Dwarf python availability...


Dear VPI,

I am curious why wild-caught and captive-hatched Angolan pythons aren't common and readily available like ball pythons.  Aren't ball pythons and Angolan pythons both from Africa?  I'm sure there is a reason, and I'm just not seeing it.  Do you have any plans to work with these pythons? Thank you   Shane


Dear Shane,

Dwarf pythons (=Angolan pythons) are known from a small range, compared to ball pythons. They are seldom encountered and until recently believed to be very rare. Numbers of Python anchietae have never been collected. The only two nations in which the species is known to exist do not export the species. In one (Namibia) the species is the equivalent of their national reptile and they essentially never grant permits for them to be collected and exported. In the other country, Angola, it is possible to get permits to export the species, but there was a civil war that only recently quieted down, leaving millions of land mines buried in the range of the species including the area of the type locality. No one goes there, not even VERY experienced African collectors.

The species is being bred in increasing numbers, the captive population is increasing, and babies are becoming available for a fraction of their cost in the 1990s. The price has been coming down. Tracy and I have worked with the species and were initially the main breeders of the species in captivity. We no longer work with the species.  DGB