To successfully breed green tree pythons you need to put themthrough a cooling cycle. This involves slowly decreasing the night time temperature from the summer night temperature of 26°C down to around 20°C. Some people suggest taking them down to 15°C but it is not necessary to go that low and you only increase the chance of the snake getting respiratory infection (RI). The day temperature can also be dropped a degree or two to around 29°C but that is not as important. Temperatures are best lowered over a period of weeks rather than a big drop all at once. A degree or two a week is fine. You can start dropping the temperatures in April aiming to introduce the animals in May. There is quite a large window of time for the breeding period and some breeders start a month earlier than this and others later. The males will let you know when they are ready as they will start to pace the cage constantly.
Health Issues with GTPs
courtesy to : www.greentreepythonsaustralia.com/health.html
Written by M. Cermak
Green tree pythons Morelia viridis are different to other Australian pythons in that they are highly arboreal tropical rainforest species requiring special enclosure arrangements and care in captivity. They are not a difficult species to keep but major deviation from their natural requirements can lead to health issues discussed below. There is wealth of information on “how to keep” GTPs in literature and on the Internet, including ourHusbandry section, so now let's take a look at what kind of health issues can be encountered in GTPs. This of course does not cover every possible health issue GTPs may suffer from. I only addressed problems which GTPs are particularly prone to, as well as few general illnesses seen in other species but also reported in captive GTPs.
Spinal kinks :
This is perhaps the most talked about problem that seems to be more prevalent in GTPs than in any other snake species, hence it’s wise to examine the major difference between GTPs and the rest, which is arboreal way of life. That however, does not explain why GTPs are prone to spinal kinks nor it gives us any clues as to how to prevent this condition from occurring. Spinal kinks usually appear between the time of ontogenic colour change and the second year of the snake’s life (although there are exceptions) and most commonly affected is the terminal part of the snake. It may be that GTP's are structurally prone to this problem. There have been reports of spinal kinks in wild GTPs but it is extremely rare, so then question must be asked what it is that we are doing in captivity differently to cause this condition to develop.
Several possible causes of spinal kinks were proposed by GTP keepers, including rough handling, wrong diet, faecal load associated with tail hanging and lack of calcium. The last suggestion is worth exploring further. Abnormalities in calcium metabolism are often referred to as Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) and many veterinarians feel this plays at least a critical role in the development of kinks. For convenience and necessity, we feed GTP neonates of pink mice, a food item which is not part of their natural diet. Pink mice are generally assumed to have poor calcium to phosphorus ratio, containing about 1.6 – 2.9% calcium (depending on age) and 1.8% phosphorus on a MD basis, making their Ca:P 0.9 – 1.6/1.0. Ideally, the ratio should be 2.0 / 1.0
To increase the calcium from 1.2 to 2.0% and normalise the ratio, it is recommended to inject 0.36mL of calcium syrup (Novartis brand) to each pinky.
Shane Simpson (reptile vet) suggested that spinal kinks can possibly result from:
1. Infection in the bone (osteomyelitis) - it is often seen in a number of different species of snakes, including GTP's. It can occur for a number of reasons (e.g. penetrating trauma) but most common is seeding of bacteria from a septic episode (bacteria in the blood stream). These bacteria are most often normal inhabitants of the gut and respiratory systems.
2. There is a condition that occurs in Carpet Pythons called Proliferative Spinal Osteopathy. The current feeling amongst vets is that this is caused by osteomyelitis that is cleared by the body's own immune system but there is a residual inflammatory process that persists for many years. This results in bony changes occurring with both proliferation of new bone and resorption of bone. This causes overall weakening of the bone. In the early stages it causes a kink to the spine and in severe, end-stage it can cause paralysis. This may well be what occurs in older GTP's that develop kinks but there is no evidence of any pathology or other testing that has been done to confirm this condition occurring in GTP's.
It is highly probable that it is a multifactorial condition and that in fact it may be a variety of different conditions that result in similar signs. There is no evidence to suggest that spinal kinks are genetic / heritable but there is equal lack of evidence of congenital problems.
Unfortunately, there is no known treatment of this condition.
Rectal prolapse :
and it is also likely to be multifactorial condition. It can occur in neonates as well as in adults and often, but not always, it reoccurs for the rest of the snake’s life. An inappropriate diet has been suggested as the most probable culprit and again – pink mice are to blame. Pinkies are not much more than a “jelly-bean” of protein, low on calcium due to undeveloped bones and completely lacking roughage, which is an important element production of well-formed faeces. The lack of roughage often results in passing runny stool causing bowel irritation and further complications. This is in contrast with GTP neonate’s natural diet, which consists mainly of skinks that have solid bones, scales and gut contents.
Hydration also plays important role in healthy digestive process and bowel movement. Dehydration, particularly in semi-adult and adult GTPs can be instrumental condition leading to rectal prolapse. A build up of large urates and faecal matter that is not easily passed causes condition known as “tail hanging” where the snake tries to keep its cloaca closed by bending its tail over it. This faecal load puts pressure on the spine and can cause serious damage to the vertebrae. Constipation in GTPs is more than often caused by lack of movement (exercise) and that is why many keepers take their GTP “for a walk” out on the lawn to induce defecation.
This must be the second most feared health problem in GTPs. Rectal prolapse is manifested by protrusion of the bowel outside the cloaca during defecation and the snake’s inability to retract the bowel. Just like with spinal kinks, there is no clear cut explanation what is causing this problem
To some degree, rectal prolapse can be prevented by feeding well-hydrated food items to GTPs and by giving them the opportunity and incentive to move around their enclosures and to climb. Freshly killed rodents contain natural levels of water and provided the python drinks normally, there is no need to hydrate the food. However, a fair amount of water is lost by freezing, so defrosted rodents should be injected with small amounts of water.
If a prolapse does not retract promptly (within minutes) then the condition becomes a medical emergency. While organising veterinary assistance, it is important to keep the prolapsed section wet before treatment is available. It’s better to use saline rather than just water as saline has the same tonicity (or amount of dissolved salts) as body fluids. Some GTP keepers apply saturated sugar solution onto the prolapse with the aim to reduce the swelling through osmosis but most vets say that it doesn’t work. The prolapsed bowel can be gently pushed back into the cloaca using a blunt instrument, but this should only be done by an experienced person or a vet. To prevent the prolapse from re-occurring, the cloaca should be taped up with a strip of band-aid or similar adhesive material that is easily pulled off after 12 – 24 hours. In cases that do recur, a veterinarian may perform a surgical procedure to decrease the mobility of the cloaca and help prevent further prolapses.
This not a disease, it’s a modified behaviour only know in captive GTPs and possibly a predisposition to rectal prolapse, at least in some cases. In hot conditions, GTPs sometimes hang their tails in order to thermoregulate; the tail is rich with blood vessels and the cooling of the tail is more effective when the entire surface is exposed rather than tacked along the body coils. This is harmless and should not be confused with situation, where not only the tail, but a considerable part of the body anterior to the cloaca is suspended from the perch. This is a result of accumulation of faecal matter in the large bowl that becomes so heavy, and that part of the body so bloated, that the snake is no longer comfortable to wrap it around the perch.
If the faecal matter becomes very dry and adhesive, it stands to reason that the effort to expel it is greater, and as a part of the bowel extrudes when they pass a motion, the potential for the sphincter to close before it is full retracted is greater and can result in rectal prolapse.
In my opinion, this condition is almost certainly a result of lack of exercise on part of the GTP. Many reptile keepers are of the opinion that GTPs are lazy snakes but the fact is – many keepers are conditioning GTPs to be lazy by insufficient space to move around, boring interior of the enclosure and over-feeding. It takes about 5-7 days for an adult GTP to digest a food item (depending on food size, etc.), during which time snakes are generally known to be inactive. When fed regularly every 6-7 days, a routine that most keepers follow, the snake is essentially in constant state of digestion. The inactivity that such enclosure life imposes on these snakes is not good for their long-term health.
For a long time, I have been a persistent proponent of large, landscaped enclosures with as much vertical space as horizontal / floor area. However, this idea has been generally rejected by many GTP keepers mainly for two reasons: Greg Maxell’s bible suggests that standard size and shape enclosures are OK (who would argue with him?), and because it is difficult to maintain temperature gradient in large, tall enclosures and I accept both arguments. However, I still maintain that regular exercise is the key element preventing “tail-hanging” and most probably rectal prolapse too. GTPs are design to climb; descending from the canopy and climbing up again is an integrated part of their (almost) daily routine in the wild. The need for climbing (in arboreal species) is very much overlooked by many keepers, often deemed as unnecessary. Climbing requires far greater energy output than traveling on a horizontal branch or on the ground and to be a proficient climber, the snake has to be lean with well-developed muscle tone – the very opposite to what we so often see in captive GTPs. If a large enclosure with complex, interesting interior is not an option; at least the keeper should take the snake out (on regular basis) and allow it to move around and allow it to climb.
GTPs seem to be more prone to dehydration than any other species, but to suggest that GTPs are “poor drinkers” doesn’t make sense. If it were the case - the species would be probably extinct. Low intake of water can be caused by A/ water not being available, B/ stale, contaminated or unpalatable water, C/ dehydrated food, D/ the snake’s illness or stress. There seem to be a belief amongst some GTP keepers that juveniles will not drink from a water bowl, therefore drinking water must be provided by spraying. Nothing can be further from the truth, although neonates will readily suck up droplets of water after spraying, they will easily drink from a water bowl just the same.
It is important to place perch low enough above the water bowl, so the hatchling can reach down for a drink comfortably. Soaking dehydrated snake in water will not improve the situation because snake’s skin is not permeable like that of a frog, and will not absorb water. Apart from shedding problems, dehydration can have serious consequences including kidney failure.
Commonly known as “mouth canker” or “mouth rot” is a bacterial infection usually caused by trauma, e.g. snake striking at the glass front of an enclosure or damage to the gums by sharp object such as sand grain or by any rough, hard substrate while the snake is swallowing food. The first signs of necrotising stomatitis is a loss of appetite, followed by slight gaping or swollen lips. When the lips look lifted and a cheesy material appears on the gums means that the necrotic stomatitis is in advanced stage and an urgent treatment is required. The first step is to scrape out the gunk as much as possible, which will invariably cause some bleeding from the affected gums. The gums should be then irrigated with water – there is no point to use any non-antibacterial solutions such as mouthwash, etc., as these will not be effective at all. The snake should receive a course of antibiotic injections. It’s not a good idea to apply any thick antibiotic ointment on the affected gums as such can “glue” the lower and upper lips together. A veterinary assistance is certainly required throughout this entire procedure.
Water blisters :
Water blisters appear almost translucent and soft to touch, which is in contrast to skin worms, scale rot or similar skin problems. They are invariably caused by excessive humidity either as a result of too much spraying and/or wet substrate, usually compounded by poor ventilation. Water blisters are not presenting real danger to the snake’s health and they usually disappear with the next slough, as long as the environmental conditions are improved. This next slough in most cases is expedited by the skin condition. These blisters should never be pierced, intentionally or accidently by the snake rubbing against sharp edges. When pierced, the liquid will drain and the old skin may stick to the new skin underneath, making the next slough difficult. There is no need to apply Betadine or any other medication and as long as the diagnosis is correct, there is no need to take the snake to a vet.
Ventral dermatitis :
Ventral dermatitis also known as blister disease (as distinct from water blisters) or scale rot, is not unique to GTPs but has been reported in this species. The condition is manifested by discoloration of (usually) ventral scales, giving them brown, motley appearance. It’s usually a result of damp / wet substrate sometimes combined with poor hygiene. Scale rot fortunately is not commonly seen in GTPs, presumably because they are arboreal species, seldom coming in contact with the wet or contaminated substrate. An affected snake GTP should be kept in dry conditions for a short period, while husbandry is corrected. Regular “soaks” in antiseptic solutions such as povidone iodine (diluted 1:20 in warm water) prevent extension of the infection. Systemic antibiotics may be required in severe cases.
Wrinkly skin :
This condition is rare and usually affects neonates. The skin appears wrinkled, multi-layered and tough to touch, obviously causing a great discomfort to the snake. The affected snake is either not shedding at all or the effort to shed is compromised in the process. An attempt to slough the skin manually reveals several layers adhering to each other, making the task extremely difficult if not impossible. While poorly researched, with the consequence
that the true cause is not yet known, this condition is most likely caused by an infection in the oviduct of the dam leading to defects in the developing fetus within the egg that compromise renal development and function. This is quite possibly a serious life-shortening problem.
Respiratory infections :
Respiratory infections (RIs) are common in GTPs. Most cases are caused by bacteria or viruses. Bacterial RI is usually associated with cold weather during the winter month, when the snake’s metabolism and natural resistance to pathogens is lowered. The symptoms of RI are wheezing sound, slightly open mouth, hissing / bubbling sound and liquid discharge from the mouth, sometimes even from nostrils, general lethargy and lack of appetite. Open mouth breathing is a sign of significant problems in the respiratory tract. Viral forms of RI include Sunshine Virus and are the major reason for recommending long quarantine periods for snakes, as they are highly infectious and may compromise an entire collection. Bacterial forms of RI should be treated with appropriate antibiotics while the sick snake is kept under warmer-than-usual enclosure temperatures. IR is contagious and affected individual(s) must be kept in quarantine for the duration of the treatment.
arasites are basically divided into two groups: endoparasites – living inside the snake’s body and ectoparasites – found on the surface of the skin. Ectoparasites are not very common in wild GTPs, except for the occasional tick, but snake mites can thrive on captive
snakes. Snake mite, Ophionysus natricis is not native to Australia and does not occur in wild populations. These blood-sucking critters can be transferred from collection to collection either by infested animals or on hands and clothing of keepers. They are small and often hard to detect by naked eye but evidence are their droppings, which make the infested snake look like it has been dusted with flour. The adults are red (full of blood) or black and they reside under and between the scales. There are many products on the market to treat mite-infested snakes and it’s also essential to treat the whole enclosure. One
could not overemphasize the importance of quarantine when acquiring a new snake; the presence of mites may not be immediately evident but will show up in
a few days.
Many wise voices in the hobby say that captive bred snakes should be parasite free. That is true to some extend but there are exceptions to the rules.
Intestinal parasites such as flagellates, coccidia, amoeba and cilliates can be encountered in captive GTPs and if untreated, can cause serious damage to the lining of the gut and can also cause severe dehydration. Acquisition of these parasitic organisms is usually a result of poor husbandry / hygiene, contaminated drinking water is a particularly dangerous source of these microscopic parasites. The presence of these parasites is manifested by runny, slimy stool, lack of appetite
and general deterioration of body condition. A faecal sample under a microscope will confirm the presence and the type of the organism and appropriate treatment should be prescribed by a vet.
Intestinal worms - cestodes (tapeworm) and nematodes (roundworms) are the two most commonly encountered worms in snake’s gut, their presence is more or less the same as that described for unicellular parasites above. Snakes should not be treated for worms preventatively, only when their presence has been confirmed and correct medication prescribed by a vet.
“Skin-worms” are an intermediate stage of tapeworm, which is really common in wild snakes, particularly in frog-eating species, therefore they should never be found in captive bred snakes.
The cause of enlarged heart is poorly understood and there is no treatment available. In less severe cases the snake may live for many years but if the size of the heart partially blocks the digestive tract and / or put pressure on the spine, the snake dies.
A number of congenital deformities have been reported in GTPs, they can be genetic or a result of some problem during an embryonic development. Gross deformities are usually fatal at hatching or in other instances the juvenile may die at later stage or has to be euthanized. In less severe cases snakes can live
with cosmetic imperfections throughout their entire lives.
“Flick tongue” or “spoon tongue” is one of the more common cases of congenital deformity seen in GTPs; the fork of the tongue is fused or forms a wide, flat tip in a shape of spoon. In some cases the tongue slides out and in normally, but sometimes it flicks to one side or the other, or up or down in an erratic manner. The general function of the tongue, i.e. collection of molecules to be processed in the Jacobson’s organ is usually unaffected.
I thank Drs Mark Simpson, Peter Barratt and Shane Simpson (veterinary practitioners) for their comments and help over many years.
Breeding Green Tree Pythons
courtesy to : www.greentreepythonsaustralia.com/breeding
Main content written by B.Champion
Before attempting to breed your snakes you should ensure they are in good health with good body weight and no ailments. Attempting to breed animals in poor condition may not only result in a lost clutch but also the loss of the female. Females should ideally be at least three years old and around a minimum of 900 –1000 grams in weight. They can certainly breed at a smaller size than this but it is best for the snake to let it get to the larger size. Males will breed at 2 years and around 500 grams. Females are also best not bred continuously and a year off after every second year of producing eggs is good for them. Over-breeding can result in smaller clutches with less fertile eggs and ultimately egg binding.
Before you can breed your snakes you need a pair so you may want to sex them. The first thing you need to know is that you never sex hatchling green tree pythons. They are a very delicate snake and it’s extremely easy to damage them, often resulting in spinal damage that may not show up until they are a couple of years old. Green tree pythons should not be sexed until they are at least a year old and weighing in excess of 100 grams.
The two ways to sex a snake are by popping and probing. Popping is usually performed on hatchlings (of other species) and involves applying pressure with the thumb just below the vent to evert the hemipenes of a male. This can also be done on adults but is harder to do so.
Probing is the most common method used for adults and is done by very gently inserting a lubricated probe into the side of the vent and sliding it rearwards into the pockets found on either side of the tail. On a male the probe will insert to a depth of approximately 10 scales while on a female it will only go 3 or 4 scales. There will always be a snake that will probe somewhere in between these two making it hard to know what sex it is. Probing is not definitive and you can get it wrong and also possibly damage a snake. It’s possible for a male to probe only a few scales due to the fact that you didn’t push hard enough or because it was blocked by a sperm plug for instance. If you push too hard on a female you may penetrate the pocket and force the probe down to falsely indicate it was a male.
If you don’t need to know what the sex is it’s best not to do it just out of curiosity. However if you are looking to purchase a mate for your snake or are selling one to someone after a particular sex you will need to do so.
Observation of the snake’s behaviour can indicate its sex and with experience you can often pick which one it is without too much trouble. Males tend to be more active than females and at breeding time can pace their cage relentlessly while females are content to sit on their perch day in day out. From about the age of 18 months males may also go off their food for months at a time and almost always will refuse food at breeding time. At times a male will evert his hemipenes when defecating and they also sometimes shed their hemipenes which appear as two dried bits of skin a centimetre or so longat the vent of the shed skin, this is not to be confused with the small bump that females can shed. Males can also grow much longer spurs than females and also have a slightly different tail shape with the female's being more tapered just below the vent compared with the male’s which is more parallel and sometimes even bulbous, but this is very subtle and can be hard to pick without a lot of experience. Some of these indicators can give you a definite answer while others just a hint but by observing the snake over time you can get a pretty good feeling for which sex it may be.
As well as reducing the temperatures it is also good to reduce the daytime heating period from 12 hours down to seven or eight hours. This can be done over several months so that it reaches the shortest period around June/July and then is slowly increased back to 12 hours by September/October. This doesn’t imply that the snakes need to be at 20°C degrees for 16 hours a day. Once the heat is switched off it will normally take many hours for it to get to the lower level.
The other thing that may trigger the snakes to breed is the length of daylight. For most people this will happen naturally as the days shorten as winter approaches but if you
have lights in your snake cages or room you can shorten the period they are on to correspond with what’s happening outside. Other keepers do not worry about changing the photoperiod at all. Considering GTPs occur in Equatorial habitats where day light hours remain fairly constatnt all year, it may not be an important factor.
Introduction and mating :
Once you have cooled them it’s time to introduce them to each other. Most breeders put the male into the female’s cage as the males are by now very active and searching for a mate while the females are content to sit on their perch, but it’s really not that important and it can be done the other way around if need be. Putting them together in the evening is best.
Most pairs, if they are receptive, will mate within hours of being put
together. It usually starts with the male crawling over the female and spurring her with his spurs. Mating’s last from a few hours to almost a day but typically start in the evening and finish in the morning. If no mating is observed after a couple of days, separate them for a week and then try again. A compatible pair will mate on and off for a couple of months.
The males sometimes lose a bit of interest as time goes by so separate them occasionally to keep the interest up. Taking the male out for a few days then reintroducing him will usually get them going again. Towards the end of the mating period, two days in then one day out works well. Spraying the pair can also elicit mating.
Another technique to encourage mating if little interest is shown is to throw a slough of another male into the enclosure with the breeding pair in the hope of stirring up the breeding male with a competitors scent. Some breeders will put two males together to stir them up for mating. This may work but extreme care should be taken as male will fight vigorously and can even inflict serious bites on each other. As a result we do not recommend this, however, if you chose to try this then never leave the two males together unattended.
Ovulation and pre-lay shed
When there has been a successful pairing the female will ovulate and the ova will be fertilised. This results in a very obvious mid-body swelling for anything from 12 to 48 hours. In many cases it looks like she has swallowed a large rat. Mating generally ceases anything from a few days to a few weeks prior to ovulation. Once ovulation has been observed then the male should be removed and heating returned to normal. The female will most likely refuse food after ovulation as well. She will also take on a duller appearance and spend more time under the hot spot, often rolling her coils to the side as the pregnancy advances.
Approximately 29 days after ovulation the female will have a pre-lay shed. This shedding cycle often takes longer than a normal shed.
Egg laying :
Approximately 21 days after the pre-lay shed, and 50 days after ovulation, the female will lay her eggs. A week or so before doing so she will generally pass any remaining faecal matter in her system and then become restless, looking for a place to lay her eggs.
A nest box needs to be placed in the cage for her to lay in. This should be done about seven to ten days before the eggs are due. The box can be made from timber or simply be an ice cream container or small foam esky for example. A box with internal dimensions of around 20 x 20 x 20 cm is adequate. It should have a lid and a large entrance hole, the hole needs to be large enough so that at least two coils of the body can pass through it at the same time without risk of jamming the snake and damaging the eggs. Dry or just damp (never wet) sphagnum moss can be placed in the laying box as well.
You need to be careful where you place the laying box in the cage as, if placed over the heater of a cage below, it can potentially overheat eggs if they are not found for several hours.
Occasionally a female will refuse to use the box and may lay the eggs on the floor or even worse, off the perch or into the water bowl. Some breeders remove perches and water bowls prior to laying to prevent this. Rather than remove the water bowl you can reduce the amount of water in it to a centimetre or so to reduce the chance of the eggs drowning and place a layer of dry sphagnum moss or something similar on the floor of the cage to cushion the fall should she lay from the perch.
Clutch size can range from 12 to more than 30 eggs but is typically around 20.
Egg incubation :
The first thing you need to do is decide whether you want the snake to incubate the eggs (maternal incubation) or whether you will take them from her and artificially incubate them. Maternal incubation is rarely practiced as it is more risky and the female will lose condition due to not eating from ovulation until hatching. Lack of food for such an extended period combined with the physical toll of producing and laying eggs will obviously result in the female losing a significant amount of weight while doing so, making it harder to have her in prime condition for the following breeding season. If you do use maternal incubation the female will maintain the eggs at the correct temperature by using body contractions similar to shivering but you will need to maintain the high humidity to prevent the eggs from desiccating.
If artificially incubating the eggs you need to remove the female from the eggs which she will have coiled around. Most females can be removed without too much fuss but some will become defensive and may strike at you and constrict the eggs resulting in damage, so care needs to be taken. Gently work the fingers under the outer coils and lift her off, often tickling her will cause her to crawl off them. An aggressive female may require two people, one to hold the head and the other to remove the coils from the eggs. Once removed, the eggs can then be transferred to an incubation container, being careful to keep them in the same orientation as they were found, as general opinion is to avoid rotating the eggs. Some breeders are not too concerned about this and have had clutches hatch where eggs have been rotated.
The female will have formed the eggs into a clump and the eggs will have stuck together. It is best to separate them and place them in the egg tray individually, this way if an egg goes off it can easily be discarded without disturbing the others. If left in a clump a rotting egg can easily contaminate surrounding eggs as well. Separating them is relatively easy if the eggs are freshly laid but as they start to dry out a little they can be quite difficult to separate. Gently peel them apart, being careful not to tear them. A small tear is not necessarily the end of the egg and they can still go full term to hatch.
The eggs can be “candled” by shining a light through them to see if they are fertile. This is best done in a dark room and fertile eggs will show red veins. If veins can’t be seen don’t throw the eggs away as it may be that your torch isn’t bright enough. Trying again in a week or so often shows them up better. The clutch may contain “slugs” which are infertile eggs that are smaller than normal and yellow in colour and these can be discarded, but infertile eggs can also look just like a normal fertile egg, being full size and white. These full size infertile eggs will normally go off after a couple of weeks of incubation but sometimes they go the full term and it’s only when you slit them that you realise that they were infertile.
In the past eggs were nearly always incubated on a bed of vermiculite that was mixed with water at a ratio of 50/50 or 60/40 by weight. These days most people use the “no-substrate method” which is much simpler and gives good results. It involves placing the eggs in a container or on a rack and suspending them over water in a larger container that is virtually sealed and only has a few very small holes for ventilation.
The container of eggs is then placed in an incubator which is maintained at 31.0 – 31.5°C.Some breeders use a method where the temperature is held at 30.0°C for the first week then increased to 31.5°C for the next five weeks then reduced back to 30.0°C for the remainder of the time, but most breeders seem to have moved away from this to the constant temperature method. A good quality temperature controller or thermostat is required and ideally should have a differential (variation) of 0.5°C or less. It is best to place the probe from the controller outside the egg container and a thermometer inside the container, the controller is then adjusted until the correct temperature is indicated by the
thermometer. The Habistat brand of dimming thermostats is perfect for this job. An alternative and also successfull method preferred by some breeders is to place the thermostat probe inside the egg box.
Be aware that not all thermometers are not highly accurate and just because it reads 31.5°C it doesn’t mean that that is the actual temperature. Most digital thermometers seem to be within about +/- 0.5 of a degree and these are fine to use but some can be out by as much as two degrees and that could have disastrous results. Unfortunately it’s not easy to check the accuracy as you either need access to a calibrated thermometer for comparison, or you need to spend a lot of money having it calibrated. The only method most people can readily use is to place several thermometers together and discard any that read substantially different to the others.
The egg container should be opened occasionally to allow an exchange of air, weekly at the start of incubation, but daily during the final week. Care should be taken that condensation doesn’t form on the inside of the lid to the extent that it will drip onto the eggs as that can cause the eggs to spoil. During the last couple of weeks the eggs will start to dimple and collapse, this is normal and is nothing to be concerned about. If the eggs start to collapse early in the incubation period it means that there is too much ventilation so blocking any air holes or placing a sheet of cling wrap over the top of the container before placing the lid on can prevent this.
Depending on the temperature you incubated them at, the eggs should start to hatch at around 52 – 53 days. Most breeders slit their eggs at around day 50 or 51 to help facilitate the hatching process while some will wait until the first egg slits by itself, then manually do the others. Don’t be concerned if you slit the eggs and they don’t emerge for a few days as no harm will come to the babies even though the egg may start to deteriorate and discolour.
To slit an egg a cut is made in the top of the egg with a pair of small scissors making sure not to cut the neonate and trying to avoid cutting the veins just under the shell. Once the tip of the scissors has made the initial breakthrough keep the scissors pointing upwards. Cutting a V shaped flap allows it to be pulled back to check on the baby. Alternatively a large circular section of the shell can be totally removed. Don’t be too alarmed if some blood appears as it shouldn’t cause any problems.
Once the neonate has poked its head out it will sit like that for anywhere between 12 and 48 hours. Never pull the baby out of the egg when it first pokes its head out as it may still have some yolk attached that it’s absorbing. Sometimes it will refuse to leave the egg even though the yolk has been absorbed and it ends up sitting in a quickly degrading egg. In this case a bit of gentle prodding will help it exit the egg.
Hatchlings usually weigh between eight and 15 grams with a typical weight being 12 grams.
Buying a Green Tree Python :
courtesy to : www.greentreepythonsaustralia.com/buying.html
Main content written by R. Stacey
Choosing and buying your first GTP can be a difficult decision for a new keeper. Like any animal,the first step is to consider the care that your GTP will require to thrive and develop into a healthy adult in your care. A lot of research can be done online, as well as reading published magazine articles and books (see our husbandry and references pages). We highly recommend buying a copy of the book ‘The More Complete Chondro’ written by Greg Maxwell.
You will often know when you have found a good GTP breeder - most take huge pride in their animals, with their health and wellbeing the number one priority. They will want to know that their animals are healthy and thriving both before and after they are sold. A good breeder will also offer after sales assistance if needed.
Once you feel you are ready and have the basic husbandry knowledge it’s time to find the type of GTP you are after. The Australian native GTP would have to be one of the most commonly available GTPs on the market in Australia. However, other types are also present and mixed heritage animals are readily available. Rarer are animals identified as belonging to a specific locality, such as Aru, Biak and Sorong types. There is a lot of variation in the way animals are labelled in Australia.
For example any blue present results in some people incorrectly labeling an animal ‘a Sorong’ when in fact it is at the very least a Sorong cross – use caution when choosing an animal and do not go solely on the name given to it by its seller. We recommend always looking at photos of both parents and researching types to ensure you are not disappointed after your animal goes through its colour change. The price of GTPs in Australia can vary greatly. You may find mixed heritage animals for under $1000, while some of the rarer, more pure lines or designer animals will fetch up to $3000 or more. See our types page for more information on the variety of GTPs available.
Once you have decided what type of GTP you are interested in it’s now time to find a breeder. Finding a reputable breeder with animals available at certain times of the year can sometimes be difficult. GTP hatchlings normally become readily available between November and April each year. We advise whenbuying a hatchling GTP that the
animal is of good size for its age and is eating weekly. Most reputable breeders will include a feeding chart upon purchase. Study photos and look for good body condition. We would avoid animals with evidence of retained sheds or wrinkly looking skin (as these may be indicative of health problems) and any signs of skin worms (as these may cast doubt on the origin of the animal). Check out our Health page for more info.
I bought a GTP hatchling - it didn't turn out anything like I was told it would.
Making sure the breeder has the best intention for the sale and provides you with the answers you need to feel confident in your purchase is a must for any serious reptile keeper. Unfortunately, over the past few years there have been a lot of scams involving the sale of GTPs in Australia. These include selling animals the breeder claims they have bred and haven’t; selling animals that have been illegally imported as bred within Australia; selling wild caught animals as captive bred; and claiming a hatchling is a certain type of GTP that in fact it is not.
In order to avoid falling victim to these scams we suggest asking the following of the breeder:
Pictures of the animal for sale
Pictures of both parents of the animal for sale
Pictures of copulations, egg laying, eggs hatching
The history of the parents’ health and origin
What the animal is being housed in before selling
What temperature the animal has been kept at
What size food items the animal is currently eating
If the breeder has trouble answering any of these questions we would look for an alternative breeder.
There are some fantastic, genuine GTP breeders in Australia with a lot of knowledge who are happy to help new comers in to the world of GTPs. They will happily provide all the information you require to move forward in owning a GTP. However, for various reasons, including quarantine and security, do not expect breeders to allow you to come to have a look at their collection or animals for sale. It is common practice for breeders to supply only photos of animals and to meet you somewhere other than their house/breeding facility to complete the sale.
To contact the website of Green tree pythons Australia :
You tube videos from same Website :
Further Reading :
- More Complete Chondro, the bestselling manual for all Green Tree Python keepers Hardcover – December 1, 2005
by Greg Maxwell (Author)
- The Green Tree Python and Emerald Tree Boa: Care, Breeding and Natural History, Second Extended Edition Paperback – December 31, 2005
by Ron Kivit (Author), Stephen Wiseman (Author), Andreas Kirschner
- Green Tree Pythons As Pets. Green Tree Python Comprehensive Owner's Guide. Green Tree Pythons care, behavior, enclosures, feeding, health, myths and interaction all included. Paperback – October 27, 2014
by Marvin Murkett (Author), Ben Team (Author)
- Green Tree Python, For the Love of Nature: Blank 150 page lined journal for your thoughts, ideas, and inspiration Paperback – June 2, 2016
by Unique Journal (Author)
Many books you can find in the Internet based libraries and bookshops like Amazon.com ( Click Here ) ..
But first look for the best prices at Book Finder.com