Reticulated Pythons are very large constrictors. They are longer than they are thick compared to other large pythons, and are easiest recognized by their intricate patterns and colors. Most reticulated pythons have a mix of black, gold, and silver throughout their pattern. Retics have a bad reputation for being aggressive - this isn't always the case. These animals are what their keepers make them. A good, CB snake will be a tame specimen if worked with. They are very active and should be given plenty of space. These are not for beginners, as they grow to huge proportions and have intense feeding responses.
Open woodlands, dense forest, rocky areas, lakes, marshes, rivers, and swamps. Reticulated Pythons inhabit a very wide range of habitats.
Hatchlings are approximately 24+/- inches. Females average 17+ feet while males average around 12-14 feet. Of course, dwarf localities start out and top out at smaller sizes. Record size recorded was about 33' and 300 lbs.
30+ years in captivity.
Retics are what their keeper makes them. You could have a mean, defensive animal on one hand, or an extremely docile giant on the other. Retics have a very strong feeding response which can be confused with aggressive behaviour. This species is best hooked trained so they know when it is time for food and when it is time to be handled. These snakes are extremely intelligent. If you work with these animals they can be very tame and gentle. It is best to start with a nice, healthy CB specimen for the best results.
Retics can be fed once weekly on appropriately sized rodents and rabbits - some keepers choose to feed young retics more often (every 3-5 days) and older retics less often (every 2 weeks). Reticulated Pythons can be started on rat pups their first meal, and move up as they grow. A good reference for size of prey is 1.5 times the girth of the thickest part of the snake. These animals get big enough to eat rabbits usually within their first year of life depending on locality. As mentioned before, Reticulated pythons often have a very strong feeding response. Never handle rodents and then your snake, you could be mistaken for food. The Reticulated Python's metabolism is faster than other species, and their large size demands more food. Feeding an adult retic can get expensive and demanding, so consider this before committing to one of these snakes.
Retics require a basking spot of 88-92F and an ambient temperature of 78-80F. The ambient/background temperature should never fall below 75F.
Proper humidity is very important when keeping retics. Too little humidity can be detrimental to their health, and on the other hand too high of humidity can be just as bad. Retics need 50-80% humidity. This aids in shedding and keeping them clear of respiratory problems.
Retics can be kept in many different types of enclosures, but seem to do best in totes/tubs (if small/young enough) and professional type caging such as Animal Plastics, Boaphile, etc. They can be kept in aquariums if modifications are made to keep humidity in. Young retics seem more secure in smaller enclosures. Most adult Retics will need a space of at least 6'x2'. Dwarf species do not require this amount of space. Extremely large specimens should be kept in 8'x3' enclosures. These snakes are incredibly strong, so make sure to have secure latches/locks on your cages.
Reticulated Pythons reach sexual maturity anywhere from 18 months to 4 years old. Breeding size occurs at 7-9' for males and 11'+ for females. Dwarfs breed at smaller sizes. Breeding season usually takes place from November-March, all feeding should be stopped at this time. Both animals should be in excellent condition before any breeding attempts. Breeding can be induced by misting, reduced photoperiod (8-10 hours), and dropping night time temperatures into the mid-70's. Introduce the female into the male's cage (some people have went the opposite way with success). The female typically sheds 14+ days after ovulation. Eggs are usually laid 34-49 (average 38) days after the post-ovulatory shed. Clutch size for Retics ranges between 10-80+ eggs, with the average between 20-50 (less for dwarfs). Incubated at a temperature of 88-90F the eggs take an average of 88 days to hatch. Be sure that your animals are properly sexed - introducing adult males in the same cage can lead to fighting, sometimes even death.
Reticulated Pythons are not for beginners, but only advanced keepers. You should have previous experience with large boids before taking on the king of constrictors. These snakes are what their keeper makes them. They can be very tame, gentle giants, but they are also dangerous and can be deadly if provoked. A big CB Reticulated python is a sight to behold, they are very intelligent and enchanting.