Green Tree Python For Starter: Complete Overview of Green Tree Pythons

The green tree python is one of the rising stars among pet snake keepers. As the name suggests these snakes suggest a significant amount of time in trees.

Nonetheless, this adorable snake is not always green, but rather they come in a wide array of colors, which appear in both wild and those bred in captivity. Only the albino green tree python morph is recessive.

Green Tree Python

The green tree python is one of the approximately 40 species of snakes. They are some interesting reptiles as they are long, skinny, green, and fast.

Somebody like these cute pet snakes by just looking at the photos in the internet. Then they look for more information about this species more. Finally, they fall in love with it.

Green tree python lives in areas where most people will never have a chance to see one closely. It is among the few pythons that are strongly non-venomous arboreal.

They are very similar to the emerald tree boa.

What are the Characteristics of Green Tree Python?

Green tree pythons may have blue, white or yellow spots scattered all over their bodies have slender shape and a prehensile tail that enables them to move between tree branches. They have bright green color and have a broken vertebral stripe of white or dull yellow. 

They spend majority of their time coiled over branches with their head resting in the middle of the coils. The green tree pythons have a larger head, which is noticeably wider than their body. They have supralabial scales around their mouth, which have thermo-receptive pits. These pits are found on the upper lip scales.

In adulthood these reptiles do not appear to exhibit sexual dimorphism. Nonetheless, you can notice some juvenile females having wider and longer heads compared to makes of their length size. Their eyes are usually larger than eye sizes of most other snakes. The green tree python’s head scales are small and irregular.

green tree python
green tree python

How Long Can Green Tree Python Get?

They grow up to 1.6 and 2.2 meters (5.2 and 7.2 feet). It means that the biggest of these snakes can be as long as a twin-sized bed. Eggs hatch to juveniles whose length is between 8 and 10 inches. The length of the green tree pythons is dependent on their morph or locality. If kept in a restricted cage, they do not grow to their full length. As such, the enclosure should have ample space for them

What is the Development Process of Green Tree Pythons?

When these adorable reptiles hatch, they are about 30.5 cm in length. As mentioned, at this stage they are usually brick-red or bright yellow in color. They have to undergo ontogenetic color change so as to acquire green coloration visible in adults. Color change in green tree pythons happens when they are between 6 months and 12 months old.

Image result for green tree python

However, the change in color does not coincide with sexual maturity. At this time, juveniles are expected to be between 53 and 59 cm in length, and it is large enough to change its habitat and foraging behavior. Each color change in green tree pythons provides suitable camouflage for its immediate habitat. Red or yellow colors blend well with forest edges where young green tree pythons live, while green color blends with the deep canopies.

One thing you want to know as a potential pet keeper of green tree pythons is that color change does not necessarily associate with shedding. Color change may occur as fast as overnight, or it may take several months. Red individuals take longer to change color since they start by lightening into yellow color, which happens in patches. Ultimately, the color changes into adult green.

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How is the Reproduction of Green?

There is inadequate information regarding reproduction of green tree python in the wild. The mating system is highly unknown. However, mating in captivity has been extensively studies, and this is what you must be interested in understanding. Hobbyists of the captive pet trade have conducted research on green tree python mating in captivity.

Sexual dimorphism

Green tree pythons lack sexual dimorphism and presence of equal sex-ration suggests lack of male to male combat for mating. As such, a male’s ability to mate must be reliant on its ability to obtain a female. It may be the main reason for male’s lack of maintaining a stable home range. When searching for mate, males appear to stop feeding.

Once a male finds a sexually mature female, he stimulates her with cloacal spurs to make her receptive for mating. Green tree pythons have a highly seasonal breeding cycle. In any one year, few offspring are encountered and it suggests that they do not breed annually. In the wild, the season for mating is not known, but in captivity it occurs mainly between August and January.

green tree python mother with eggs.

Mating tends to be stimulated by the low pressure fronts and storms onset. As with other pythons, green tree pythons are oviparous. In the wild, females lay their clutches in October and brood for approximately 50 days, but this may range from 39 to 60 days. Hatching commonly happens in November and corresponds with the wet season in Australia.

Growth

After the younglings change color into the adult green, it takes time before they reach sexual maturity. In males, sexual maturity takes place after 2.4 years and in females it takes place after 3.6 years. The range in number of offspring is 6 to 32 at a time per female. Green tree pythons exhibit maternal care by brooding eggs before they hatch.

In captivity, makes have been seen to coil around their clutches. They often shiver and contract their coils in an apparent effort to produce metabolic heat and maintain ideal brooding temperature that range from 84 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Once they hatch, there seems to be no parental care.

Where do Green Tree Pythons Come From?

Green Tree Python
Green Tree Python

Green tree pythons can be found in the wild and in captivity in different parts of the world. They are native to Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia. Through pet trade, they have spread to other parts of the wild.

Where do Green Tree Pythons Live in the Wild?

Green tree pythons are native to the Australian region. They are found throughout New Guinea and neighboring islands with the exception of the Bismarck Achipelago. They are plenty in the Cape York Peninsula of Queensland, Australia. Interestingly, the juvenile yellow morph of the green tree python is found in this range, while the juvenile red morph is found in parts of New Guinea.

Green tree pythons are tropical rain forest species that mainly inhabit the low montane and lowland rainforest habitat ranging in altitude from 0 to 2000 meters. It is also possible to find them in the secondary forests and areas of regrowth. During their juvenile ages, they restrict themselves to canopy gaps or along the forest edges where light can reach the ground with ease. As they become adults, they are mainly found in closed-canopy rainforests.

Hobbyists and breeders also refer to green tree pythons as chondro. The name comes from the original genus of Chondropython. They can be considered to be the most beautiful pythons. They occupy a wide range of habitats from lowland scrub to montane forests. It is not possible to identify the locality of a single snake based on its coloration.

The variability of the skin among the neonates and change into green when they turn into adulthood make them highly sought after pets. In captivity, breeders have taken the secondary coloration of these snakes and occasional nearly solid skinned samples to develop captive bloodlines that strengthen specific color traits.

Where do Green Tree Pythons Live in the Wild?

Other than in the wild, these snakes are available in different parts of the world in pet and breeder’s stores. They are especially popular in Europe and America among the pet keepers. Their demand has been increasing and could be one of the reasons for the restriction of export from New Guinea and Australia. One can buy them in local stores and breeders, as well as, from online stores.

What Does Green Tree Python Eat?

In the wild, green tree pythons are arboreal predators. Therefore, captive specimens survive on a diet of appropriately sized rodents.

Green Tree Python eats sized rodents
Green Tree Python eats sized rodents

Most green tree pythons are ravenous eaters, and even the most placid of them can turn into an aggressive feeder as dusk approaches. As a pet keeper, always feed your snake previously frozen, but fully thawed mice. Frozen mouse or rat should be thawed in hot water and fed to the snake while warm and wet. 

When feeding the snakes, use long tongs or hemostats to offer the food, let your hand might provide a heat signature resulting in possible biting. They use their heat sensitive labial pits along their mouths to detect warm prey. Whereas the feeding exercise is enjoyable for you as a keeper and the snake too, avoid over-feeding.

If overfed, adult snake becomes obese and lethargic. This can result in health complications including rectal prolapse. Ensuring that your pet becomes hungry between feedings encourages them to be active and also stimulates regular defecations.

Green tree python feeding on mouse.

As a new keeper, you need to know it is common for green tree pythons to undergo seasonal fasting even in times when they are not undergoing thermal cycle for breeding. It is common for males that can go off feed for weeks or months. As a novice keeper, this may be worrying, but there is hardly any reason for worry. Feeding resumes when snakes are ready and all other proper care parameters are in place. 

To prevent occurrence of fasting on regular basis, single males should be kept in isolation with no females. Cages should be placed in a way that they are no exposed to diminishing daylight hours. However, this only reduces the frequency of occurrence, but fasting is a fact of life for these pets.

Do Green Tree Pythons Require Water in Feeding?

The natural habitat of the green tree pythons is highly likely to experience rainfall almost every day.  In a cage, this can be replicated with water spray bottles or misting systems. A gentle spray of water into the cage daily encourages activity in your pet, and it encourages it to seek moisture. Also ensure that the enclosure can dry between sprays to keep bacteria growth down.

Often, green tree pythons drink water droplets from the sides of the cage and its furnishings. It is important to keep a bowl of clean and fresh water in the enclosure as well. Some of the snakes drink more readily from an elevated bowl of water located near their perch. It is well worth taking into consideration.

How often should Green Tree Pythons be Fed?

A general rule is to feed the snake weekly, but their age and size determines the amount and frequency of feeding. Juveniles should feed every five to seven days, and they only need a small mouse. Older juveniles and young adults can feed on a hopper or a medium sized mouse every seven to ten days. 

Adults can live on one or two adult-sized mice or a small rat every ten to fourteen days. You should be careful not to over-feed your green tree python. These pets are naturally slender and lead a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, they can easily become overweight, and this can result in health problems.

Is it Easy to Raise Green Tree Pythons as Pets?

Raise Green Tree Pythons as Pets
Raise Green Tree Pythons as Pets

Maintaining a green python

Maintaining green tree pythons in captivity is not difficult. They require a specialized setup compared to other reptiles, such as corn snakes or ball pythons. They have splendid colors and arboreal lifestyle, which strongly appeals to breeders and hobbyists. There may be challenges in raising these pets, but rewards are immense.

Most keepers are addicted to keeping green tree pythons. Most of them feel that they cannot just keep a single snake. Talking to other keepers and breeders can add to your knowledge about these animals. Prior to obtaining your new favorite pet, you need a cage or a vivarium. Its temperature and humidity control levels regulation system should be installed.

Accessories for green tree pythons

The cage should be at least 36 inches wide, 24 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches deep. You can provide a gradient in the cage for the snake to use in perching.

It needs the capacity to hold both heat and humidity. Plastic and glass containers are waterproof, but they tend to lose heat quickly. On the other hand, wooden cages hold heat but grow mold.

High yellow Chondro

We recommend the use of a cage made from MDF, which is lined with adhesive backed, waterproof vinyl. The cage interior corners are sealed with silicone. The result retains heat and it waterproof. Use a heat source that is thermostatically controlled. Study perches should be mounted into the cage about the same diameter as the snake and should be located in the upper third of the cage.

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Having some hanging plants in the cage make the green tree python feel more secure. Use of silk plants is ideal as they look great and are easy to clean. They do not need special lighting and actually do require darkness for 8 to 10 hours a night. Time regulated photoperiod is a great idea. Seeking a vet when the pet has a problem is important as well.

How much is a Green Tree Python?

The price of green tree pythons depends mainly on the morphs.

These morphs are mainly dependent on the locality where they originate.

However, if you are not located in Papua New Guinea or Australia, we cannot give a guide on the green tree pythons that originate from there.

It is illegal to export green tree pythons from Australia and Papua New Guinea, so you can’t buy them in any other part of the world.

The localities you can find are either bred within your country that is captive-bred from Indonesian heritage.

However, all others found for sale are imports from Indonesia. In general, their prices range from $275 to $500. The table below offers a guide based on locality.

LocalityAppearance (adult, 2+ years)Price Range
AruVibrant green body color with blue bloches. Random white scales which may appear in clusters. Some specimens have a blue line bordering the belly.$400 – $450
BiakGreen body with asymmetrical patches of yellow. The shade of green can vary greatly from one snake to another.$275 – $350
JayapuraBluish-green body color with blue striping along the back. Some yellow or white scales. They have black-tipped tail.$352 – $475
SorongLight to medium green body. Blue dorsal line and blue triangles on either side of the line. They also have black-tipped tail.$350 – $500
ManokwariLight green body. Bright blue dorsal markings which vary in size. Some single white scales. Black and blue tail.$350 – $450
WamenaDeep green body color with darker green or yellow dorsal markings, sometimes surrounded in blue. Some Wamena pythons have patches of black pigmentation.$400 – $500

We go deeper into discussion on each of the localities including their appearance and price range. We also discuss some facts regarding where these green tree pythons are from.

Biak Green Tree Pythons

Biak Green Tree Pythons Source
Biak Green Tree Pythons Source: https://www.outbackreptiles.com/

These are considerably the most common locality of green tree pythons that you can purchase in any part of the world. They originate from Indonesia’s island of Biak, which is located along the northern coast of Papua.

These snakes tend to grow to the largest possible lengths of green tree pythons as they can get to more than 6 feet on average. However, for this to happen, adequate care has to be given to the snakes if kept in captivity. Their heads are stretched out compared to other localities. They tend to be very aggressive and self-protective when you try interacting with them. However, they remain keepers’ favorites because they can be tamed over time, and with extensive tenacity.

Biak neonates can be either yellow or red, and it can take up to five years for the color to change into green. As adults, the green color can vary significantly from pale to extreme vivid green. In most cases, these snakes also retain most of the yellow coloration as splotches as they become adults.

Due to their common nature and availability, they are also cheaper than other localities. Each baby can price anywhere between USD 275 and USD 350. The older they get, the more expensive they become.

Aru Green Tree Pythons

Aru Green Tree Pythons
Aru Green Tree Pythons

Other than the Biaks, Arus also come in close with their popilarity. They originate from the Aru Islands in the southeastern part of Indonesia. They are quite sought after by exporters of these adorable pet snakes.

Their tails are mainly blunt and short. Their babies are always yellow and once they become adults, this color changes into some intense emerald green color. They also come with pale blue flecks on their body, as well as a blue line that borders the scales on their bodies. All along their spine, there are also clusters of white scales that run down the spine.

The price of each baby goes around USD 400 and USD 450.

Jayapura Green Tree Pythons

Jayapura Green Tree Pythons
Jayapura Green Tree Pythons

The Jayapura region also in Indonesia is the home to these adorable snakes. There are numerous mountain ranges around the area where these snakes reside. There also closely resembling strains of the Jayapuras found in regions around the area, but are not as popular.

The babies are usually yellow or red, and as they mature, the red neonates become dark red, while the yellow ones are brighter. Their colors also range from olive green to a bluish-green shade. Their dorsal area has a solid blue colored stripe running along the spine. In addition, blue markings are present on either side of the stripe.

In most cases, they also have sparsely dotted scales. Black scales also appear occasionally but this is rare, so if you find one, you are lucky. Their size is small compared to other green tree pythons. They are also not as aggressive as others are, which makes them ideal for you if you are a beginner. Their price in the stores can range from USD 350 to USD 475 for a single baby.

Sorong Green Tree Pythons

Sorong Green Tree Pythons
Sorong Green Tree Pythons

They also originate from Indonesia. Sorongs are usually green, but a rare orange strain also exists. Majority of their babies are usually bright yellow. They also have dark brown stripes on their dorsal area. As adults, these stripes turn blue.

The adults tend to have lighter shades of green than other types of green tree pythons. The dorsal stripe is usually unbroken and also has some blue triangle shapes on each side. If you come across one that has white or yellow scales, it is not common.

Their babies can be bought in stores for $350 to $500 depending on the size and age.

Manokwari Green Tree Pythons

Manokwari Green Tree Pythons
Manokwari Green Tree Pythons

These beautiful creatures originate from the town of Manokwari. They have significant resemblance to Sorongs. They have light green color and also have a blue dorsal stripe and blue patches. Nonetheless, unlike the sorongs, their blue color is more vivid.

These stripes are thicker too. Dotted white scales also appear on the backs of these snakes. Their tails are usually blue and they darken towards the end. A baby Manokwari can be purchased at USD 350 and USD 450.

Wamena Green Tree Pythons

Wamena Green Tree Pythons
Wamena Green Tree Pythons

Since this is an urban area, the snakes that are named after the region do not necessarily originate from here. They mainly come from other parts of the region and are exported through Wamena airport. As a result, that is how their name comes. 

Due to the wide range of areas where they come from, they appear in different shades. However, they mainly have deep green color with blue undertones. Dark green and yellow patches also appear with blue outlines on their backs.

The babies can be purchased for USD 400 to USD 500, and they can be either red or yellow.

How to Get Stuck Shed off a Green Tree Python

Stuck shed off is also known as abnormal or incomplete shedding. It is scientifically referred to as dysecdysis. If your snake fails to completely shed its skin, it might be a health or habitat problem. Stuck shed comes from multiple reasons, and it is critical for you as the keeper to ensure that your snake gets assistance to complete shedding.

Shedding problems among snakes is collectively referred to as “dry sheds”. Establishment of proper environmental conditions in captivity assists greatly in avoiding shedding problems. 

It can result from husbandry issues, and this means that if the enclosure has surfaces to rub against, it is important to check the humidity levels, temperatures, and the substrate to make necessary adjustments. Incomplete shedding may also be a sign of health problem, such as, infectious disease, internal or external parasites, internal abscesses, or a nutrient deficiency. 

A discussion with a veterinarian as soon as possible should be done about the issue. Retained eye caps can happen with incomplete shedding may also happen when the rest of the skin sheds intact.

How to Get Stuck Shed off a Green Tree Python Using Soaking Pools

The first vital step is to provide an adequately sized pool for soaking. Although some snakes do not like using the pool, most, even some highly arboreal species, will. The use of a soaking pool assists in moisturizing the skin and therefore making it easy for the skin to shed. You should monitor whether your snake is able to use the pool, and how it reacts to the same. 

Notably, there should also be a basking area together with the pool so that the snake can dry off. Failure to get completely dry can make your snake highly susceptible to fungal infections. This approach is most useful for snakes from moist habitats.

How to Get Shed off a Green Tree Python Using Misting and soaking containers

Most arboreal snakes are reluctant to soak in a pool, and this includes green tree pythons. If your pet chondral is one of them, you need to maintain the proper ambient humidity and at the same time ensure there is adequate airflow. The use of extra misting also becomes necessary when the snake is ready to shed.

Most shedding problems can also be resolved through the confinement of snakes in water overnight. The water should be kept at a level that allows breathing without the need to swim. You should also provide a rough stone or brick for it to rub against when loosening the old skin. A ventilated plastic garbage can is ideal for this purpose.

How to Get Stuck Shed off a Green Tree Python using Commercial Shedding Aids

There are special shedding aid formulations available in the market. They are useful especially when paid with the other suggested ideas in this article. Shedding aid can be applied once the snake becomes opaque. 

If the snake has had a difficult shed, be sure to check the old eye caps have been shed. If unsure, please contact an experienced keeper or a vet. Mineral oil and fine tweezers can be done to remove them. An experienced person should conduct the procedure. 

How to Treat Respiratory Infections in Green Tree Pythons

Respiratory infections are common in green tree pythons. Most such cases result from viruses and bacteria. Bacterial respiratory infections are normally associated with cold weather especially during winter months. At this time, snake’s metabolism and natural resistance to pathogens is lowered.

Symptoms to watch out for include wheezing sound, bubbling or hissing sound, and liquid discharge from the mouth and sometimes nostrils. There is also general lethargy and lack of appetite. Open mouth breathing is a sign of significant problems in the respiratory tract. Viral forms of respiratory infections include sunshine virus and some are the major reason for recommending long quarantine periods for snakes. The high infections may compromise an entire collection.

Appropriate antibiotics should be used for any forms of bacterial infections. The snake should be kept under warmer than usual enclosure temperatures. Respiratory infections are contagious and affected individuals must be kept in quarantine for the duration of the treatment.

Conclusion

Green tree pythons are ideal reptiles for pet keepers. As a new keeper, you will need to learn about them and ensure ideal living conditions are available for the pet. Having information about their potential health problems should also be sought. Getting as much information about them prior to acquiring one is essential. Otherwise, go ahead and enjoy your green tree python.

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