Image Credit : La Ferme Tropicale
Bothrochilus albertisii is one of the most iridescent species of python with a medium size, slender, round body. The head is long and the snout is long and slender with a slight longitudinal depression on the upper lateral surface to the eye.
The head is the darkest blackish-brown or black, slightly darker than the dark body colour. The body is yellow and the dorsal scales, particularly the large, flat head plates, reflect lustrous hues of blues, greens and oranges. The chin is white without dark markings.
- Scientific name : Bothrochilus albertisii
- Distribution : Papua New Guinea, Indonesia
- Average Size : 2 m (6.5 ft)
- Life Span : 20 years or more
- Difficulty : Intermediate
The way I keep this species is a little different than other keepers might do, I keep them bio active. Meaning there are isopods and springtails in my vivs. This way the cage looks very natural and everything will be cleaned up (poop, sheds, mold etc) the viv is 1.7 L x 0.7 D x 1.0 H meters (5.6 x 2.3 x 3.2 feet) that is for 2 adult snakes. They need a lot of space due to the fact that they are very active at night and hunt for their food instead of ambushing their prey. White lipped pythons like to climb so I have some big branches in there enclosure to make full use of the room they have. During the day they will most likely hide under logs, or will bury in the dirt if enough is provided.
A hide box is not an issue in an enclosure due to the fact that the whole cage is a hiding spot they like to hide during the day because white lipped pythons are very secretive species.
I keep my White lipped pythons on a mixture of potting soil and soil from outside with leafs (don’t take soil that is fertilized) this works best for me and the cleaning crew will do fine in this substance. I have around 0.15 meters (0.5 feet) or so in my vivs, this way they can bury as well if they want to.
Lighting – Heating
My vivs are heating with 2 heat panels on the top and 1 heat mat on the bottom of the cage. This way they can choose to be up high or down low to warm up. I provide them with a wide range of temperatures, reaching from 24 °C to 35 °C (75 – 95 °F)and one spot even 40 °C (105 °F). This way the snakes have a wide variety to choose from. as long as you offer them the mentioned dimensions described in the housing section. If you keep them in smaller enclosures you should offer a hot spot of 35 °C (95 °F)and a ambient temp of 24-30 °C (75-86 °F). During night time heating is turned off so temps go down to 20-25 °C (68-77 °F).
For lighting I have a LED bar with 6500 degree kelvin (meaning color temperature) this has some nice lighting and is very good for the plants.
White lipped pythons like water. I provide them with a big enough water dish that can fit 2-3 adult species. So they have enough water to drink and soak in when they see fit, it also helps with humidity.
The humidity is supposed to be somewhere in the 60-80% range. I found that this is the best for them and makes good whole sheds. The soil shouldn’t remain wet for too long to prevent health problems such as scale rot. This is why I have around 0.15 meters (0.5 feet) of soil in my cages to have it moist but that the surface is not wet. I mist them maybe twice a week heavily. These species can dehydrate very quickly if they don’t have enough water or correct humidity levels provided.
I don’t feed my White lipped pythons too much. This is because they can be prone to kidney failure if fed too much. I feed my adults maybe once every 4 to 5 weeks, so they don’t become fat. I believe people feed these snakes way to fast after the last meal. Just pay attention to your animal and when it is looking for week just wait another week or so before feeding. I don’t have a feeding schedule because I look at my snakes’ behavior.
My snakes don’t like to be handled so I never take them out and about. At first glance these animals appear to be aggressive to some people. In my opinion that is generally not that case, a better way to describe a white lipped python would be defensive. When reaching in the terrarium the snake’s first reaction will be to escape and maybe give a bite or two. Using a snake hook is a good idea. Once removed from the terrarium they can be very flighty and will try to escape. After a while they will become more at ease.
Because I keep them bio active cleaning isn’t necessary most of the time. I need to clean only the remaining pieces of poop that the isopods don’t eat.
Shedding shouldn’t be a problem with the amount of misting and the big water bowl. If they aren’t shedding like they should, mist more or provide a bigger water bowl.
Potential Health Problems
No specific potential health problems to mention for this species beyond those affecting reptiles and/or snakes in general. They seem to be a relatively hardy animal when kept properly.
The information contained in this care sheet reflect the opinions and methods of the mentioned breeder, based on their expertise and long-established experience.