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Blood Python Care

Blood Python Care Guide: FAQs & Husbandry Tips

Have you ever heard of the blood python? This type of python species, also known as Python brongersmai, is found in tropical swamps and has a unique pattern on its skin. Named after the person who discovered them, Ryan Brongersma, blood pythons are carnivorous and prey on small mammals and birds. They are known for their striking appearance and come in different colors such as red color phase and pale Sumatran shorts.

Although they may look intimidating, blood pythons can make great pets for experienced snake owners. However, they may not be suitable for beginners due to their size and potential aggression. Proper ventilation, water sources, heat, and appropriate feeding are crucial factors to consider when caring for these snakes.

Now that you know a bit more about blood pythons let’s delve deeper into their characteristics and care requirements. But first, let’s answer the question: Are blood pythons good for beginners?

Blood Python Facts: General Information and Facts about Blood Pythons

What are Blood Pythons?

Blood pythons, also known as red short-tailed pythons, are a species of python that belongs to the Boidae family. They are native to Southeast Asia, specifically in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. These snakes are known for their aggressive behavior and have a reputation for being difficult to handle.

Physical Characteristics

Blood pythons can grow up to 6 feet in length and weigh up to 20 pounds. They have a stocky build with large heads and short tails. Their scales are smooth and shiny with different shades of red or brown coloration. Some blood pythons have black markings on their bodies.


Blood pythons prefer living in tropical forests with high humidity levels. They can be found near rivers or streams where they hunt for prey such as rodents, birds, and small mammals.


As mentioned earlier, blood pythons are known for their aggressive behavior. They tend to strike when threatened or cornered. However, with proper handling and care from an experienced owner, they can become docile pets.


The average lifespan of a blood python is around 20 years if properly cared for in captivity.


Female blood pythons lay eggs once a year during the breeding season which usually starts from December to April. The number of eggs laid by females varies between 5-35 depending on their size.

Conservation Status

Blood pythons are not currently listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, habitat loss due to deforestation is an ongoing threat to their population.

Common Names and Scientific Names of Blood Pythons

Blood pythons (Python brongersmai) are a species of python native to Southeast Asia. They are known for their distinctive red coloration, which is why they are also called red short-tailed pythons.

Blood Pythons: A Species with Many Names

Blood pythons have several common names that differ depending on the region or country. Some of these include:

  • Red short-tailed python
  • Brongersma’s python
  • Malaysian blood python
  • Sumatran short-tailed python

The name “blood python” is derived from their reddish-brown coloration, which resembles dried blood. This unique coloring makes them highly sought after in the pet trade.

The Scientific Name of Blood Pythons

The scientific name for blood pythons is Python brongersmai. It was named after Dutch herpetologist Leo Brongersma, who first described the species in 1953.

Like all living organisms, blood pythons have a binomial nomenclature system for naming and classifying them. The first part of their scientific name (Python) refers to their genus, while the second part (brongersmai) refers to their specific epithet.

This naming system helps scientists identify and differentiate between different species more easily than using common names alone.

Choosing the Right Enclosure for Blood Pythons

Blood pythons are a popular choice among reptile enthusiasts, known for their striking appearance and docile temperament. However, to keep these snakes healthy and happy in captivity, it’s crucial to provide them with the right enclosure.

Size of Enclosure

One of the most important considerations when selecting an enclosure for your blood python is size. These snakes can grow up to six feet long and require ample space to move around comfortably. A good rule of thumb is to provide at least one square foot of floor space per foot of snake length. For example, a four-foot-long blood python would need an enclosure that’s at least four feet long by two feet wide.

It’s also important to consider vertical space. Blood pythons are semi-arboreal and enjoy climbing, so providing branches or other climbing structures can help keep them active and engaged.

Humidity Requirements

Blood pythons come from humid tropical environments and require high humidity levels in their enclosures. Aim for a humidity level between 50% and 60%. To maintain this level of humidity, you’ll need to include a water bowl large enough for your snake to soak in comfortably.

In addition to a water bowl, you may also want to consider using a substrate that retains moisture well. Options include coconut coir, cypress mulch, or sphagnum moss.

Substrate Selection

Choosing the right substrate is critical for maintaining good health in your blood python. Avoid using substrates like sand or gravel that can cause respiratory issues if ingested during feeding time.

Instead, opt for soft substrates like coconut coir or cypress mulch that can help prevent incomplete sheds by providing adequate moisture levels during shedding periods.

Enclosure Type

There are several options to choose from. Glass enclosures are a popular choice as they provide excellent visibility and can be easily cleaned. However, glass enclosures can also be challenging to maintain the proper humidity levels.

PVC enclosures are another option, offering durability and ease of maintenance. They also tend to retain heat and humidity well, making them a good choice for blood pythons.

Finally, wooden enclosures can offer a natural look and feel that many reptile owners prefer. However, wooden enclosures require more maintenance than other types and may not hold up as well over time.

Blood Python Size, Cage Size, and Accessories

Blood Python

Blood Python Size

Blood pythons are large snakes that can grow up to 6 feet in length. The size of a blood python depends on its subspecies. For example, the Sumatran blood python is smaller than the Borneo blood python.

It’s important to keep in mind that blood pythons can be quite heavy-bodied, so their size may not be accurately reflected by their length alone. When considering the size of your blood python, it’s essential to take into account its total length and girth.

Cage Size for Hatchlings

Hatchling blood pythons require a cage size of at least 20 gallons. As they grow quickly, you’ll need to upgrade their enclosure as they get bigger.

When selecting a cage for your hatchling blood python, consider purchasing one with secure locks or latches as these snakes are notorious escape artists.

Cage Size for Adult Blood Pythons

Medium-sized cages are suitable for adult blood pythons. A minimum cage size of 4 feet long by 2 feet wide by 2 feet tall is recommended for an average-sized adult snake.

However, if you have a larger specimen or want to provide more floor space for your pet snake, consider investing in a larger enclosure. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.

Water Bowls

Water bowls should be large enough for the snake to soak in comfortably. Blood pythons enjoy soaking in water bowls and will often spend hours submerged.

When choosing a water bowl for your pet snake’s enclosure, select one that provides ample room while still being easy to clean and refill regularly.

Feeding Blood Pythons

Blood pythons feed on rats and other small animals such as mice or chicks depending on their size. The size of the prey you offer your snake should be appropriate to its size.

When feeding your blood python, ensure that the rat is no larger than the thickest part of their body. Feeding them too large prey can cause digestion problems and even regurgitation.


In addition to a suitable cage and water bowl, there are a few other accessories you may want to consider for your blood python’s enclosure:

  • Hides: Blood pythons love to hide, so providing them with multiple hiding spots in their enclosure will make them feel secure.
  • Heating: Blood pythons require a basking spot with temperatures ranging from 88-92°F during the day and cooler temperatures at night. Heat lamps or ceramic heat emitters can help maintain these temperatures.
  • Substrate: Choose a substrate that is easy to clean and won’t cause respiratory problems for your pet snakes, such as coconut fiber or reptile carpet.

Albino Specimens

Albino blood pythons are popular pets in the reptile community due to their striking appearance.

Care and Husbandry Information for Blood Pythons

blood pythons

Blood Python Husbandry

Blood pythons are a stunning species of python native to Southeast Asia. They are known for their bright red coloration and can grow up to 6 feet in length. Proper husbandry is essential to ensure the health and well-being of these snakes.

One of the most crucial aspects is providing a large enclosure with proper heating and humidity levels. Blood pythons require a warm and humid environment, so it’s essential to maintain temperatures between 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit at night. The humidity level should be kept between 60-80% using a substrate that can hold moisture, such as coconut fiber or cypress mulch.

It’s also important to provide hiding spots for your blood python in its enclosure. You can use different types of hides, such as cork bark or PVC pipes, but make sure they are big enough for your snake to fit inside comfortably.

Feeding and Handling Practices

Proper feeding practices are crucial when caring for blood pythons. These snakes are carnivorous and feed primarily on rodents like rats or mice. It’s recommended that you offer prey items that are about the same width as the widest part of your snake’s body.

Feeding frequency will depend on your snake’s age and size. Younger snakes may need to be fed more frequently than adult snakes because they grow faster. Adult blood pythons typically eat every two weeks, while younger ones may need food once a week.

When handling your blood python, it’s important to do so gently and carefully. These snakes can be easily stressed if handled too roughly or too often. Always support their entire body when picking them up, never by their tail alone.

Breeding Season

Breeding season for blood pythons typically occurs during the cooler months of the year, from October to February. During this time, it’s essential to provide your snakes with a cooler temperature range of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and around 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

It’s also crucial to ensure that your breeding pair is healthy and has been properly conditioned before breeding. Proper conditioning includes feeding them a nutritious diet, providing them with adequate hiding spots, and maintaining proper temperatures and humidity levels in their enclosure.

Frequently Asked Questions about Blood Python Care

Ideal Temperature Range for a Blood Python’s Enclosure

Maintaining the right temperature in a blood python’s enclosure is crucial to its health and well-being. These snakes are native to tropical regions, so it’s important to keep their enclosure warm and humid. The ideal temperature range for a blood python’s enclosure is between 80-85°F during the day and 75-80°F at night. Use a heat lamp or under-tank heating pad to achieve this temperature range.

Feeding Frequency and Diet of a Blood Python

Blood pythons are carnivorous reptiles that require a diet consisting of rodents, such as rats or mice. The frequency of feeding depends on the age and size of your snake. Juvenile blood pythons should be fed every 5-7 days, while adult snakes can be fed every 10-14 days. It’s important not to overfeed your snake, as this can lead to obesity and other health issues.

Common Health Issues in Blood Pythons

As with any pet, it’s essential to monitor your blood python for signs of illness or injury. Some common health issues in blood pythons include respiratory infections, mites or ticks, mouth rot, and shedding problems. Respiratory infections are often caused by poor husbandry conditions, such as low temperatures or high humidity levels. Mites or ticks can cause skin irritation and other health problems if left untreated.

How to Care for Your Blood Python

Caring for your blood python involves providing them with the correct environment, and diet, and monitoring their overall health regularly. Here are some tips on how to care for your blood python:

  • Provide an appropriately-sized enclosure with hiding spots.
  • Maintain proper temperature and humidity levels.
  • Feed them an appropriate diet based on their age and size.
  • Clean their enclosure regularly.
  • Monitor them for signs of illness or injury.

How to Calm Down Your Blood Python

Blood pythons can be skittish and nervous, especially when they’re young. Here are some tips on how to calm down your blood python:

  • Approach them slowly and calmly.
  • Don’t make sudden movements or loud noises around them.
  • Handle them regularly to get them used to human interaction.
  • Provide hiding spots in their enclosure.

How to Tell the Age of a Blood Python

It can be challenging to determine the age of a blood python accurately. However, there are a few indicators that can help you estimate their age:

  • Check for retained eye caps, which indicate a younger snake.
  • Look at their size; younger snakes will be smaller than older ones.
  • Ask the breeder or previous owner if possible.


Blood pythons are fascinating creatures that require proper care and attention to thrive. From choosing the right enclosure to providing the appropriate size and accessories, there are many factors to consider when caring for a blood python. It’s important to keep their habitat clean and provide them with a balanced diet to ensure their health and well-being.

If you’re considering getting a blood python as a pet, it’s essential to do your research beforehand. Make sure you have the time, resources, and commitment necessary to provide them with the care they need. With proper care, blood pythons can make great pets for experienced reptile owners.


Q: What should I feed my blood python?

A: Blood pythons are carnivorous and require a diet of appropriately sized rodents. Younger snakes should be fed once every five days, while adults can be fed once every seven to ten days.

Q: How often do I need to clean my blood python’s enclosure?

A: You should spot-clean your snake’s enclosure daily and perform a full deep cleaning at least once a month.

Q: Can I handle my blood python?

A: Yes, but it’s important to handle them carefully and avoid handling them after feeding or during shedding periods.

Q: What temperature should I keep my blood python’s enclosure at?

A: Blood pythons require a basking spot of 90-95°F (32-35°C) during the day and an ambient temperature of 80-85°F (27-29°C) at night.

Q: Do I need any special lighting for my blood python?

A: Blood pythons don’t require UVB lighting but do benefit from having access to natural light during the day.

Q: How big will my blood python get?

A: Blood pythons can grow up to 6 feet in length on average, although some individuals may grow larger.

Q: Do blood pythons make good pets?

A: Blood pythons can make great pets for experienced reptile owners who are willing to provide the care and attention they require.

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