Breeding water pythons...


Dear VPI,

I have a pair of New Guinea water pythons, about three feet (female) and four feet (male).  I know that this form of water pythons are smaller and breed smaller, but how small is small?  What is adult (breeding) size?

Also, my boyfriend owns a pair of Australian (mainland) water pythons that are six (female) and eight (male) feet.  Are these big enough to breed?

What is the best way to go about breeding these guys once they are ready?  What tips can you share on incubation?  Thank you very much.  K

Dear K,

It sounds like you and your boyfriend are ready to do some breeding, at least with those water pythons. Both pairs are probably big enough to breed. A six-foot Australian fuscus female will breed, a three foot NG fuscus female is right on the cusp.

If the snakes of you and your boyfriend are the same age, I'd guess that you both have mixed up the sexes. Females are typically the larger of the sexes, usually significantly so. They are hard to tell apart when they're young and it happens all the time.

The biggest New Guinea female I know of is 6 feet. Males are rarely bigger than 4.5 feet. It has not been our experience that the species is hard to breed when the breeders have been raised in captivity. We don't do anything unique or unusual to breed them. Likewise, the eggs are pretty much just normal python eggs. We hatch them using slightly damp vermiculite as the incubation medium and at a temperature of 87 degrees.

Good luck with your snakes.  DGB