Posted December 18th, 2011

Short Tailed Python Care Sheet

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Borneo Short-Tail Python, Python curtus breitensteini

There are many variations of feeding, husbandry and breeding protocols, These are the protocols practiced here at Roussis Reptiles that have helped us successfully maintain and reproduce these pythons.

Feeding: We start out neonates on live or frozen (thawed) fuzzy mice or rats. Usually feeding begins around 3 to 4 weeks after birth, typically before the first ecdydis (shed), which is usually 8 to 12 weeks after birth. Hide boxes are recommended. Food items are offered weekly. Fresh water is always available and replaced twice a week.

Temp/Humidity Requirements: Ambient cage temperature in the spring and summer seasons are mid to high 80′s during the day, mid to high 70′s at night. A hot spot of 88 to 95 degrees is provided underneath 1/3 of the enclosure. We lower the ambient temperatures in the fall and winter seasons to low 80′s during the day and low 70′s at night while maintaining the hot spots at 85 to 90. These temperatures can be attained with the use of Flexwatt heat tape or overhead lighting along with any reliable thermostat. We use helix and Ranco thermostats. Under floor heating is preferred, although we have maintained these animals with overhead heating in the past without ill effects. Humidity should be maintained at approximately 65% or higher with adequate ventilation. This can be attained through bi-weekly spraying of the cage substrate and the use of large water bowls. Spraying is increased nearing ecdysis. These animals are susceptible to respiratory infection and may encounter shedding problems if kept too dry!

Cage Setup: We individually house and breed our Short-Tails in Freedom Breeder Racks, although we have successfully maintained and bred these animals in Vision Cages and Rubbermaid tubs in the past. Adults enclosures are 8″ deep, 33″ long, and 24 ” wide. Our preferred substrate is 1 ½ to 2 inches of damp cypress mulch, which can be sprayed twice weekly, this helps keep humidity at appropriate levels, the open screen tops aid in proper evaporation and ventilation. We use 11″ ceramic bowls which hold an ample amount of water, as short-Tails can drink large quantity of water in one sitting, the large dimensions and heavy construction keep the bowls being overturned by these heavy bodied pythons.

Neonates are housed in Freedom Breeder 9″ x 18″ enclosures with a hide box and can easily out grow this space in as little as 6 months if fed heavily. The hide box offers a secure hiding spot, which aids in feeding and provides an area of increased humidity, which aids in shedding. We keep them on a thin layer of damp Cyrpress Mulch and use disposable deli cups. The cups are disposed of weekly and replaced as this cuts down on the possibility of disease transmission and allows for quick and efficient maintenance.

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