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DIFFICULTY LEVEL Keeper should have previous experience with larger boids and be comfortable with their care and handling. Not a suitable beginners snake. Reticulated pythons are usually what their keeper has made them. If properly kept by a knowledgeable owner they behave well and are a spectacular sight as a large tame python.

SIZE & LIFE SPAN Lengths of 16'+ are common, sizes of 25' occur. May live 25+ years in captivity.

DIET Mice, rats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

OTHER MORPHS Normal, Yellow Head, Calico, Albino, Tiger, Super Tiger, Jaguar and island forms.

BREEDING-- Males breed at 7 - 9' and females 11'+. Breeding season in captivity: September - March. Stop all feeding at this time. Animals should have excellent weight and be established before any breeding is attempted. Breeding may be induced by reducing daytime photo periods to 8 - 10 hours and dropping nighttime temperatures into the mid 70's. Introduce the female into the males cage, never house two adult males together the injuries can be horrific.Careful when handling males in breeding season. Misting the animals with water may be beneficial. Lays 25 - 80+ eggs, maternally incubates. Incubation temperature 88 - 90F(optimal), 80-90 days to hatch.


Caging-- Includes Neodesha reptile cages, aquariums and custom built vivariums. Cages must be escape proof, easy to disinfect, free of sharp edges, ventilated, and hold heat to ensure proper temperatures. Avoid unfinished wood and porous surfaces when designing custom cages; these surfaces are difficult to clean and disinfect. Heating-- Variable setting under cage heating pads(used for people, never rest weight of cage on pad), thermostatically controlled lights and/or under cage heat strips, and hot rocks. Don't use a small hot rock for an animal that is proportionately larger; burns often result if the animal is forced to rest on this type of heat source. A heat source should warm 1/3 to 1/2 of the cage with a basking floor temperature of 88 - 92F. Use a thermometer! The unheated area should never drop below 73F. It may be necessary when using aquariums to cover part of the lid with plastic to maintain ideal temperatures. It is essential to allow the animal an area that provides an optimal basking temperature and a cooler area(provides a heat gradient) so that the snake can thermoregulate. Caution should be used when using lamps. If the heat is extreme it may dry out the animal, and create health problems, kill or burn the animal. It is better to heat with an under cage heater and a lamp. Red lights are ideal for heating and don't disrupt the photoperiod. Avoid large wattage bulbs(100+watt) when possible. The heat provided is often too focused and may burn! Lighting-- 12 hours on, 12 hours off, incandescent or fluorescent. Never leave visible lights on continuosly, this causes stress. Furnishing-- A water dish large enough to allow the animal to soak and located near the heat source. Always provide clean water, disinfect bowl weekly. A hide box or shelter in the heated end of the cage provides security. A hide box may also be provided in the cooler area; always locate at least one in the heated end so the animal does not have to choose between security( hide box) and heat. Disenfect(bleach & rinse) branches and rocks since they may harbor ecto parasites. Substrates-- Newspaper, paper towels, paper bags, or artificial grass are safe and inexpensive. Aspen bedding also may be used, but it is advisable to feed on a different surface, since the bedding could lodge in the snake's mouth. Gravel, sand, mulch and shaving may cause health problems such as intestinal blockage, skin lesions and mouth rot. Cedar is deadly to reptiles!!!! Cleaning --1 part household bleach to 6 parts water is safe and disinfects, rinse surfaces thoroughly with clean water.


A baby retic should begin feeding on weanling mice(21 days old) or rat crawlers. A snake may be induced to feed by placing it in a locking plastic shoe box style container(with air holes) with crumpled newspaper and leaving it for an hour, then introducing a food item. At 3', the snake is large enough for weanling rats. At 5', it is capable of consuming adult rats. Frequent feedings of 1 - 2 times weekly will result in quick growth and a healthy animal. It may be wise to consider how large you wish the snake to get, feed less often to slow the growth rate. Feed at least once every 10 days, when the snake begins feeding on large meals such as rabbits feeding can occur less frequently. Many animals may be conditioned to accept pre-killed or thawed warmed rodents at feed time. This technique is safer, than feeding live rodents since this prevents the snake from being bitten by a rodent. Shedding is dependent on the animal's growth rate and condition and may occur every 3-6 weeks. African rock pythons may refuse feeding attempts while shedding. Avoid handling after a sizable meal; it is stressful and may cause regurgitation. Never leave a rodent in the snake's cage for lengthy periods; a rodent can cause serious damage to your pet!!!! Provide food and water for any rodent left in the snake's cage longer than 30 minutes. Never handle rodents and then handle a snake; you may be mistaken as food. Develop proper feeding habits. As the snake grows to lengths exceeding 6' it may be wise to feed the snake only dead rodents and move it to a feeding container prior to food offering. If moved to a feeding container for all feedings it may become conditioned not to expect food while in its cage. This may reduce the possibility of being mistaken as a food item by an over excited feeder. Best method is to place dead rodent in container and let snake discover it, encourages gentle food acquisition. Maintain feeding and health records. Reluctant Feeders-- May be more apt to eat at night or with lights off, and may prefer to ambush prey from a hide box. Try a variety of rodents and sizes. Is the animal sick? Reduce handling to a minimum. If an animal refuses all feeding attempts and appears to be wasting, consult a veterinarian or experienced herper.


CHARACTERISTICS A snake with a huge size potential, and an undeserved bad reputation. Some specimens may behave more aggressively than othert boids. Retics have an a strong feeding response and wild caughts are terrified which has given them a reputation as being nasty. Wild caught and unhandled snake's may be difficult to handle and will bite to escape. Captive born retics are often friendly and grow to be wonderful beast. More alert than many other boids. If raised properly in captivity and handled frequently they can be excellent animals. Avoid large wild caught snakes, they are typically aggressive and may never establish themselves as suitable pets. Initially an animal may be apt to bite(use gloves) due to fear but with handling, trust must be established and biting should cease. Typically, as an animal grows larger (12'+) in captivity it will slow down and become more personable. Always support a snake's body; avoid fast movements. Do not treat the snake as a toy. Avoid techniques which restricts a snake's movement. Avoid public situations which draw attention to the animal since this is stressful to the animal and possibly your audience. A nervous snake may occasionally bite; if biting occurs and is a problem, wear gloves. The handler must convince the snake that it is safe, trust must be learned. Snake's bite for two reasons: they have mistaken you as food or they are in fear for their safety. Snake's do not bite because they are mean.


1)Respiratory infections manifest themselves as excess fluid in the mouth and nostrils, with gaping of the mouth. These infections result from inappropriate conditions such as cool temperatures, dry air, dehydration, stress, and parasites. To treat, increase the temperature to 90F and reduce all possible stress to the animal. If condition persist, antibiotic therapy will be necessary through a veterinarian. 2) Mouth rot manifest itself as cankers or lesions in the mouth. This syndrome results from the conditions of (1) and rubbing on rough surfaces, rodent bites and materials lodged in mouth. To treat, increase temperature to 90F, clean infected area with a solution of 1.5% hydrogen peroxide(dilute 50:50), remove loose material and swab with betadine 2X daily. If condition persist, medical attention is needed. 3)Dry sheds are due to dehydration, improper temperatures, illness and stress. Allow the animal to hide in a moist location when shedding, such as a water dish or container with a damp towel. 4) Thermal burns and Belly Rot are caused by exposing the animal to a high heat source or unsanitary conditions. Follow procedure for (2), treat all damaged tissue. Correct the improper conditions. 5) Mites are small blood sucking ectoparasites, which are irritating to snakes. They appear as small black dots on the animal or in its dish. Consult your pet shop or fellow herper for treatment (Bio strip, ivermectin, etc.). 6) Ticks are blood sucking ectoparasites that are often found on wild caught animals. Removal of ticks is achieved by a clockwise twisting of the parasite or suffocating the tick with vaseline until it dies in a few days and then removing. 7) Internal parasites can be a problem, especially with imported animals. Symptoms such as failure to thrive, regurgitation, failure to feed, and depression are all possible signs of a parasitic infestation. It may be a wise move to bring a fresh fecal sample to a veterinarian, and if necessary treat for parasites. Refer to Snake Disorder care card.