The Blood Python (python brongersmai) is a short-tailed python species native to Southeast Asia from Thailand to Indonesia and the island of Sumatra. These pythons grow slightly longer than a Ball python with larger adults growing to about 6 feet. They have much heavier built bodies as well with large adults weighing 30-40 lbs. In the wild, they inhabit the rain-forests and wetlands. The blood pythons are named for their beautiful muddy red color and pattern.
Blood pythons are voracious eaters. Provide them a frozen-thawed rodent that is no thicker than their bodies once a week. Keep an eye out for their weight as they are prone to obesity. Do not handle this snake for 24-48 hours after feeding.
They drink a lot for a snake so it is important to provide them clean and fresh water daily!
Proper housing a blood python is very important for keeping a blood python. The babies require a much smaller enclosure than adults in order to avoid stressing them out. Blood pythons can be stressed with an overly open and large space. For a baby, the enclosure should be a 10-gallon tank. Juveniles will need to be moved to a cage twice a big. Adult blood pythons should be housed in an enclosure at least 4 ft x 2 ft x 1.5 ft. Avoid unsecured screen topped cages to securely hold the blood python. Keep in mind humidity requires more maintaining with a screened top.
This species is strong and a latch or other implement is recommended to keep them in their enclosure. In the enclosure, you will need at least 2 hides in order for your snake to hide and feel comfortable. Blood pythons also love to soak so a water dish big and deep enough for it to bathe in is a requirement.
Temperature and Humidity
The heat requirements for this snake are an ambient temperature of 80°-82° F and the warm side should be 86°-88° F. To keep the temperature in the correct range use an under the tank heater that gives off enough heat on one side of the enclosure. Do not allow the temperature of the enclosure to fall below 78° F.
Humidity and heat are essential to the well being of this species. They require high humidity which should be in the range of 60%-70%. A humidifier/mister is a great tool for keeping the proper humidity. If you can’t afford these, use a spray bottle to mist the enclosure several times a day to keep the humidity range correct. It can also help to use humidity retraining substrate such as cypress mulch. Avoid overhead heating and lighting since they can pull humidity from an enclosure. Screen topped enclosures will require more frequent misting.
Blood pythons have a reputation for being defensive snakes. They earned this reputation in the past when a lot of these animals were wild caught. With captive bred babies, they are not nearly as defensive as the ones that were wild caught. With these captively bred blood pythons regular handling and proper housing helps the snake feel comfortable and less defensive. Like all snake handling, be confident and make sure to grab them mid-body and tail with both hands to support their body weight. Keep in mind they are heavy terrestrial snakes. Build a report with them. It is important to do this on a regular basis.
Should you get a Blood Python?
These impressive animals make great pet additions to a reptile collection. They do grow pretty big and are strong animals so make sure you can handle that aspect. The husbandry needs can be complex but with the right equipment, it is not difficult! If you can provide them their essentials such as escape-proof housing, proper temperature, and correct humidity levels they make amazing pets for the right person. They also come in a plethora of different colors and pattern morphs for anyone not satisfied with having the normal variation. If you have experience with keeping snakes this snake is great but we would not recommend them for beginners.
Required items for Blood Python care (Click links for our reviews of recommendations):
- Front open enclosure with a latch like an Exo-terra, custom, or appropriately sized rack system
- Humidifier/ Mister
- 2 Hides
- Water Dish
Images provided with permission by Vida Preciosa Internation, Inc at vpi.com.