The green tree python, Morelia viridis, is native to the Northern part of Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. It belongs to the Pythonidae family. The adult green tree python can be as long as 1.6 to 2.2 meters. Though most specimens are green in color, infants are usually yellow or even red in color. They acquire the green color before they reach two years of age. However, some adults acquire a blue or yellow color instead of green. Along with the green color, this python species also has some blue and white spots on their bodies.
Though the green tree python is regarded as a wild animal, nowadays, many reptile lovers like the idea of bringing this python into their homes. Nevertheless, getting one as a pet is a great responsibility, and has to be done very carefully to ensure that the snake lives for a long time. One of the most important things that people should know about this species is its habitat, i.e., the place and surroundings in which the python should be kept at home. So, let's take a look at some crucial information on the housing.
Habitat of a Green Tree Python
Ideally, the simulated habitat of the species should be similar to its natural habitat. Hence, one needs to spend a lot of time, money, and effort to create a vivarium which reflects the natural habitat of the python exactly. One not only needs to think about the type of cage, but also factors such as the décor of the cage, temperature, humidity, etc. So, before you bring the snake home, here are some things that you have to know about its habitat.
Green tree pythons usually lead a solitary life. Hence, it is important to have a separate cage for each one of them, if you are buying more than one. Though they like to have a large area to claim as their own, cages that are too big can scare the snakes. The perfect cage for this python would measure around 90cm x 60cm x 60cm. However, baby pythons need not be given such a big vivarium. Rather, a 30 cm cubed vivarium would be just perfect for the juvenile python. Once it starts growing, it is important to shift it to a larger cage. Though aquariums with glass on four sides are fine, it is important to see to it that it has a tight fitting lid to prevent the snake from escaping from the enclosure. Some experts also suggest the use of cages with screens on two sides to keep the air inside the cage fresh. Some people also use cages made of melamine-coated wood on three sides and glass sliding doors in the front. Other than this, cages made of plastic or fiberglass are also fine.
The substrate need not be something very elaborate, as the snakes tend to spend much of their time on the branches, and very rarely on the ground. One of the cheapest substrates is sheets of newspaper, which can also be cleaned or replaced easily. However, most people think using newspapers as substrates is not visually appealing. In such a case, it would be a good idea to use things like orchid bark, butcher paper, aspen, cypress mulch, artificial turf, bark chips, wood chips, etc., as substrates.
Once you have the perfect cage, the next step would be to create the correct décor for it. The vivarium should be filled with plants and branches, as this snake likes to climb on branches rather than stay on the ground. Using some fake plants along with the real ones is a good idea, as it creates a good visual appeal. As these pythons like to stay aloof, providing a few hiding places and perching spots for it in the cage is very important. However, while decorating the vivarium, the safety of the snake should be of utmost importance. It is crucial to make sure that the branches and the plants are secured correctly, so that they do not become hazardous for the snake. It is also important to avoid adding stones, rocks, and other sharp things in the cage, to prevent the snake from getting hurt.
Temperature and Humidity
Ideally, the temperature should be different during different parts of the day. For instance, during the day, the temperature should be between 24º to 28º C, while at night it should be between 22º to 24º C. Heat should be generated inside the vivarium with the use of spot bulbs, ceramic heaters, heat mats, etc. As the natural habitat of the green tree python has a very humid environment, this should be maintained in the vivarium too. Some of the ways to maintain the correct humidity is by misting the cage regularly, placing a large bowl of water and using a humidifier from time to time. Placing a drip system in the cage is also a good idea.
However, after creating the perfect vivarium for the snake, one should not forget to take proper care of this reptile. It is important to clean the vivarium regularly, so that the snake is not affected by bacteria which develop in unclean environments. This is crucial to ensure that the snake has a healthy and long life.