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Bredl's Python As A Pet
Morelia Bredli or Centralian Python
I love my Bredl's python, and I thought it might be useful to share some information about them with other snake lovers, since they are becoming a very popular pet.
The image is my male bredli, enjoying some sunlight in the fig tree. He has to be watched carefully, as it wouldn't be a good idea for him to go visit the neighbours!
Most images in this article are my own, and are copyright.
Bredl's Make Great Pets
This is my centralian or bredl's python, an 8 foot 4 inch male (2.54M), He's still growing, but at a very slow rate, fortunately. He's a very placid, friendly snake, as are most of the breed. He loves to come out of his cage and have a wander around the lounge when it's warm enough.
He also enjoys time outside in his shadecloth cage, and being carried around the garden in the sunshine. We have to take care he doesn't get overheated, however, and always ensure there is water available.
At the moment, he is lying with his head hanging out of his cage, taking in what's happening around him. We can only leave his door open when the cat is outside though, as he'd love to eat her.
You can find out more about these snakes HERE
Some Morelia Bredli Facts
These pythons are also known as Centralian pythons, central Australian carpet pythons, Bredl's python, and as Morelia bredli. Occasionally, they are also called Morelia spilota bredli.
They are found in the central area of Australia, near Alice Springs, usually in dry creek beds or near rivers. They feed on mammals and birds, and have been found inhabiting rabbit warrens. (Rabbits are feral in Australia)
Centralian pythons usually don't get any bigger than 7 feet, so my guy is rather large. He eats rats, mice and rabbits. These are bought frozen, and defrosted, of course. Live feeding is not a good idea, as snakes can be injured by animals biting them, not to mention that it's cruel.
We have many beautiful pythons in Australia. This is one of the better books about them.
Breeding Central Australian Pythons
These pythons usually mate in Spring and the eggs are laid in early Summer, usually December. Centralian pythons can lay up to 40 eggs per clutch. In common with other pythons, the bredl's female will incubate her eggs by curling around them to maintain their temperature.
The eggs generally hatch about 8 weeks after they are laid. Once the hatchlings are out of the egg, maternal care is done, and the babies are on their own. They usually feed on small lizards or skinks, or even baby rabbits, if they are near to a rabbit warren.
Do you have an Australian python?
Sexing A Python
Sexing A Snake
Sometimes the sex of a python can be discovered by the length of the tail, the males having a longer, more slender tail. This isn't overly accurate, however.
To be sure of the sex of the animal, probing is necessary. Probing means inserting a small metal probe into the cloaca of the animal, towards the tail. Care should be taken, as the snake can be injured by this. DO NOT DO THIS if you are at all unsure of how to do it correctly. Get an expert to sex the snake
If the probe goes in between 5 - 7 sub-caudal scales, it is a female bredli, and a male will show 1 - 14 sub-caudal scales depth.
Snakes Can't See When They Shed
This is my male Centralian carpet python about a week before he sloughs, or sheds. The eyes are milky, because an oily substance comes between the old and the new skins to make it easier for the snake to lose it. Their eyes are covered with a large scale, and it is important to check that this comes off with the old skin, or the snake will be unable to see.
Snakes shed several times a year, more when they are very young or growing fast. They also shed after injuries, to help heal the skin. A healthy snake will slough its skin in one piece, starting by rubbing their mouth against something rough such as a log or a rock. The skin then peals off as the snake moves forward, and it should only take about ten minutes.
If a shed is incomplete, or there is a problem, it is best to see your vet, or an experienced herper as soon as possible, as this may cause your snake some distress.
Python in the Garden!
The photo is my Centralian python enjoying a stretch in the garden. He loves exploring, but I have to be careful he doesn't get through the fence, or the neighbours would freak out!
He is just coming down from the fig tree where he was enjoying the sun.
Although many Australian snakes don't require sunlight, it is good to let them have some time in natural light, as it helps them to keep their colour.
Freedom To Wander!
Sometimes it's good to let a snake out of its cage, so that it can have a stretch, and explore the surroundings. They seem to enjoy being able to smell different things. if you look carefully, you can just see the tongue flicking as this bredl's python checks out the kitchen.
Snakes have a very sensitive sense of smell, and due to their forked tongue, can tell which direction a scent is coming from. This is extremely useful when hunting.
When they draw the tongue back into their mouths, a little gland called the Jacobsen's organ analyses the scent, and sends the information to the snake's brain.
The photo is my male Bredli wandering around the kitchen. Copyright, thanks