Green Tree Pythons
Often considered an advanced level species, this beautiful and highly desirable python of various localities can be kept by keepers with some experience as well as mature beginners of a meticulous nature. Previously classified as Chondropython viridis, (and henceforth referred to as chondros) This care sheet serves as a basic intro into a species best covered in published literature as mentioned in our resources page.
Contrary to what one might expect, chondros benefit from longer cages over taller ones. Large adults can be maintained in cages 3’long x 2’ deep x 2’ high and smaller localities in 2’ cubed enclosures containing multiple perches at various heights in the enclosure that span across a thermal gradient. Overhead heating and reliable thermostats are commonly used among successful keepers. Although there is a growing number of European keepers maintaining them in fully naturalistic vivaria; we believe that is a task left to individuals with many years of experience and we prefer to err on the side of caution in this regard by maintaining ours in simple and most importantly, easy to clean enclosures. Where cage adornments and furniture can be easily removed and cleaned without disturbing the animal. Our cages also have a 12h day/night light cycle.
Native to Indonesia, various islands of the Indo-Pacific and northern Australia. One would assume that these animals prefer a hot and muggy environment. However, forest canopies provide shelter from the sun and heat with cooler breezes moving through the forest at higher levels. While there is decent humidity there, the air is quite fresh. Chondros will descend to just above ground level in the cooler evening to hunt.
Basking Spot Temperature: 83°F -87°F
Warm Side Ambient Temperature: 83°F-85°F
Cool Side Ambient Temperature: 78°F-83°F
Optional Night-time Ambient Drop: 78°F-80°F
Cyclical humidity that mimics what would be found in the tropics is ideal for chondros. We will very lightly mist our chondro cages late morning, the humidity will climb into the afternoon and fall by evening. We incorporate a small evening temperature drop of a couple of degrees Fahrenheit to help facilitate this. A little condensation on the corners of the acrylic doors indicates an appropriate amount of humidity. We never spray chondros directly. As the latent heat of vaporization causes excessive cooling of the animal weakening its immune system. Cages have good ventilation to maintain air quality. Live potted plants can be added though they will need removed and soil aeration frequently. We include a large water dish in each cage that is changed a couple times per week or immediately if soiled. Paper towels are used for substrate in most cages though we do have plain cypress mulch in others. Cypress is the only substrate we will use as it remains “airy” enough to dry out cyclically and avoid bacterial growth.
Established captive born and bred chondros become voracious feeders and can easily be made obese. Hatchlings are best fed every 7 to 10 days and adults and adults every 14. We choose mice and chicks over rats, as rats have a higher than desirable fat content for pythons whose lives can span over 20 years.
Special note on handling:
Though there are many examples of individual specimens of various localities who tolerate handling, we prefer to leave ours be. We handle them only if absolutely necessary. We use removable perches and stands to move them for routine maintenance.