Morelia Viridis , Green Tree Pythons
Morelia Viridis, Green Tree Pythons
The Morelia Viridis more commonly known as the Green Tree Python is a non venomous species of python native to New Guinea, some islands in Indonesia, and the Cape York Peninsula in Australia. The snake usually reaches a length of 3 to 6 foot though it is not uncommon for 7 - 7 1/2 foot specimens to show up especially in captivity.
The Green Tree Python spends most of its time up in a tree hanging from a branch and looking down for its prey. The species is also mostly nocturnal sleeping by day and hunting for prey by night. The snake hangs from a branch high in a tree and looks down. It can move extremely fast and grab its prey. When it grabs its prey it hangs from a tree branch by its tail and swings down and grabs its prey. The snake mostly preys on small mammals, rodents, and sometimes other reptiles. It was once thought that this snake like the Emerald Tree Boa lived mostly on birds but it is now thought that birds are rarely taken by the green tree python.
The snake can be found in pet shops in the U.S.A. but it should only be kept by people with experience in keeping snakes. Juveniles are usually 8 - 10 inches long and are usually reddish, bright yellow, orange morphs, and the rare albino. The snakes turn green as they get older. In the wild a female usually lays her eggs in the hallow of a tree and she protects them until after they hatch. A female green tree python can lay any where from 1 - 25 eggs. The color does change from the juvenile colors to green though it can take years for the snake to turn green.
All About The Green Tree Python
Green Tree Python Care Sheet
Green Tree Pythons live any where from 18 - 25 years with most living under 20 years. Though some specimens in captivity have been known to live 30 years. Captive bred specimens are usually docile but wild caught specimens can be very aggressive.
You will need a tall cage to keep your green tree python in and it will need tree branches to climb and hang on. It will really help if your cage or enclosure is completely glass or plexi glass so your snake doesn't get surprised. Your green tree python needs to see you coming. It needs to see where you are at and it will be much more comfortable with you being around.
The temperature needs to stay right around 80 - 85 degrees and the humidity needs to be kept around 60 - 80 percent. A small high falling waterfall into a pond big enough for your snake will help to keep the humidity up where you need it. I create artificial rain in my green tee python enclosure with a hose and a spray head so I can make it rain in the enclosure when I want to.
You will need a thermometer at the top and bottom of the snake enclosure and a humidity meter at the top and bottom of the snake enclosure. Keep a eye several times a day on both the temperature and the humidity so that both stay near to where they need to stay. You should keep a daily journal to keep record of temperatures and humidity. You also need to write down when your snake eats and when it defecates. Its very important never to feed your snake any bigger around than the snake. Keep the prey small and your snake will be fine.
You need to find a good veterinarian that is knowledgeable about snakes before you need the veterinarian. If your snake does not defecate at least every other time you feed it you need to take your snake in to see the veterinarian. Take the journal you have been keeping about your snake with you to the veterinarian each time you take your snake to the veterinarian.
Provide your green tree python with 12 hours of day light a day and 12 hours of darkness. Keep in mind you may want to provide a small pool or water bowl up high in your tree branches as your snake may or may not go down to the pool on the enclosure floor. You can use a small pump to keep water flowing and to provide a daily rain inside the snakes enclosure. You should never allow your green tree python enclosure to go below 70 - 72 degrees or you will injure or kill your snake. Hides are not important with a green tree python but you can still provide a brushy place up in the top of the enclosure where the snake can go to get away if it chooses. Also be sure to keep water really clean and keep the entire green tree python enclosure clean.
Your adult green tree python should be fed a mouse every 10 - 14 days and resist the urge to over feed your green tree python as this can cause your green tree python to become over weight and cause other health problems.
When you go to remove and handle your green tree python reach into the enclosure and pick up the snake from its perch. It will be easier to handle this way and in time the snake will get used to being removed from the enclosure and handled. Approach your green tree python slowly with out any jerky movements. Always reach to get your snake from below. Never from above. If you approach from above the snake may think you are attacking it as this is how it hunts its prey.
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