- Scientific Name: Python curtus
- Lifespan: Approximately 20 years based on care
- Handling: Anytime; however, you may want to use caution when handling 1 week before feeding. Try not to handle your blood python for at least 2 days after feeding to insure proper digestion.
- Size: Up to 5 – 7 feet
- Care: Easy
- Community: Blood Pythons should not be housed together and should only be housed together when being mated together.
- Lifestyle: Nocturnal, active at night.
Tank size varies:
- Young Blood Python: 20 gallon long tank is recommended
- Adult Blood Python: 40 gallon tank is recommended
Remember, a larger habitat is always better!
Note: Lids and lid locks are necessary because blood pythons can and will try to get out of the tank on occasion. If you do not have lid locks, simply put a heavy object on the corners of the lid.
Blood Pythons need a hide that they can go into to sleep during the day. It is recommend that you put two hides in your blood python’s enclosure. One being on the warm side and the other being on the cool side. The reason is to allow your blood python to move to become cooler or warmer as he/she chooses, depending on his/her mood.
Additional foliage may be added to add comfort and a feeling of safety for your blood python. The more you imitate his/her natural environment, the safer and more comfortable they will feel.
Branches, Vines, and Driftwood
You may also add some branches, vines, and sticks for climbing materials. Just have in mind, blood pythons are not arboreal, meaning they do not like to climb much, so climbing materials may be of no use to them. However, if you decide to put some in, there’s no harm done.
Your blood python will need a water bowl to soak and hydrate throughout the day. Water should be changed out every other day to avoid bacteria build up.
Lighting and Heating
Blood Pythons do not need a UVB bulb. All they need is a source of heat through a heat lamp or a heat pad (which goes on from the outside of the tank, not the inside). Some people use heat rocks, but it is not recommended due to some incidents of a few Boas getting burned on their underside from using them. Sometimes heat rocks just get too hot.
When measuring temperatures, it’s best to use digital thermometers. Dial thermometers tend to give off inaccurate measurements.
Cool side: 75 – 80 °F
Warm side: 90 °F
No lights are necessary. The temperatures should be between 70 – 75 °F. If it is too cold to meet these temperatures without lights, I recommend using a ceramic heat emitter or a reptile infrared heat light.
Feeding & Diet
Your blood python will eat a diet consisting of small rodents like mice and rats.
Frozen and Thawed Mice or Rats
Here at clubfauna, we strive for the most humane feedings possible, which is why you should try frozen feeders first. Feeding frozen (pre-killed) rodents will benefit you, the feeder, and the ball python. It will benefit you because you won’t have to keep going to the store to buy live feeders or deal with a living rodent if your snake isn’t hungry. It will benefit your snake by allowing your blood python to easily consume the prey without a struggle (some rodents bite and scratch). Lastly, it will benefit the feeder by not having to endure a painful death. Obviously, the choice to feed frozen & thawed vs live rodents is up to you, but please take all the benefits into consideration when deciding.
Frozen meals should be warmed according to the package directions. You may feed them by using long tongues and dangling the mice/rat to imitate movement. This method can decrease the aggression build up in a Blood Python making him less aggressive.
Live Mice or Rats
You can throw the live feeder into the tank and let the blood python attack it on its own or you can dangle the live feeder by its tail using tongues or your hand (if you’re experienced) and let the snake attack it that way. However, this method has a downfall. Live feeders have a tendency (like any other living thing that’s being eaten) to do everything possible to get away. This can cause harm or discomfort to your blood python. The live feeder may scratch your blood pythons face with its nails or even try to bite your blood python.
If in 20 minutes, the feeder has not been eaten, the blood python will usually not eat it that day. Never leave a feeder in the enclosure for a longer period of time or overnight. This could cause harm, stress, and problems to your Blood Python. Simply remove the feeder to its separate enclosure along with food and water, and try again in three days.
Humidity levels should be between 50 – 60% throughout the entire enclosure. You can easily reach these levels by putting a water bowl into the enclosure and by misting the enclosure twice daily. These percentages are very important when your blood python starts to shed. The humidity will help your blood python shed more easily. You can easily measure the humidity percentages by using a digital hygrometer (humidity gauge). Dial hygrometers tend to give off inaccurate measurements.
During shed, do not attempt to handle your snake without caution. The blood pythons vision becomes altered at this point and he/she may consider your hand to be food and may attempt to strike you.
A water bowl must be present in the enclosure to allow your blood python to hydrate and soak itself when he wants to. The size water bowl should be big enough for your blood python to submerge itself in the water if it wants to, but small enough to easily get out of.
Safe water to use:
- De-chlorinated water.
- Tap water that has been left out for 24 hours uncovered, allowing the chlorine to evaporate.
- Bottled water.
Unprinted newspaper, paper towels, or aspen may be used for a cheaper substrate. Repti bark, cypress mulch, and coconut husk are alternatives to add a little more naturalistic look to the enclosure. However, they are a little more expensive. But this will help with the more ‘at home’ feeling for your Blood Python. Sand is not recommended as a substrate.
Note: The information on this blood python care sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care.