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Latin name: Liasis olivaceus
This individual is a young adult male who is about 5 years old. He’s about 7’ in length and is eating frozen thawed medium/large rats once a week.
General info and temperament: Olive pythons are The second largest snake in Australia, second only to the amethystine Python. Unfortunately for these relatively gentle and non-venomous snakes, olive pythons resemble the venomous king brown snake which they are often mistaken for and killed as a result. Adults are noted for being calm and cooperative participants in handling so long as the keeper is aware of this python’s strong feeding response.
Habitat and range: Olive pythons are native to Western Australian, the Northern Territory and Queensland along the coastal areas. They make their homes in caves and rocky outcrops, especially close to water.
Size and lifespan: They can reach 13 feet in length with females being larger than males. They can live between 20 and 30 years.
Quick care stats:
Temperatures: 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the basking area, 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit on the cool end.
Humidity: Wide range 50%-70%
Tank size: 30 gallons for babies, 70+ gallons for adults.
Tank type: Standard rectangle-allow for good floor space but some climbing structures as well. Make sure it has a secure sliding door/doors. Sit-atop screen lids for glass tanks are not recommended for these guys.
Lighting: Both a heat pad and a dimmable heat lamp are recommended for snakes living in glass tanks. Dimmable heat bulb only for a wood or melamine tank. Thermostats are also helpful. Full spectrum UVB lighting is not required for this species but is highly recommended for all reptiles for overall welfare.
Substrate and furniture: Soil or bark substrate 2"deep or deeper. Provide lots of hiding places and some low climbing areas. Provide a water dish that is large enough for the snake to curl up into for soaking
Handling: Olive pythons can be handled a few times per week with handling sessions being not much longer than 30-45 minutes. Being a snake that grows large and powerful, they also have a strong feeling response which should be noted when taking them out of their enclosure. Many keepers opt to use a snake hook for extra safety when removing them from their tank. For handling larger individuals, a second person being present is highly recommended.
When not to handle: After the snake has eaten, give them 2-3 days to digest their food before handling them again. When you first bring the snake home or move it to a new enclosure, wait at least 3 days before handling it to give it a chance to settle in to the new environment.
Feeding frequency: every 4-5 days for babies, 1x per week for juveniles and adults. Prey item should be as wide as the widest part of the snake's body.