Image Credit : La Ferme Tropicale
Considered to be more active than many pythons, as well as being a very docile and “easy to handle” snake, the woma python is highly sought after in the reptile and exotic pet trade.
The head is narrow and the eyes small. The body is broad and flattish in profile while the tail tapers to a thin point.The color may be pale brown to nearly black. The pattern consists of a ground colour that varies from medium brown and olive to lighter shades of orange, pink, and red, overlaid with darker striped or brindled markings. The belly is cream or light yellow with brown and pink blotches. The scales around the eyes are usually a darker color than the rest of the head.
- Scientific name : Aspidites ramsayi
- Distribution : Australia
- Average Size : 1.5 m (5 ft)
- Life Span : 20 years or more
- Difficulty : Intermediate
Hatchling can be housed for around 6 to 12 months in a 0.45 x 0.25 x 0.3 meters (1.5 x 0.75 x 0.9 feet) enclosure and then upgrade accordingly as they grow. Juveniles through to adults can either be maintained in a 0.6 x 0.25 x 0.35 meters (2 x 0.75 x 1 feet) enclosure until Sub-adult size then can be upgraded a 1.20 x 0.6 x 0.45 meters (4 x 2 x 1 feet) enclosure. It is recommended that Woma’s are housed individually as it has been reported cannibalism in captivity which have in most cases resulted in the death of both Pythons.
They are predominantly terrestrial reptiles so height of the environment you are providing is of little importance; however, they have been known to utilize any trees, branches or hides or the like when provided in search for warmth if there is insufficient heating.
A hide on both ends of the enclosure should be provided which allows them to retreat when sometimes startled & somewhere to tightly coil to reserve some body heat for those colder night times.
Aspen based fine chip is of benefit for these critters, we have found that being a burrowing animal they love to bury themselves in 0.15 meters (0.5 feet) deep substrate. It is also easy cleaning for hatchlings through to Juveniles as the fast growing animals that love their food tend to excrete more when fed more often.
Lighting – Heating
It is recommended to keep your Aspidites ramsayi in a natural light pattern that mimics normal daytime according to the season.
Regarding heating you should accommodate a warmer hot spot such as an approximate temperature of 34 °C (93 °F). Ambient temperature should be 25-27 °C (78-80 °F). Heat Mats or Heat Cords are a preferred method among keepers, as they are predominantly terrestrial so the ground or floor heating is of more benefit to them to absorb their required amounts of heating. Pulse proportional or Dimmer controlled Thermostats are a must for heating applications used for the safety of your reptile no matter which species.
Fresh water should be supplied on a regular basis, they seem to thrive on fresh water rather than water that has been left for a few days.
Humidity should be kept at a minimum as higher humidity can in some cases give a higher risk of Respiratory Infections. Occasionally during the warmer months they will get a spray of fresh water but no relative humidity is recorded.
Hatchlings through to Sub adults need a good supply of food to give them a substantial start in life. Hatchlings are started off on Velvet Mice or Pinky rats. Woma pythons are generally ferocious feeders & in most cases start feeding voluntarily. Once they have started feeding they generally don’t look back & turn into very ravenous feeding machines.
5-7 day feeds for hatchlings up to Sub adults is a great way to get the young off to a good start with 10-14 day feeding for adults. Young are fed on an appropriate sized food item, adults are generally fed on approximately 150 to 180 g rats rather than the larger sizes, feed smaller sized food items more regularly will be your better option for Adult Woma. Most types of food will be accepted when offered & can range from Quail, Rodents, Rabbits, Chickens, Chicken peaces & reptiles etc.
When trying to get hatchlings feeding it is best that handling is kept to a bare minimum due to the skittish nature of them & the likely hood of them refusing to feed due to being simply scared. Once they are established handling every other day is of benefit but again keep it to a necessity on or around feeding days.
Cleaning should occur at least weekly with fresh water & any fecal matter discarded. Sloughed skins etc should be removed as required during your daily walk through inspections or as required.
Frequency of shedding is like all reptiles, the more you feed the more often they shed but a rule of thumb would be approximately to aim for 5 to 8 weeks up to juvenile then the cycle for sub adults through to adults will stretch out a little with the reduction of food frequency offered to around an approximate 8 to 12 weeks slough cycle.
Potential Health Problems
Woma Pythons are a tolerant and hardy Python for most reptile keepers which in my opinion makes them a great starter snake but like all pythons though they can also occasionally suffer from respiratory infections which are generally caused by excessive lack of husbandry, prolonged exposures to cool breezes mostly from Air Conditioners, cold drafts & of course long extended periods with no heating. If a respiratory infection is left undiscovered or untreated they will in most cases contract Pneumonia and death can usually follow. Consult your vet immediately.
The information contained in this care sheet reflect the opinions and methods of the mentioned breeder, based on their expertise and long-established experience.