White-Lipped Python a.k.a D'Albert's water pythons or Leiopython albertisii
Intro to White Lipped Pythons
White-Lipped Pythons are large pythons endemic to New Guinea that have been made famous for their iridescence. They can grow 6-7 feet, live 20+ years, and come in a brown/gold coloration for northern localities and black for southern localities. This species is recommended for advanced keepers only because they are very sensitive. But, once they get established, they can be very rewarding.
White Lipped Python Care
White lip pythons will utilize every inch of their enclosure. Ground space, arboreal space, and even water features. Babies can start in a 20 gallon tank and will grow into 8ft enclosures as adults. As babies they start to feed weekly on fuzzy to hoppers mice and will move to medium-large rats as adults every 7-14 days. They also naturally eat birds so you may offer them baby chicks once they reach an appropriate size.
These finicky pythons need a humid hiding spot, water dish, and a basking spot. They need a basking temperature of ~90 degrees F with an ambient temperature of 75-80 degreed F. A very important part of their care is their need for a variable humidity of 55-85%. You may use either an Under Tank Heaters to achieve proper heating. You should decorate their enclosure with foliage and branches to help with enrichment. For these pythons we recommend Coco Mulch mixed with Moss, Eco Earth, or ReptiSoil as a substrate.
White Lipped Pythons For Sale in the Pet Trade
These pythons are unfortunately not readily bred in captivity. Few breeders have been able to find success because of how difficult it can be to keep these long term without them having potential health issues. Dialing in all of their parameters perfectly is key to be able to breed them. Wild Caught Imported Animals become available a few times a year. Though imported animals may have a negative stigma, these are brought in legally with proper paperwork and in quantities that are allowed through governing laws.