Green tree pythons are definitely one of the reptile hobby’s rising stars. As their common name suggests, these snakes spend a great deal of time in trees. But they are not always green. They come in a wide array of colors found in both wild and captive-bred designer forms. Only one recessive morph, the albino, currently exists.
Juvenile green tree pythons are typically yellow, red or dark brown-black. As they mature, their color changes to the bright green many adults display. Some individuals keep their bright-yellow juvenile colors, and some turn straight to blue. Each color is unique and stunning in its own way. Watching the color change is one of the most exciting things about owning these beautiful snakes.
Green Tree Python Availability
Captive-bred green tree pythons are becoming increasingly available as more people have success breeding them. Many websites and forums dedicated to the species provide quality captive-bred specimens. It is best to find reputable breeders who can help you with selecting the right snake and to help answer your questions.
Inquire about the origin of a prospective pet. Many green tree pythons available today originate on Indonesian farms. These specimens may appear healthy at first, but they can harbor parasites that take their toll over time. A breeder near you should have healthy, well-cared-for animals that have not undergone the stress of being shipped halfway around the world.
Green Tree Python Size
Hatchling green tree pythons usually measure between 8 and 10 inches long. Adults average between 4 and 6 feet, with males on the lower end of this scale and females on the upper end. Males are typically more slender than females as well.
Green Tree Python Life Span
Most green tree pythons can be expected to live into their mid-teens with good care. A few have even made it into their mid-20s.
Green Tree Python Handling and Temperament
Green tree pythons have gotten a bad rap over the years. They have a reputation of being aggressive, but for the most part this is untrue. Their attitude can be a reflection of how they’ve been treated. If they are grabbed, physically restrained and treated roughly, they will become defensive and appear aggressive when approached.
The best thing to do when you want to handle a green tree python is to remove the animal from its enclosure while it is still resting on its perch. Remain calm and deliberate in your movements regardless of how the animal reacts. It is best to approach the snake from below with your free hand. This is far less threatening than approaching from above. Gently support the snake’s lower coils, and allow it to begin leaving the perch voluntarily. Raise the coils with your hand as the python begins to leave the perch. Never pull the snake from its perch. Instead, offer it another secure perching location. With a gentle and calm approach most green tree pythons will tolerate handling for short periods.
Credit: Rico Walder and Trooper Walsh