Reticulated Python care sheet

Housing: a well ventilated, large wooden vivarium

Heating: basking temperature of 88-92oF

Diet: Carnivorous diet of mice, rats, and other mammals

Decoration: A large open space with hides scattered throughout

Reticulated pythons do best with a large terrestrial vivarium for their enclosure. This is because wood is an excellent insulator of heat and so a wooden vivarium will make it easier to control the crucial temperatures required inside the habitat. The wooden vivarium should have good ventilation to allow good air flow in and out of the enclosure.

As a juvenile the python will thrive in enclosures 4ft in length and 2ft in depth and hieght. As the python grows it will need to be upgraded to a much bigger enclosure. A male may be okay in something aroun 7x2x2ft but females could need something even bigger.


Reticulated pythons can be difficult to heat as the enclosure is so wide. For this species we would concentrate on getting the warm end to 88-92f. The best way to achieve this is to use a ceramic heat emitter or AHS unit on one side of the enclosure being controlled by a pulse proportional thermostat. This will keep temperatures steady throughout the day and night whilst also creating a slight temperature gradient in the enclosure. All ceramic heat bulbs must be guarded to ensure the snake cannot come into contact with the bulb.

If a ceramic is being used as the sole heat source it is advisable to use LED lights to light the enclosure for 10-12 consecutive hours per day. This provides the python with a good day/night cycle.

Temperatures should be monitored daily using a thermometer.


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Whilst any loose substrate has the small potential to be accidentally swallowed, we have found this to not be a problem with coarse beech woodchips and that is what we keep our reticulated pythons on. It is also very easy to clean.

It is essential to decorate a reticulated pythons vivarium and provide a couple of hiding areas. This will help the python feel more secure and also allow it to use the entirety of it's enclosure confidently. The vivarium should be decorated with various pieces of wood and artificial plants to achieve this.

A juvenile reticulated pythons enclosure can also include some vertical structure as they will climb if given the oppertunity. These vertical structures are best created using natural wood decorations and vines.


A reticulated python's diet consists of frozen thawed rats, mice and rabbits. When small and young the python will be eating frozen mice roughly once a week. The size of the prey increases as the snake gets bigger moving from small mice up through XL mice to rats and eventually a rabbit. When fully grown the snake only needs to be fed a large meal once every 4-6 weeks.

Water should aways be available for both drinking and bathing. To achieve this we provide a bowl large enough for the snake to submerge itself inside on the cool end of the vivarium. Water should be changed daily to ensure it remains fresh.


If you keep a male and female together, they may breed. You do not need to do anything to encourage this, providing they are healthy and the conditions are good, it will happen naturally. You need to consider whether you want this to happen. What will you do with the babies if you incubate the eggs?

A gravid female should have access to a nesting box to lay her eggs. The box should be large enough that she can fully turn-around inside it. We use moss to keep the box moist and humid.

The eggs should be incubated in an incubator at 84oF. We incubate our eggs in sealed boxes on a moisture rich substrate (such as Hatchrite) to trap the humidity around the eggs. After appr oximately 60 days the eggs will start to hatch, the first babies to emerge will encourage the rest of the eggs to hatch.