Terrestrial by nature, Blood pythons are a relatively medium sized snake that are very girthy in comparison to their length. They are a very colorful snake, P.c.brongersmai can be anywhere from yellow, tan, to red with black/white markings, P.c.breitensteini are generally brown with black/tan and peach, and p.c.curtus are black snakes with silver and sometimes yellow. They have a lighter dorsal pattern. Depending on subspecies, the head color can be silver, black, yellow, red and anything in between. A blood python's head color changes frequently and is pretty impressive to see in person how big of a change a single specimen can go through just throughout the course of the day. Blood pythons have a bad reputation for being aggressive, but truth be told these snakes can have wonderful temperaments if brought up right. Their bad reputation comes from WC animals. A healthy CB blood python can be as tame as any Ball python, and a 30 lb tame adult Blood is a rewarding spectacle.
Hatchlings are 12-18" on average, with females reaching 4-6' and males 3-5' on average. Sizes up to 10' have been reported, although anything over 7' is considered very large. These are heavy-bodied animals and an adult Blood can exceed 30 lbs when fully matured.
25+ years in captivity.
These snakes are pretty lazy. As mentioned before, they have a bad reputation for being aggressive because of WC specimens. Babies start out nippy but can easily be calmed down with handling. When raised right these animals can be just as tame as any other python commonly kept.
Blood pythons can and should be fed appropriately sized rats their entire life. These snakes have a slow metabolism and are enthusiastic feeders, so obesity in adults is something to watch for. Neonates should be fed rat pups/fuzzies every 5-7 days. Subadults will do fine on a 10-14 day feeding schedule. Adults can also be kept on a 10-14 day schedule, but for some animals an even longer schedule of 21 days is necessary to avoid obesity. Although an adult Blood python could easily handle guinea pigs or rabbits, due to their slow metabolism these larger prey items are not necessary nor recommended.
Blood pythons should have a basking spot of 88-90F degrees, and an ambient temperature of 78-82F degrees. The ambient temperature should never fall below 75F degrees. If you are able to keep an ambient temperature of 80-84F degrees with little to no fluctuation, this specie does not require a hot spot.
The proper humidity levels are very important with Blood pythons. Too much humidity is just as bad as too little, so getting this right is very important. These snakes require a humidity level of 50-60% humidity.
Young snakes can be kept in plastic tubs, racks, etc. An adult needs a cage at least 4' long. Aquariums can be used with Blood pythons, but since humidity is so important to these snakes you may have problems keeping them high enough.
Blood pythons reach sexual maturity anywhere from 18 months to 4 years of age. Males can be bred at 3'+ while females should be slightly bigger at 4.5'+. P.c.curtus and P.c.breitensteini breed smaller than P.c.brongersmai. Breeding season is usually from November-March and feeding should be completely stopped in this period. Both animals should be in excellent condition before attempting to breed them. Photo period has been noted to induce breeding, with 8-10 hours being ideal. Temperature is also a factor, a night time drop to the mid 70's helps with breeding. The male should be brought to the female's cage. Misting the animals with water may induce breeding behavior. Females typically shed 14-20+ days after ovulation and eggs can be expected approximately 30 days after the post-ovulatory shed. Blood python clutches are typically 8-20 eggs. The eggs will take an average of 60 days to hatch incubated at a temperature of 88-90F degrees.
Blood pythons are not recommended for beginners. Prior snake experience is important, these animals aren't as forgiving as other species when it comes to husbandry flaws. Blood pythons are a rewarding and breathtaking animal when raised right.