Children’s python Species Profile & Care Guide

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The Children’s python (Antaresia childreni) is the smallest species of python that occurs naturally in Australia, and can grow to approximately 2 m. These snakes are extremely popular with both reptile keepers and hobbyists due to their manageable size, docile temperament, attractive appearance and ease of maintenance. However, as with all reptiles, they need to be properly cared for in order to thrive in captivity.

This care sheet will cover all aspects of captive housing and feeding for the Children’s python and will hopefully give you the information you need to keep one happy and healthy in captivity!

Scientific name

The Children’s Python (Antaresia childreni) is a species of snake native to Australia. The Children’s Python lives in scrub, grassland, woodland and forest environments. They are an egg-laying species that generally prefers to nest under fallen logs or at the base of dense vegetation. Males can grow up to 10 feet long, while females grow up to 7 feet long. Unlike other types of pythons, the Children’s Python will wrap around its prey and squeeze it until it suffocates before swallowing it whole.

It typically preys on small mammals like mice and rats, but occasionally eats small birds. These snakes don’t usually attack humans unless provoked. When this does happen, the bite causes extreme pain for about six hours after which the venom stops working. Symptoms of envenomation include severe pain and swelling in the affected area, nausea, headache, dizziness and difficulty breathing. Though rare, bites from this species should be taken seriously because they can lead to necrosis or permanent disability if not treated quickly enough.

Scientific classification

The Children’s Python is a subspecies of the Northern Python (Antaresia), and as such is within the family Pythonidae. Antaresia childreni are considered oviparous, with females laying between 12-25 eggs, according to Campbell (1982). Females will lay eggs in damp soil under logs or rocks, inside tree hollows, or abandoned termite nests. Eggs incubate from 4-6 weeks before hatching.

Hatchlings measure about 2 inches in length and are completely independent from birth. They must be cared for by their mother until they reach about 3 feet long. Female Children’s Pythons can live for over 30 years, but males rarely live past 15 years old.

Children's python Information & Care Guide

Other names

Native to Australia, the Children’s Python (Antaresia childreni) is one of the most well-known pythons in captivity, typically bred in the United States. They are considered non-venomous and their natural diet includes rodents and small mammals.

The Children’s Python has a length of 2.5-3 meters on average with some growing up to 3.5 meters long. Females are slightly smaller than males. These reptiles should be kept at a temperature range of 25°C to 29°C and humidity between 60% and 80%. It can take up to three years for them to reach sexual maturity, when they may start producing eggs. A typical clutch size ranges from 10-30 eggs but clutches have been known to contain as many as 100 eggs.


Pythons, including the Children’s Python (Antaresia childreni), are ectothermic meaning that they can only produce their own body heat through metabolism. This means that they rely on external sources to maintain their temperature and it is crucial to have a heat gradient in the enclosure so that it can slowly heat up as it is exposed to the sun or lamps over time.

It also needs to be cooled off at night with cool air or cold water as these animals cannot regulate their own temperatures very well. When it is too hot for them, they will try to escape from direct sunlight and when it gets too cold for them, they will go into torpor which causes the animal’s metabolic rate to decrease significantly.

Size / weight

The Children’s Python is one of the most popular pet snakes in North America, which can make caring for it a little tricky. Many owners find themselves asking, Do Children’s Pythons bite? Well, just like any other snake (especially one that averages 2 to 3 feet long), children’s pythons can certainly bite if provoked or startled. If handled correctly, though, they will typically only strike out as a form of defense. With proper handling and care from its owner, these small but mighty snakes are typically very docile and never attack their handlers.

If you’re wondering how big does a baby Children’s Python get, know that babies usually start out around 5 inches long and can grow up to 5 feet when fully grown! These beautiful snakes come in many different colors and patterns, too – some have yellow stripes, others have reddish brown spots, while still others have silver blotches with black markings. Regardless of what your particular Children’s Python looks like, all require similar care.

Minimum cage size

The smallest enclosure for a juvenile Python is at least 3x3x4 feet. A cage measuring 4x4x6 feet can accommodate up to two juveniles, depending on the sex and age of the animals. A large adult female needs about 8x8x12 feet.

An enclosure for an adult male should be about 6x6x8 feet or larger if possible.
A fully grown male can need 10-15 square feet of space depending on their weight, so you will need to make sure your tank size is sufficient for your snake’s eventual size before it reaches maturity. You may also want to consider building an outdoor pen with plenty of branches for climbing.

If you plan on letting your snake roam free in your yard, make sure that there are no dogs nearby and provide adequate protection from predators (such as coyotes) in the form of netting or other barriers. You may also want to consider constructing a pond where your snake can swim occasionally.

Substrate, heat, lighting, and UVB

Childer’s pythons, Antaresia childreni, are a type of opposite burrower that comes from rainforest in eastern Australia. This species requires a light-medium to heavy substrate depending on the amount of time spent on the surface or hunting during different seasons. One thing to note is that unlike other subspecies within the genus Antaresia, Antaresia childreni does not have a snake skin pattern and is only distinguishable by its black spots.

Young children may be more interested in handling this particular snake because it does not come with the typical warning colors. When caring for this animal, it is important to keep them at temperatures between 76°F and 84°F (24°C and 29°C) with a basking spot up to 92°F (33°C). Children’s pythons require moderate UVB lighting as well as heat lamps with reflectors for basking areas.

Food and feeding schedule

One of the most important things to remember about feeding your pet is that it requires planning, which will save you money in the long run. Feeding should always be done two hours before a shedding cycle starts and two hours after it finishes to make sure shedding is complete and encourage better shed coverage. You can feed once or twice per week, but avoid overfeeding because constipation can occur as a result.

A 5-gallon tub is usually enough for 2-3 weeks worth of food for one large snake. Crickets are the preferred choice for feeding larger snakes, while smaller snakes do well with mealworms or dubia roaches. If you want to get adventurous, go ahead and try different types of bugs like butter worms or locusts!
Mealworm (Zophobas morio)
Dubia roach (Blaptica dubia)
Butter worm (Bos taurus)

Health concerns / diseases

In a perfect world, all creatures would be free from disease. In reality, the world is anything but perfect. This is why it is important to consider the health concerns for this particular species and what you can do to help them stay healthy. Here are some of the most common health concerns in Children’s pythons We don’t know much about their lifespans in captivity because they have only been bred for about 20 years. We recommend doing your research before purchasing one so that you will know what to expect and how to care for them properly.

As with any pet, regular vet visits should be scheduled throughout the animal’s life. It is also recommended to set up an emergency veterinarian as soon as possible in case of emergencies or unexpected accidents. Diet: The first step in caring for your new friend is making sure they get the right food. They need a diet heavy on calcium and vitamin D3. A variety of insects like crickets, mealworms, superworms, earthworms, cockroaches and even silkworms are great options.

History and conservation status

The Children’s Python is a medium-sized snake native to Australia. It can reach lengths of up to 6 ft. They are primarily carnivorous and use constriction to subdue their prey.
Like many animals in the region, the species faces pressure from habitat loss due to the introduction of livestock into natural areas, particularly large grazing animals such as cattle and horses.

The Children’s Python also faces pressure from human consumption, as they are considered a delicacy among indigenous Australians. Their slow reproductive cycle makes them especially vulnerable to overharvesting. In captivity, these snakes can live for about 20 years and lay an average of 4 eggs per clutch.

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