Breeding Savu pythons...
I am attemting to breed Savus in the UK, I understand you are are leaders in this field,and were pioneers of the initial captive breeding of the beautiful snakes.
Any advice you could give me would be greatfully recieved. I have four pairs, ranging from CB 14 months to wild caught adults. I would particually like to know,specific humid/ temp requirements to stimulate breeding. Light duration and maturity.
There is practically no info on net or published on this species.
In December 1993 we happened to see a preserved specimes of a savuensis in the Western Australia Museum that had recently been collected and was identified as as a juvenile freckled python, Liasis mackloti from Savu. We took one look and realized that it was an adult snake and that savuensis was a very small species, something that had not been reported. That was understandable considering that the species was essentially unknown, very few specimens had ever been collected and none had ever been maintained in captivity. When we returned home, we called Kamuran Tepedelen of Bushmaster Reptile, told him what we knew about the species, and he set about obtaining the first live specimes ever taken from Savu. After personally going there, quite an adventure, Kamuran did collect a group of animals, which we then obtained--the very first savuensis ever to be in captivity.
We did breed the species early on, and we credit that to the fact that the female that bred was a very young animal, just going into her first mature year when we got her. We wrote an article in Vivarium on the maintenance and breeding of the species. The info and care sheet we have posted on our website for freckled pythons is essentially the same thing I would write for Savu pythons.
Based on the experiences of many with the species, I can tell you that it is highly unlikely that a female Savu that was imported as an adult will ever breed in captivity. In fact, while surely someone has done it, I don't know of a single wild-caught-adult female that ever has bred in captivity since the species was first imported in the early 1990s. I guess the female that we first bred was pretty much an adult, but she was a very young animal, freckled and still changing to the dark colors of a mature female.
Wild-caught males will breed, no problems. Acclimated females will copulate and even grow follicles, but they do not ovulate.
So, in our opinion, the important key to breeding the species is to raise females in captivity. It's to your advantage if YOU actually raise them, since even captive-raised females that are sold as adults may suffer the same problems as the wild-caughts. To add to the problem, it is common with this species that wild-caught-adult animals are sold as captive-raised, since that is what everyone is looking for--Savus do so well and many are such clean imports that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to look at a well-cared-for acclimated adult and tell if it was wild-caught or not.
With captive-raised females, the species does not seem to present any particular problems for breeding that we are aware of. What works for freckled pythons (which is about anything) will work for Savus.
Good luck. DGB