Darwin Carpet Python | Care Sheet | Morelia spilota variegata
A Darwin carpet python or M. s. variegata is the perfect reptile for the first time owner or experienced handler. These beautiful creatures can grow up to six feet in length. When a Darwin is young, they are just like any other snake. They are easily aggravated and may bite anything that they see. Most Darwin’s settle down after a few years and have an easier temperament. It is important to remember that these creatures still can be provoked at any time to bite anyone they are given the possibility to.
After bringing your Darwin carpet python home, it is important to find it a good home. One of the best containers for holding a Darwin is a glass aquarium. This aquarium is strengthened to ensure that the creature is not able to get out of it. Remember to place a strong lid on the top of the habitat to prevent escape. Many owners use a traditional lid but place heavier items such as textbooks or rocks to prevent the python from escaping. There are several guidelines that one needs to consider when trying to determine the correct size for the python’s cage. In an ideal world, the cage should be large enough that the animal is able to fully stretch out its body from tail to head without hitting either side of the cage. Many animals start off in smaller tanks but will require larger tanks as time goes on.
One end of the Darwin carpet python’s cage needs to be heated with the other one cooled. The python should be able to travel back and forth between the two with no problems. A heat lamp should be directed inward to the cage on the warm end. Ideally, the temperature will be 30 to 32 degrees on the warm end with 22 to 26 degrees at the cooler end. The python should have access to the warm heat lamp at least eight to ten hours per day. Some type of substrate needs to be situated on the bottom of the cage. Newspaper work well for a substrate material and only need to be changed once per week. They may need to be changed more often if a large amount of water spills on them or the animal defecates.
The Darwin carpet python loves to be able to soak up their environment. Rocks make a great addition because they allow the python to assist itself when in the shedding stage. Shelter is another key to the python. Household boxes can be used but should be large enough to allow the python to fit inside. A large bowl for soaking should be provided to the Darwin carpet python. The water should be filled and cleaned regularily. The snake will soak in this pool from time to time and it is important that the animal is able to fit themselves comfortabley within it. Rats are the perfect type of prey for an adult Darwin carpet python and mice as hatchlings. Depending upon the size of your python, the size of the prey item needs to change. Typically a feeding pattern of once per week is sufficent.