Pygmy Python

Image Credit : Ouroboros Herpetological

Antaresia perthensis is the smallest python species, with a long head and widened jaw very distinct from the neck. Its color is yellowish brown with darker spots in rows going down the whole back of the snake like the Children’s python.

The head has a dark line on both sides passing through the eye. The belly is a yellowish color and may have specks of brown along the edges. The head scales are large and symmetrical.

  • Scientific name : Antaresia perthensis
  • Distribution : Western Australia
  • Average Size : 0.5 m (1.5 ft)
  • Life Span : 20 years or more
  • Difficulty : Beginner


Plastic containers and small glass tanks work best with these guys. Plastic containers make maintaining humidity far easier than glass containers. Housing requirements can be anything from a 6qt tub (0.2 x 0.35 x 0.1 meters (0.6 x 1 x 0.3 feet)) to a 10g aquarium (0.6 x 0.25 x 0.35 meters (1.2 x 0.8 x 0.8 feet)) depending on age and size of the snake.
They can be housed comfortably in pairs or trios (1.1 or 1.2).

Hide box

Like all reptiles, Pygmy pythons like a good dark place to curl up and feel safe. It is very important that you provide a few adequate hides in your enclosure. Hides can be constructed or bought in a wide variety of forms shapes materials. For best sanitation you should avoid hides that are very porous, difficult to clean or which could rot mold or mildew. You’ll do best to choose hides without much height to them, and you should add some damp sphagnum moss to them for added security and comfort.


Your choice on substrate should be something readily available and one which lends itself to easy spot cleaning and other cage maintenance chores.
Under no circumstances should you keep these animals on pine or cedar. Pine, cedar and other phenol containing woods contain toxins which can cause significant health problems in a variety of herps and other animals and should not be used.
Some viable options for substrate include but are not limited to: Sand, Aspen, Coconut Husk-based substrates.

Lighting – Heating

It is recommended to provide a natural light pattern that mimics normal daytime according to the season.
Pythons do very well when heated from below (UTH = undertank heat) and several methods of providing this include heat-tape (such as Flexwatt), commercially available reptile heating pads and radiant heat panels. The use of human heat pads is not a good thing due to their tendency to overheat, short out, shut off, and cause fires. Whenever utilizing UTH heat sources you should be sure there is some clearance room below the enclosure to prevent too much heat from building up because it can cause glass to crack or plastic to melt. Maintaining proper temperatures is essential to keeping any python healthy. Cool side of the enclosure should be 27-28 ºC (80-82 ºF) and warm side 31-32 ºC (88-90 ºF). Temperatures under 24 ºC (75 ºF) can be unhealthy.


Your python should have a readily available ample supply of fresh water at all times. A relatively oversized bowl can be used but is not really needed.


As with measuring temperature, gauging the humidity with a hygrometer is very important with this species. Providing the proper humidity (40-60%) required by your python is important in maintaining good health and non-problematic sheds. Inadequate humidity levels can lead to illness in the form of respiratory infections and an excessively wet environment easily lends itself to the growth of mold and fungus which can contribute bacterial or fungal infections, scale or belly rot. Do NOT sacrifice ventilation or otherwise contribute to stagnant air conditions! You can also add a humid hide, giving your python a humidity-rich spot it can hang out in whenever it wants.


Adults can be fed every 10 to 14 days. One hopper mouse will usually be sufficient. Juveniles should be fed at least weekly starting off on one or two new born “pinkie” mice and progressing to larger mice as they grow. Hatchlings that are reluctant to take pinkie mice (usually all) can usually be encouraged to do so by washing and drying the mouse to reduce the mouse scent. and scent the mouse by rubbing it with a lizard. It is not necessary to feed live animals to snakes. Almost all snakes will take dead mice, either freshly killed or thawed frozen mice. It might be necessary for the first couple of feeds to wriggle the mouse around a bit to get the snake’s attention.


Handling should be kept to a minimum due to stress it puts on the snake.


You should check your enclosure daily for odors or more visible signs or waste and remove them – replacing the substrate when necessary. You should make a total cleaning of the enclosure every 10-15 days.


Given good husbandry practices and properly maintained humidity your Pygmy Python should have no problems shedding successfully. They are usually in blue for about 5-7 days and are not active at all in this time frame.

Potential Health Problems

Failure to maintain the correct temperatures in the enclosure can lead to a host of issues from poor feeding to potentially lethal respiratory infections, but with these you are more prone to mouth rot from poor conditions. For this reason you want to make sure you are able to measure the temperatures accurately.

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The information contained in this care sheet reflect the opinions and methods of the mentioned breeder, based on their expertise and long-established experience.