Uncovering The Truth: White Lipped Pythons
Are White Lipped Pythons Aggressive?
White Lipped Pythons are beautiful snakes because of their iridescent scales. However, their temperaments are in question. This type of python definitely needs to be with a caregiver that has a lot of experience and passion for snakes.
The white lipped python can be a little nippy, but they are not aggressive. They may bite if they are scared, nervous, or not being handled properly.
It is recommended that very experienced caregivers should have this type of python. They should also be brought home as young babies and handled often to adjust to human interaction. There is always a chance that they may bite, but it takes a lot of patience to work with this snake.
They are very beautiful and taming them can be very rewarding.
Avoid touching their heads, holding them after feedings, and provide support for their body. Allow them to explore and let them adjust to their cage when you bring them home before trying to hold them. The time of day could also determine your python’s mood. They may be friendlier during the day than at night. This python usually hunts at night. So avoid handling in the evenings.
With enough time and patience, your snake can actually become very social with you and want to hang out on your hand.
White lipped pythons will grow to be about 6-7 feet in length. They are also semi-arboreal and will need an enclosure that gives them room to climb. If you have a baby, a 10-20 gallon tank will be large enough. As they grow, you will want to increase the size of their tank.
Once they are about a year old, we recommend using a 40 gallon glass enclosure. Exo Terra is a great brand that comes in a 36″X18″X18″ tank that opens in the front. The top has a ventilated mesh roof too.
Any cage that opens from the front will give you easier access to your snake. Reaching from above may be threatening for them. The front doors also make feeding a lot easier.
Once you have purchased or built the enclosure, you need to create a very natural looking habitat. The substrate that is popular is an Eco Earth mix or coco husk chips. Both substrates are really soft and hold in the humidity. Moss is something else you can add for some padding and it makes a nice aesthetic touch.
They love to climb as well. Place nice sturdy branches and vines throughout the enclosure. Have some branches that lead to a basking spot too. White lipped pythons like to be out most of the day exploring because they are curious snakes.
Add a hide as well for when they need to cool down too. You can purchase small rock caves or some drift wood.
Lighting and Humidity
Now that you have your tank decorated, you need lighting for the right temperature and humidity. White lipped pythons are originally from very warm climates. A ceramic heat lamp is essential for them to stay healthy and warm.
As I mentioned before, use one of the branches to lead up to the basking spot. Make sure it is not too close to the light or your snake could burn their skin. A few inches away from the light is best. The light should also be placed over the roof the cage as well and not actually in the cage. The basking spot needs to be around 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
When they get too hot, they will need a cool spot. The cool spot is going to be on the other side of the enclosure away from the heat lamp. The cool side should be around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, they will be totally fine if the temperature drops to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are worried about the enclosure not being warm enough, you can place a heat pad under the tank. The pad should only go under half of the tank. Just use it under the heated side with a hide on top. This will keep your snake warm at night.
Getting a digital thermometer will be really helpful.
Now that you have the temperature down, the humidity is also very important. They need their humidity to be between 70-80%. They just need a shallow water dish with fresh water to drink from. They also need misted daily. If you have a busy schedule, you can set up a fogger with a timer. This will really get the humidity high enough for a healthy shed.
Feeding snakes can be hard for most people, but they need to eat their meat. Babies will eat one pinky mouse once a week. The rodent should not be bigger than the snake’s largest point.
When they become adults, you can feed them medium or large mice. They will only need to eat once every two weeks depending on how large the rodent is.
In the winter, adults might want to eat less. This is perfectly normal. Keep offering food until it eats again.
The tank will get dirty and need to be cleaned regularly. Just remove your snake and put it in a nice large bin with a cover. Make sure they have oxygen. Once your snake is removed, you can use a scooper to clean the fecal from the substrate. Use a diluted vinegar solution to clean the sides of the tank or any areas that are soiled. Harsh chemicals will be dangerous to use in the enclosure.
Their water bowl will also become dirty very quickly. This will need to changed almost daily. Scrub the bowl down well every time to prevent bacterial growth.
White lipped pythons are very nervous snakes that take a lot of time to get used to human interaction. If they are properly fed and handled, they will start to become more comfortable with you. Take time to design their enclosures and pay attention to the cleanliness. It can be very rewarding owning a white lipped python when they are properly taken care of.