picking out a new snake

skips

Arachnobaron
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Oct 1, 2008
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So I wanted to get some opinions on what snake to get next. Preferably I'm looking for a boa or python species that will stay around or below 5 feet at full size. I'm looking for something other than a red-tail, sand boa, ball python, rosy, or rubber boa only because they're common and I've already had experience with them. I want to try my hand with something else. Basically I want something other than the norm and some thing that is colorful. Also, I like the wild types of snakes as I think that nature does a fine job of making them interesting without breeding for abnormal genetics (just personal preference :) ).

Any ideas?
 

Mack&Cass

Arachnoprince
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What about a children's python? If I recally correctly they don't get very big, only about 3ft long, they're also really gorgeous and have a nice iridescence to them.

Cass
 

Anubis77

Arachnoknight
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Something in the Morelia genus? Irian Jaya or a Green Tree Python would be my choices for a smaller python. The GTP might get longer than 5 feet with females, but they don't seem to take up that much space with their whole draped over a branch thing.
 

Dyn

Arachnobaron
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have you looked into woma pythons? They are hardy colorful and very nice snakes
 

jt39565

Arachnoknight
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Brazilian Rainbow Boas, small, hearty, easy to breed, not psychotic like their columbian counterparts. I used to breed them, they're easy!!
 

skips

Arachnobaron
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What about a children's python? If I recally correctly they don't get very big, only about 3ft long, they're also really gorgeous and have a nice iridescence to them.

Cass
That was one that was suggested. If I could find one it's definitely an option.

Something in the Morelia genus? Irian Jaya or a Green Tree Python would be my choices for a smaller python. The GTP might get longer than 5 feet with females, but they don't seem to take up that much space with their whole draped over a branch thing.
Aren't they fairly aggressive? They are beautiful though.

have you looked into woma pythons? They are hardy colorful and very nice snakes
Good suggestion! those are nice looking.

Brazilian Rainbow Boas, small, hearty, easy to breed, not psychotic like their columbian counterparts. I used to breed them, they're easy!!
Too big. They get to about 6 feet on average. That was my first choice but I think the size is prohibitive. I move around a fair amount and might be moving across the country soon. I dont want to have to transport a big snake. But thanks!
 

Jaymz Bedell

Arachnoknight
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Dec 19, 2009
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Figured I would toss my opinion on the subject into the pot...

pythons and boas that stay around 5 feet, or smaller.

Antaresia childreni - Childrens python. like ALL Antaresia species are small, definitely under 5 feet. some have reddish spots/blotches, some have more brownish blotching, some appear patternless or nearly so as adults.

Antaresia maculosa - Spotted python, again definitely under 5 feet. these come in several forms, "normal" animals are speckled with black. Cape york animals tend to be blotched/broken striped. there are also patternless and granite morphs.

Antaresia perthensis - Perth or Pygmy python. the smallest of all pythons at around or just over 2 feet. rather rare and high priced, but, very cool animals.

Antaresia stimsoni - Stimsons pythons (NOT stimpsons there is absolutely no P), again like all in its genus it's a small snake. not as common as childrens or spotteds, but more common than perths.

Bothrochilus boa - Ringed python. irridescent! but they lose the bright orange and black bands they're born with, turning to either an olive yellow to brown.

Leiopython albertisii - White lipped python, one of my favorites. males tend to stay in the range you desire, females tend not to. the black species gets quite a bit larger. but they are amazingly irridescent. some can be snappy, but a captive raised adult is usually a calm confident animal once out of its territory (cage).

Liasis fuscus - Water python. Papuan (New guinea) animals tend to be smaller than mainland Australian animals. they're also darker dorsally, and more orange ventrally. like most of their genus they tend to have monster feeding responses in cage, but calm down nicely when hooked out of their cage.

Liasis mackloti mackloti - Macklot's python. might grow a bit longer than you prefer but these are slender snakes. highly variable, some appear to be olive with lighter speckling, others light with olive speckling. depending upon locality they can be moderately to heavily speckled. again, monster feeding response in cage, tend to be fairly calm once hooked out of their cage.

Liasis mackloti savuensis - Sawu (or Savu) python. a smaller subspecies of the macklot's complex. they start out terracotta orange and gradually change to black with white speckles and haunting white eyes. these are definitely in your prefered size range.

Morelia nauta - Tanimbar python. by far the smallest species of scrub pythons. again they might grow slightly larger than your prefered range, but they are slender bodies highly arboreal snakes. like a lot of scrubs they can be territorial in their cage, and tend to have amazing feeding responses. I used to toss rats to my scrubs and very rarely did they ever hit the floor of the cage.

Morelia spilota cheynei - Jungle carpet python. males tend to be in the range you prefer. some smaller females as well. if you want color it's hard to beat a highlighter yellow and black snake. gentle handling from a young age tends to lead to docile adults.

Morelia spilota Ssp. - Irian jaya/West Papuan carpet python. smallest of the carpets, some are extremely colorful, and the ontogenetic color change from hatchling to adult is amazing.

Morelia viridis - Green tree python. not much needs to be said really. the naturally occuring locales and some of the selectively bred animals are breath taking animals. as for temperment, most calm down well with gentle handling from a young age.

Python breitensteini - Borneo short tailed python. very heavy bodied, and clad in shades of browns.

Python brongersmai - Blood python. short and stout, very heavy bodied. range from blood red to brown to yellow. most are very calm animals, some are snappy. they are also very hissy snakes, almost like they're talking to you. you can actually tell quite a bit by their hissing. these are some of my favorite snakes to work with.

Python curtus - Sumatran short tailed python / Black blood python. short and stout. very very heavy bodied. much like their close cousins the borneo short tailed and blood pythons. there are orange headed and silver headed forms. these are the darkest of the blood python complex, and among the smallest.

Python regius - Ball python. enough said, as there is a huge wealth of information about them out there.

Python reticulatus - Reticulated python. some of the super dwarf forms might fit your criteria.

and thats about it for pythons, now onto the boas.

Boa constrictor imperator - Boa, there are quite a few locales, some of them staying under the 5 foot mark. some are dark, some are light. again there is a wealth of information on the net about them.

Corallus caninus - Emerald tree boa. capable of exceeding 5 feet but not by much. some are patternless, some are high white, and everything in between.

Corallus hortulanus - Amazon tree boa. some exceed 5 feet, but again they are very slender animals. some have snappy personalities, some are calm as can be. from brown patternless animals to brown patterned animals, from solid orange, red, and yellow, to patterned variations. there are even some fairly lavender colored animals. not quite as arboreal as Emeralds.

Candoia species - there are quite a few, they range from under 2 feet to around 5 feet depending on species. some are muted shades of browns, some are burnt oranges and reds.

Epicrates cenchria - Rainbow boas. some may max out over 5 feet, but again a slender group of snakes.

as you can see you have tons of choices. there are others I intentionally left off the list due to rarity or other reasons. this should give you a decent start point to research which appeal the most to you and closest fit your requirements. good luck
 

skips

Arachnobaron
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wow. good list. Thanks Jaymz.

some of those are absolutely beautiful. I'm surprised I've never heard of them. I guess I don't really hang in herp circles. What do you do for a living btw? That's a pretty impressive list. I feel like the word "ontogenic" probably isnt so common with your amateur herp keeper either.
 
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dtknow

Arachnoking
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I think Candoia fit the bill pretty well. The various species all stay under five feet(well under, actually). They are very neat looking with patterning out of this world!
 

Jaymz Bedell

Arachnoknight
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Dec 19, 2009
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Glad I could be of help and thank you. currently I work for myself designing and making clothes, mostly one of a kind gothic dresses and corsetry. in the past I've worked in a lot of pet stores. and my most recent stint of working with animals was as reptile specialist/supervisor of small animals for a small zoo/sanctuary. It was probably far and away one of the coolest things to get to work with not only a decent reptile collection, but also chimps, bonobos, monkeys, lions, tigers, leopards, and all sorts of other animals. it's nice to know you're making a difference in the lives of animals, especially since most of the animals I had the pleasure of getting to know came from less than great situations. I also got to cuddle with a litter of tigers while I slept at night. it's one of the hardest jobs a person could love, and love it I did. until fairly recently I also kept a moderate to large reptile/invert collection. I kept mainly Indonesian pythons of various species, but never exclusively. like a lot of members here I definitely qualify as a life long animal lover. and there are a few animals on the list I've worked with but not in my personal collection.

I also agree with the vote for any of the Candoia sp., they are very nifty animals, and if you get one already feeding on rodents they are very easy to keep. they come in a wide variety of colors and patterns and do well in naturalistic vivariums.
 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
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Jaymz, I'm gonna have to call you out on many of the snakes on your list, since I actually either own or have owned many of these, or know someone personally who does.

My male JCP is well over 8 feet, and I've had an adult female Aussie Water Python that was 11 feet long, longer than any Boa I've ever had, and a fast, agile snake to boot. Macklott's Pythons regularily reach lengths of 8 feet, as well. A small specimen of either of these is likely to have been stunted/underfed. Ringed Pythons can also get quite large, as can Womas, even though I've never had the pleasure of owning either of these. I have seen some whoppers at reptile shows.

pitbulllady
 

DrJ

Arachnobaron
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Jan 11, 2008
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Pitbulllady, if your JCP is over 8ft in length, it is not pure. The jungles max at 8. Coastals have been known to get up to 12, and hybrids are not uncommon.

Skips, if you are still "new" to the hobby, and don't feel you have a lot of time and money to invest in an arboreal, don't. Yes, GTPs, ATs, and ETBs are all wonderful animals, but you have to know what you are doing or you will easily kill one. However, if your willing to do a little bit of work and spend a fair amount of money, they can make wonderful pets. Not nearly as aggressive as most people make out that they are. The only one of the three to be consistent in that realm is the ATB, but even so, CAN be tamed down.

I would recommend that you look into a Hogg Island Boa. Related to a "red-tail". These are a subspecies of BCI, and stay relatively small for the boa world. Also fairly common, so you should be able to pick one up for around $150 or so.
 

skips

Arachnobaron
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what about like a sand boa? theres one at my lps for like 50$
They're cool snakes, don't get me wrong. I helped take care of a few when I worked at the zoo, but they just don't do it for me for whatever reason.

Skips, if you are still "new" to the hobby, and don't feel you have a lot of time and money to invest in an arboreal, don't. Yes, GTPs, ATs, and ETBs are all wonderful animals, but you have to know what you are doing or you will easily kill one. However, if your willing to do a little bit of work and spend a fair amount of money, they can make wonderful pets. Not nearly as aggressive as most people make out that they are. The only one of the three to be consistent in that realm is the ATB, but even so, CAN be tamed down.

I would recommend that you look into a Hogg Island Boa. Related to a "red-tail". These are a subspecies of BCI, and stay relatively small for the boa world. Also fairly common, so you should be able to pick one up for around $150 or so.
Hogg island boa sounds like a good idea as well. Yeah, it's not so much that I couldn't handle arboreal species so much as the ratio of my really liking them to the work they would take is pretty low. I do a lot of research before I buy anything, but they're just not what i'm looking for.
 

Rockstarpets

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Mar 1, 2010
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Pitbulllady, if your JCP is over 8ft in length, it is not pure. The jungles max at 8. Coastals have been known to get up to 12, and hybrids are not uncommon.

Skips, if you are still "new" to the hobby, and don't feel you have a lot of time and money to invest in an arboreal, don't. Yes, GTPs, ATs, and ETBs are all wonderful animals, but you have to know what you are doing or you will easily kill one. However, if your willing to do a little bit of work and spend a fair amount of money, they can make wonderful pets. Not nearly as aggressive as most people make out that they are. The only one of the three to be consistent in that realm is the ATB, but even so, CAN be tamed down.

I would recommend that you look into a Hogg Island Boa. Related to a "red-tail". These are a subspecies of BCI, and stay relatively small for the boa world. Also fairly common, so you should be able to pick one up for around $150 or so.

I'll second the Hoggie, though I can tell you from experience they can have a bit of an attitude, but WELL worth it. Also, BRBs may get up around 6 feet, but I certainly wouldn't call it an average and with as slender as they are they seem smaller than an adult ball python; so I wouldn't shy away from those.

I'm also very partial to children's pythons, they make an excellent choice; as to ball python morphs which give a little variety. Good luck!
 

Jaymz Bedell

Arachnoknight
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Jaymz, I'm gonna have to call you out on many of the snakes on your list, since I actually either own or have owned many of these, or know someone personally who does.

My male JCP is well over 8 feet, and I've had an adult female Aussie Water Python that was 11 feet long, longer than any Boa I've ever had, and a fast, agile snake to boot. Macklott's Pythons regularily reach lengths of 8 feet, as well. A small specimen of either of these is likely to have been stunted/underfed. Ringed Pythons can also get quite large, as can Womas, even though I've never had the pleasure of owning either of these. I have seen some whoppers at reptile shows.

pitbulllady
I appreciate all input. as I said, I've worked with all of those species myself, but not all in my personal collection. If not in my collection, either with close friends or in a zoo collection. I wanted to present as broad of a selection as possible, and stated where the snakes exceed the 5 foot length requirement. I intentionally left Aspidites species off the list because both species routinely exceed 6 feet. I also made distinction between Papuan water pythons and Australian water pythons as Papuan/ New guinea animals tend to be quite a bit smaller than mainland animals. I also made distinctions where males would be a better option due to smaller size. I rarely speak in absolutes when it comes to animals because some will be far outside the normal in either direction. such as an 8 foot long male jungle carpet python. I think its absolutely wonderful to get so much feedback, as it will only help the OP.
 

Dyn

Arachnobaron
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From what Ive read on womas the males usually stay 4.5ft some females can get 6ft though
 

skips

Arachnobaron
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Ok now. I actually think I'm going to go with a brazilian rainbow boa after all. They're just so gorgeous. How would you guys feel about shipping a baby? I found a few from north carolina reptiles for 99$ and I want to buy. How risky is it? I've never bought over the internet
 

DrJ

Arachnobaron
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Jan 11, 2008
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Brazilians make wonderful pets. That is a good choice!

Do your research, though. As they do prefer higher humidity levels than your average snake. I would mist mine every three days. But, since I no longer have them, I don't remember the humidity levels off the top of my head. I'm thinking they like it around 60%.
 
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