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Green Tree Pythons (GTP) are a strictly aboreal species of python which are found in New Guinea, Indonesian Islands and Cape York Peninsula in Australia.
They have very striking green or yellow colour down their bodies. The colour patterns can vary dramatically from locality to locality. For example, the Aru locale is a vivid green with a broken vertebral stripe of white or dull yellow scales, the Sorong locale is a bright green with blue highlights and a solid vertical stripe, and the Kofiau local is mostly yellow with varying highlights in white and blue.
Juveniles are polymorphic, occurring in reddish, bright yellow and orange morphs. Adults can grow up to 4-6.5ft. Green Tree Pythons have a particular way of resting in the branches of trees; they loop two coils over the branch in a saddle position and place their head in the middle.
Their diet consists mainly of small mammals such as rodents and sometimes reptiles. It was assumed that they ate birds but this theory was ultimately proved to be false after study. GTPs in captivity will readily eat thawed mice and rats.
They have very large fangs at the front of their mouths and as they have no venom glands they are purely for keeping a hold of prey.
GTPs are strictly aboreal so they need a set up that caters to their very specific needs. A medium sized exoterra terrarium is best suited for juveniles although you will have to adapt it by placing cling film over the mesh at the top to maintain the high humidity they require (60-80%), they should be sprayed regularly with tepid water to keep them well hydrated (juveniles are very prone to dehydration).
The substrate should be a mixture of plantation soil and sphagnum moss, horizontal branches should be provided with plenty of fake foliage to provide as natural environment as possible. A water dish will also aid humidity production. The terrarium should be heated using a heat mat (thermostatically controlled) that should be positioned vertically on the outside, positioned just below the line of substrate to half way up the side of the terrarium.
Adults can be housed in a large exoterra terrarium (they are largely inactive snakes tending to just hang from a branch) with a ceramic bulb (thermostatically controlled), the substrate should be plantation soil and sphagnum moss, horizontally positioned branches and fake foliage should be added.
*As they have to be kept with such high humidity it is very important to check for any signs of mould and fungus and treat them accordingly, if you see this happening on a regular basis it means that there is not enough air passing through the vivarium*
Feeding should be done with extreme caution and the biggest pair of tongs you can possible get. Their large fangs can do severe damage so itís best to exercise caution at all times.
GTPs have thermo receptive pits on their upper lips that help them detect the body heat emitted from mammals which helps them locate their prey with pin point accuracy, warming their food in a plastic bag suspended in a cup of hot (but not boiling) water for a minute or so will quickly warm the mouse or rat to make it appealing.
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