need a much bigger surface area.
Carpet pythons a mid-body snake, they are not a thin nor a heavy body snake like a blood python.
This makes them very manageable to keep as a pet and handling is easily done with just one person or snake owner.
There little to no need to fear a carpet pythons handling.
Children should always be accompanied whilst handling due to the sheer amount of power the possess.
Carpet Python Care
Care for a carpet python is easy once all the right temps and enclosure is setup for your pet snake to thrive in.
What you will need before getting a pet carpet python is:
- Heat source (heat mat or bulb)
- Thermostat (A MUST)
- Hides & décor
- Bedding and substrate
- Frozen rodents
- Water dish (works more than just a source of water for the snake)
This checklist is the basic essentials you will need to house a carpet python sucessfully & in total for the start-up it will cost around $300 – $500 dependant on where you choose to source your products from.
There are other smaller items you may need is this is your first-time snake, such as feeding tongs, snake poop scoop and a misting fountain if you live in a dryer area.
Carpet Python Bite
Carpet pythons do have teeth, and many of them so feeding your snake by hand is not recommended.
Not only does it cause injury to you if the snake does bite during feeding but if you were to pull your hand out the snake’s mouth.
A tooth could come out and be open to all sorts of infections.
The bite does not hurt, this isn’t to say it tickles either, a bee sting will hurt more than a bite from one of these snakes.
Due to their teeth being reclined to the back of the mouth.
Pulling back when a snake strikes makes it much worse as your effectively dragging the teeth through the skin.
The type of bite also large dictates how much it’s going to hurt.
Food response and getting you first will be more painful than a defensive strike.
A food response the snake will hold onto you as it thinks your food.
Whereas a defensive the snake will rapidly let go as a warning to stay away.
Snakes by nature are not aggressive, they defend their ground but do not actively seek conflict, only hunt food they must eat to survive.
Choosing the bedding to use
Now this is more important than your thinking.
Choosing a bedding can make your life easy or a nightmare, this is because humidity.
A carpet python needs anywhere between 40 -60% humidity, below this will cause the snake to dry and cause shedding problems and too high could cause raspatory issues (a cold for a snake which could be fatal if untreated).
A lot of area naturally have this so using any bedding is fine such as newspaper, aspen and other popular substrates.
If you do live in a very dry climate, substrates such as cypress mulch and orchid bark are fantastic for increasing and giving their enclosure a good humidity level for days.
These types are also able to be sprayed with water to without cause mould to form.
Carpet Python Temperament
When we first started out my favourite was the carpet python.
I was repeatedly put off by other owners saying they was bity and not great to handle due to their temperament.
Now, we can say after owning over 10+ of these, this is far from the truth.
If you know what to expect then they are fantastic.
As hatchlings, carpet pythons are nippy, they are young and vulnerable snake trying to avoid being ate.
The first year or less, if you spend the time with your carpet python.
They will come to the realisation that you’re not trying to eat them.
We do this by using routine, which is never handling on the day before & feeding day…. Ever.
This will cause more confusion for the carpet python.
After 48 hours after feeding we go into the enclosure and begin to work with the snake.
If the snake rapidly strikes, it doesn’t mean give up, just be more aware the snake is stressed, and gentle handling and movements are your friend.
Cut these weeks short only handling for 15 minutes or less.
As each week goes by, you will notice the snake responding differently (with some bad weeks, and some great handling sessions).
It is important not to push the snake too far too soon, this will cause you to regress.
We always give a 12-week period until 95% of our carpet pythons dulled down both with aging and tolerating us handling them.
When you reach this point, the reward is completely worth it and they remain dociles in most cases for the rest of their lives.
What Carpet Pythons Eat
In captivity a carpet python will live their life just eating rodents.
Starting off with fussy mice or medium mice, dependant on which type.
As they age, rats will be needed for an adequate meal for the snake.
Choosing what size to feed is easy, use the thickest part of the snake’s body as a guideline and match the prey item to this size the best you can.
If it is too little or too small one week, do not worry as they do not find consistent sized meals in the wild.
A water dish is important, it must be big enough for your snake to bathe in and submerge their body.
Snakes love to soak during their shedding cycle, so provide a big enough bowl to allow this.
If your snake is excessively bathing in their bowl check your snake for mites or other parasites as soon as possible.
The water must be change daily as fresh water is essential to a carpet python.
Finally, the water dish for a snake will increase and improve the humidity within the enclosure by 20%+ dependant on where it is positioned.
Try to put the water bowl on the cooler side of the vivarium as this will keep it fresher for longer.