Green tree pythons are an exciting pet for many snake collectors. This particular species of python is native to New Guinea and can also be found in some islands of Indonesia and the Cape York Peninsula of Northeastern Australia.
Anyone not familiar with baby green tree pythons will be surprised by their appearance. Unlike their name states, these baby pythons are not bright green. Instead, newborns are a lemony-yellowish or maroon. It will take six to eight months before you start noticing a greenish color starting to emerge.
If you’re wondering why newborns have this color pattern, it’s to help them hide from predators in tree and bush foliage. The snake has a slim body with a long tail and a head that is easily distinguishable from its neck. A male adult python can grow to up to 5’9” in length and weigh up to about three pounds. Females can grow to a length of just over six and a half feet and weight three and a half pounds.
One of the joys of owning a baby green tree python is watching their coloring change as they mature into their eventual bright green. Read on for more fascinating information on green tree pythons as well as tips on how to care for them.
Things to Look for in Identifying a Baby Green Tree Python
Since baby green tree pythons don’t resemble adults it can be difficult identifying a newborn. Along with the color variation, you also want to examine the shape of the snake’s body. Baby green tree pythons have slender bodies. The head is diamond-shaped with fragmented scales. The width of the head will appear disproportionate to the slender body, but this is normal for the species.
You’ll also notice a hook at the tail’s end, this is referred to as caudal luring which helps snakes in the wild attract prey. Scientists believe that snakes use their tails to mimic the movement of smaller prey. Once they have drawn the prey to within striking range, they attack.
Baby Green Tree Python Coloring
Newborn baby green tree pythons are either maroon or yellow in color. This can confuse people not familiar with the species. The name alone implies green coloring throughout the snake’s life. However, this only applies to young adult green tree pythons. Their namesake green color usually doesn’t appear until the snake is six to eight months old.
How Much Does a Baby Green Tree Python Cost?
Baby green tree pythons can be slightly more expensive than other species of snakes. This is particularly true when it comes to male green tree pythons. Since males are less common than females, you should expect to pay more.
Through a reputable breeder, buyers can pay several hundred dollars for a healthy green tree snake. One of the reasons suggested for the high price is green tree pythons can be difficult to breed. With fewer snakes available for sale, demand is greater than supply.
Recently, an extremely rage blue-green tree python was sold for approximately $1.8 million. Unlike their relative, this type of green tree snake has bluish-green scales and silver eyes.
What Tank Size Does a Baby Green Tree Python Need?
Green tree pythons prefer to “hang-out” in branches. This is an arboreal species so your tank needs to be large enough to hold branches of varying heights. During the day, you’ll most likely find your snake coiled up in a branch. They are nocturnal, and normally only move around their enclosure at night.
An enclosure measuring 12”x12x12” is ideal for a bay green tree python, since they can be as small as 12-inches long. Adult green tree pythons will require more room. Enclosures of 24”x18”x24” are ideal for larger snakes, just remember to ensure that the cage is at least two-feet high. Height is more important than width.
There are a few more things to keep in mind when choosing the right tank for your baby green tree python. This snake is a nocturnal creature so they need to be able to differentiate between night and day so proper lighting is needed.
They also do well with consistent temperatures during the daytime and nighttime which is between 75 and 89 degrees Fahrenheit in the day and between 70 and 80 degrees at night. Depending on what part of the country you live in, heat lamps may be required to achieve these ideal temperatures.
Green tree pythons also need a humid environment so proper humidity levels should be maintained to keep the snake happy and healthy.
What Do Baby Green Tree Pythons Eat?
Baby green pythons typically measure 12 inches at birth and can eat and digest small mice. Smaller feeder mice are often called “pinky mice” due to their size. A good way to estimate if the rodent is the appropriate size is to measure its girth. The rodent should not be larger than the widest point in the snake’s neck. If it is, there could be problems with digestion and regurgitation.
Green tree pythons don’t require live feedings. They do quite well on rodents that have been frozen and thawed, but they do prefer warm prey. Warm up a pinky mouse in water and your baby green tree python will appreciate it. A baby green can survive on pinky mice but will need more food as they grow. They will eventually graduate to a diet of small rats which they will need every ten to 12 days.
Overfeeding snakes can be a problem. New snake owners who may be more familiar with cats and dogs may not trust that snakes eat so infrequently. Even though they don’t require daily feedings to survive, they will eat more if given the opportunity. This can lead to overweight, lazy adult snakes. It’s best to feed green tree pythons at night in a room with the lights dimmed.
How Long Can Baby Green Tree Pythons Go Without Eating?
Pythons, including the green tree species, can go up to six months without eating. They are primarily sedentary and can also lower their metabolism to conserve energy during these dormant periods. This allows pythons to survive with limited food for an extended amount of time. However, it’s best if you feed your baby python once a week for optimal health. Mature pythons require feeding about every two weeks.
How Often Does a Baby Green Tree Python Eat?
You should plan on feeding your baby python once every five to seven days. If these snakes are fed more frequently, they can become overweight. This will then lead to health problems that can significantly shorten the life expectancy of your snake. Once the snake has matured into adulthood, they require larger rodents but are fed less often. Pythons are not very active, especially in captivity and they have a very slow metabolism rate.
At What Age Are Baby Green Tree Pythons Full Grown?
A full-grown green tree python typically measures between five and six feet. A baby green tree python is considered to be fully mature around six to eight months when they start getting their “green” coloring. The female of the species is typically a bit longer and weighs more than her male counterpart.
The underbellies of the green tree python can be yellow or white, and there will be a while or pale blue stripe along the body. These pythons will also have a yellow or white throat, chin, and lips. Once this coloring appears, the green tree python is considered to be at or near its adult stage.
What Does Baby Green Tree Python Poop Look Like?
Healthy feces from a baby green tree python should be dark in color. The size and shape should be small and cylindrical or pebble-like. Don’t be surprised if you also see something that resembles a liquid discharge, this is also normal.
How Fast Do Baby Green Tree Pythons Grow?
How fast a baby green tree snake grows from infancy to juvenile and finally to an adult generally takes between six to eight months. During these months you’ll notice the coloring changing from yellow or maroon to the bright green these snakes are known for.
If the infant or juvenile snake is not getting fed at least once a week, this can slow down the growth period. Once the snake is fully grown, it will measure from five to six and a half feet in length. It’s also important to know that the green tree python has a life expectancy of about 20 years. That’s a big commitment for such a large animal so if you’re considering getting a baby green tree python as a pet, keep that in mind.
Do Baby Green Tree Pythons Have Teeth?
Green tree pythons are non-venomous but do have extremely sharp teeth. Their teeth are in rows, and number around 100. Baby green tree snakes, in particular, are shy and easily startled, it’s best to always handle one carefully. This even applies after the snake has gotten used to being handled.
Snakes are most active during the night and may be prone to biting especially if they are hungry and it is around feeding time, so extra care is required when handling the snake during these times.
What Does a Baby Green Tree Python Bite Feel Like?
Getting bitten by a green tree python will hurt. These beautiful snakes have some of the longest teeth in their species. Their bite is non-venomous and won’t cause health problems, as long as you promptly disinfect the bite mark.
Getting bitten by a baby green tree python has been compared to the feeling of getting nipped by a playful kitten’s needle-sharp teeth.