|Common Name:||Woma Python|
|Life Span:||Average of about 17 years|
|Size:||4.9 to 8.9 feet|
|Habitat:||Grasslands, woodlands, shrublands|
|Country of Origin:||Southwestern Queensland, Central Australia, Western Australia|
The Woma Python is a non-venomous snake that belongs to the constrictor group. They mostly habitat the western and central parts of the continent of Australia and can be found in many different types of habitats such as grasslands and woodlands. As such, they have a type of appearance that allows them to blend well with their usual habitat.
In terms of its size, the Woma Python is a moderately sized type of snake that might not be as big as its Burmese Python counterparts but can reach lengths of almost 9 feet long but are usually somewhere between the 4 to 6 feet range. In that sense, you can say that they are small in relation to the bigger species of pythons. They also do not weigh as heavy as their larger cousins and are somewhere near the 10-pound range in terms of weight. But like most other pythons and species of constrictors, the Woma Python has a thick and stout body that gives it the muscle strength to constrict the breath out of its prey before it decides to swallow it whole.
The Woma Python can be distinguished at first glance just by looking at its color. It is not like most other pythons that have a darker or amber-like color of brown. Instead, this python is mostly light brown in color and can sometimes be closer to yellow or even beige. This light color is adorned with different types of patterns that can somewhat vary depending on the snake and its region. The pattern may be dark chestnut, red, light brown, or near black in terms of color. However, the background color of the snake may also vary as there are Woma Pythons that are grayish or silverish.
The patterns on the Woma Python’s body can somewhat be a bit different or strange because of how they might seem to look a bit fuzzy and are not uniform in terms of appearance. Some of the patterns look like checkerboards, while some may look like stripes. They are also discontinuous and will eventually fade away in the sides or the edges of the Woma Python until they completely disappear near the belly. Speaking of the belly, this python’s belly can also vary and may sometimes look white, gray, or yellow, depending on the snake.
Another thing that makes the Woma Python stand out is its glossy appearance. This snake is covered with rows of smooth scales that are really delightful to touch. The reason why this snake has such smooth scales is that it is a fossorial python, which means that it spends a lot of time burrowing in the ground. Its smooth scales allow it to glide freely through the ground and the sandy substrate it is used to in its arid habitat in some parts of Australia.
Its small eyes are also indicative of its nature as a fossorial snake. The eyes are not only small but also have a large plated scale over it. The small size of the eyes, as well as the scale, makes it easier for it to traverse through the sandy substrate as the scale acts as a protective barrier for its eyes. In all other cases, the Woma Python’s appearance, size, and body build may also vary, especially in the wild because of how easy this snake is to adapt to its environment. In a sense, wild Woma Pythons have overall appearances that differ depending on the conditions of its natural habitat.
The Woma Python starts out as a hatchling that is usually more than half an inch long. They are usually described as cute hatchlings and are quite docile yet voracious feeders as youngsters. These snakes will eventually age to become rapidly growing juveniles that can feed on small mice for about two years until they reach a size big enough for them to be able to eat larger prey items. Usually, the Woma Python will reach its mature length of about 5 feet long when it is somewhere between 2 to 3 years old. That is also the time when they are already sexually mature and are ready for reproduction.
Woma Pythons are carnivorous meat-based eaters that will eat almost any type of animal that is small enough to fit its mouth or match the girth of its body. On top of that, they are very enthusiastic eaters that will not be too difficult to entice whenever it is feeding time. They almost never refuse to eat whatever kind of food you offer them so long as it is a regular part of their diet and that it is not too large for them to swallow whole.
As hatchlings, the Woma Python may be a bit docile, but they are quite the voracious eaters that are already big enough to eat smaller pink mice whole. You do not have to do a lot on your part to feed them with thawed pink mice. Use tweezers to offer the mice to them and then poke the prey item a few times, and you will see them swallowing it in a flash. You can stick to mice as the Woma Python grows older but you should best move the size of the mice up if you notice that your snake is more than big enough to eat bigger rodents.
In the wild, adult Woma Pythons are aggressive eaters that will prey on anything so long as they can eat it. They mostly feed on lizards or even other snakes. In fact, they can withstand the venom of some of Australia’s most venomous snakes. Other than that, they also love to prey on ground-based birds and small mammals such as rabbits. They like to ambush their prey from their burrows and are actively hunting during the night because of their nature as nocturnal reptiles. But if they ambush their prey in burrows, they do not have enough space to constrict them and would try to crush their prey against the inner walls of the burrow to try to kill them. Because this method is not as efficient as constriction, wild Woma Pythons often have battle scars that were the result of their struggle against their prey.
The Woma Python, in captivity, do not have the luxury of hunting for lizards, snakes, or rabbits. Instead, you may want to continue to feed them with bigger mice or with rats because it is easier to get your hands on a constant supply of these rodents. Chicks can also be a good choice for you because they are quite affordable and easy to get. If you can afford them, you may want to feed them with lizards as well, but it might be better to opt for lizards as occasional treats for your reptile.
When feeding your Woma Python, it is always better to use sticks or tweezers to entice them to eat their food. Do not use your bare hands when introducing food to them as you are only inviting danger. Using tweezers or any other tools also prevents the snake from associating your scent with food and will not try to harm you when you are trying to handle them. Speaking of handling, do not handle your snake in a 24-hour span before and after feeding them as this is when they tend to be quite temperamental.
Younger Woma Pythons should be fed regularly and may be fed 2 to 3 times in a single week. You should decrease the feeding schedule as they grow older. Juveniles of about 1 to 3 years old may be fed once a week. But when they mature to become fully grown adults, you should only feed them once every 10 to 14 days to avoid obesity.
One other thing to note here is that, like other snakes, Woma Pythons in the middle of shedding will not eat any food you offer them and may actually feel irritated if you force them to eat. So, if they are shedding, it is best to wait for them to finish shedding when it is time for feeding.
Woma Pythons are nocturnal reptiles that spend most of the days asleep or resting in burrows; they dug or underneath any hiding spot they can find. Meanwhile, they are expected to be at their most active during the evenings after spending all of the daytime sleeping. They may sleep for up to 12 hours and then stay active for the rest of the night. In that regard, your Woma Python’s feeding time should be after dark since they are used to hunting for prey at night in the wild.
Woma Pythons are known to live in dry and arid places in Australia and are most likely used to regions and environments that do not have a lot of water. However, that does not mean that you should skimp out on the water you provide them. The very fact that they live in dry areas is the main reason why you should provide them with a lot of water so as to make sure they stay hydrated. The Woma Python also likes to keep its skin moist by staying under the substrate. In this case, however, having a water dish that is large enough for this moderately sized snake will allow it to keep its skin moist without the need to stay underground.
Woma Pythons will be able to reach their adult size of 4 or more feet in less than two years. However, if you want to breed them, it might be better to go for a Woma Python that is smaller than 4 feet. Most of these snakes will be able to reach their sexual maturity at the age of 2 years and will be able to successfully breed by then.
Male Woma Pythons are known to be very active breeders and can reproduce all year long. However, females only have a few specific times, wherein they will be able to produce eggs. Some females are like males in the sense that they can copulate and mate all year long, but that does not mean that they will produce eggs. As such, it is better to know the time when they can best produce eggs. It is believed that Woma Pythons will be able to successfully reproduce some time during October to November. When trying to do so, it is better to make the enclosure cooler than usual by turning off the lights and the heat pads at night until temperatures drop by about 5 or so degrees and then turning them back on during the day.
When you introduce a male Woma Python to a female counterpart, it will most likely reproduce with the female when temperatures start dropping. This period can last for months. The best indication that they are no longer receptive to mating is when one of them starts becoming less interested in the other. This is most likely the female. Sooner or later, interaction decreases to a minimum. At this time, you can already remove the male from the female’s enclosure.
Common Health Problems
Woma Pythons may be hardy reptiles and are more resilient and are also healthier than most other types of pythons, but they still are prone to some health problems that are not only common for snakes but for other types of pet reptiles as well. Such health problems are usually the cause of a poor diet, environmental conditions, and sanitation.
For one, Woma Pythons are quite the voracious eaters and are very active when it comes to eating anything you offer them. They will almost never refuse a meal even though you just fed them yesterday. However, these snakes were not built to eat on a regular basis and should only eat about once every 10 to 14 days during adulthood. So, if you happen to feed them more times than what is normal, there is a large chance that these snakes will suffer from obesity. Like any other animal, an obese Woma Python will open itself up to many different types of illnesses and health problems that can all potentially lead to an early death.
Another thing to consider here is that there is a chance that your Woma Python will suffer from respiratory infections if you leave them in an enclosure that is too cold and too damp for them. Know the right temperature and humidity levels for these snakes to avoid opening them up to respiratory infections, which usually have symptoms such as mucus, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
One other dangerous aspect of an enclosure with a high humidity level is that it might cause skin blisters and bacterial growth on the snake. That is because the Woma Python is used to environments that are rather dry. So, if you were to keep it somewhere that is too humid for it, it might not be able to adjust well, and it might leave it open to different kinds of health problems.
Lastly, Woma Pythons are like any other reptile in the sense that they may be prone to different types of parasites if you leave them in an environment that isn’t exactly clean enough for them. You will be allowing internal parasites to propagate while also allowing mites and tics to breed on the skin of your python.
Arming yourself with knowledge is one of the better ways of preventing illnesses in your Woma Pythons. The first thing you should know is that they should never be given meals on a regular basis because of how voracious of an appetite these snakes have. They will eat anything you offer them so long as the prey item is a part of their regular diet. In that regard, always make sure to only feed them once every 10 to 14 days to minimize the risk of your snake becoming overweight or obese.
Another thing you should know is that these snakes should be kept in an enclosure with the right temperature and humidity levels to prevent any sort of respiratory infection from plaguing your python. Always keep the temperature and the humidity consistent and see to it that the enclosure is not too cold or too humid for your snakes.
One last thing you should do to prevent illnesses is to always clean the enclosure. On a regular basis, spot cleans your Woma Python’s habitat, especially if you see any sort of dirt or feces. However, you may want to sanitize the entire enclosure maybe once every month to make sure that no bacteria or harmful micro-organism is left behind in the enclosure. You can use a mixture of vinegar and water as your solution whenever you are sanitizing the enclosure. Also, keep an eye on the water dish and replace the water with a fresh batch whenever it gets dirty. Sanitize the water dish as well to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.
Unlike other snakes and even other pythons, the Woma Python actually has a pretty positive temperament. Instead of being as aggressive or as defensive as some other pythons are, these snakes are quite receptive to getting handled by humans and are even a bit friendly when you are handling it. They are not as easily startled as some other snakes are but can still be a sort of defensive if you try to handle them quickly and without caution.
One thing you should consider when you are handling your Woma Python is that you should support as much of its weight as possible because this allows them to feel safe around you. When your python feels safe as you are handling it, its aggressive tendencies, as well as the risk of it biting you are minimized. In that regard, do not leave the heaviest part of its body hanging so that it will feel safe around you.
An important thing to note here is that you should not try to handle your python a day before and after it just ate. When it is hungry, and after it just ate, it is most likely going to be more dangerous to handle because of how it might become more aggressively defensive.
Other than that, if the Woma Python feels safe around you, it will actually enjoy getting handled. It is quite friendly towards someone it trusts and will not be afraid to interact. On your part, you should also relax and give your snake to acclimate to getting handled. Do not be afraid of it jerks its head when you touch it because that is actually very normal for Woma Pythons to do, especially if they are not used to the person handling them. A lot of owners tend to get scared when the python jerks its head but this actually is not a sign of aggression on the part of the snake. And before handling your newly purchased Woma Python, give it a few days to adjust to the new environment first before trying to interact with it.
Woma Pythons normally do not hibernate in the wild as they live in regions that usually do not get to experience winters that are cold enough to induce brumation. However, some breeders believe that inducing hibernation in Woma Pythons is great for producing a larger clutch for breeding. To do so, it might be better to turn down the heat when winter starts so as to force the snake into a hibernated state. When the season starts to get warm again, they will naturally wake up from their hibernation. But if you have no plans of breeding your snake, there is no reason for you to let it hibernate during the winter season.
The Woma Python is one of the few species of pythons that is very easy to handle in captivity because of how it tends to adjust quickly to life in captive care. The best thing about that is that this python will not demand a lot from you in terms of time and money since it is a rather affordable snake when it comes to captive care and housing.
The one thing you should first keep in mind when you are providing an enclosure for your Woma Python is to give it a rather spacious housing that does not have to be too big or too expensive. You can use whatever kind of housing for the enclosure of your Woma Python. Some like using reptile terrariums that are made of glass while others can already do well when using aquariums. A glass enclosure that is about 4 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 3 feet high can already be a good house for your snake. Some can also do well when using a 40-gallon terrarium.
Keeping your snake in a moderately spacious kind of enclosure allows it to move around and stay active. Also, the reason why you should make sure that you keep it in a terrarium that is quite high is that it allows you to place a substrate that is deep enough for it to burrow through since the Woma Python is known to be a semi-fossorial snake that loves to stay underground in burrows it borrowed from reptiles and mammals.
You should see to it that the Woma Python’s enclosure is sturdy enough to prevent it from breaking the glass when it is moving around. Also, secure the top opening well to prevent it from escaping. It might be better to have a top opening with a lock. Another thing to consider here is to place air vents on the top opening to promote the flow of air in and out of the enclosure. This helps keep the snake’s house humid.
Lighting and Humidity
Woma Pythons are nocturnal reptiles and are more than often asleep or hiding during the day and active throughout the evening. In that sense, there really is no real reason for you to use a lighting unit for your Woma Python’s enclosure other than to provide it with a natural light schedule it can follow. Full-spectrum or ultraviolet B lights also are not essential or necessary, but they do provide your snake with a lot of benefits. And if you are using a heating pad to provide warmth, there is no reason for you to use a strong light source such as an incandescent bulb.
Humidty levels should be kept consistent inside the enclosure. See to it that it is around 50% but not higher than 60% because this will allow bacteria to propagate and will also cause skin irritations on your snake. The best way to keep humidity levels consistent is to mist the enclosure from time to time to keep the substrate moist but not too damp or wet. A large water bowl is also very important in keeping the enclosure humid enough for your Woma Python.
Woma Pythons are used to hot desert-like environments in Australia. As such, it is essential that you keep them in a warm enough environment so that they can thrive well and stay healthy. Keep temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit but probably not more than 85. However, there should be a hotspot or a basking area that has a temperature of about 90 degrees. The purpose of the hotspot is for your snake to have a basking area they can use after eating.
To keep temperatures up, you might want to use a strong light source such as a heat lamp. But heat lamps may not be the most ideal source of heat for your enclosure because of the Woma Python’s nocturnal tendencies. Instead, it might be better for you to use a heating pad that provides warmth without the light that heat lamps produce. This allows you to keep temperatures consistent even at night without disrupting the Woma Python’s natural light schedule.
Like any other snake, Woma Pythons will shed over time as they outgrow their skin. Shedding is much more common during their earlier years because of how fast their growth rate is at that point. Unlike some other reptiles, Woma Python’s or snakes, in general tend to shed their skin whole. To aid them in shedding, you might want to make sure that their skin is moist so that shedding happens quickly. They may get a bit temperamental during shedding and should not be handled. Woma Pythons also tend to lose their appetite while shedding so avoid trying to feed them in the middle of their shedding.
Another thing you should always keep in mind when keeping a Woma Python or any other pet reptile, in general, is to keep its enclosure or habitat clean. While spot cleaning on a regular basis helps, you should always consider sanitizing the entire enclosure at least once a month to prevent molds, bacteria, and other micro-organisms from propagating. Sanitizing the water dish is also very important in this regard. You can use a mixture of vinegar and water for sanitizing both the enclosure and the water dish.
Natural Environment – Substrate
When providing your Woma Python’s enclosure with a substrate, make sure that it is something that the snake can easily dig through because of how they love burrowing when sleeping or resting during the day. You may want to consider using newspapers or mulch (aspen or cypress). Mulch might be the better choice for you because of how it is great at keeping moisture. Make sure that the substrate is about at least half a foot deep so that the Woma Python can dig through it and hide its entire body under it when needed. Make sure that the substrate is moist enough and never leave it to dry out.
Woma Pythons might be used to environments that are dry and arid, but they still need regular hydration by drinking water, staying under the moist substrate, or soaking inside their water dish. Providing a large water dish is the best way to keep them hydrated as they do not only drink water out of it but also soak in it. Also, keep the substrate moist because this does not only help in keeping humidity levels up but also allows the Woma Python’s skin to stay hydrated when it is staying in its burrow.
Availability – Where to Get One?
Woma Pythons are not very common in a lot of American snake and reptile stores but captive-bred specimens may be available in different reptile-specialty stores online if you search well enough. Woma Pythons are not the most expensive pet snakes to have and some can be found within the $300 price range, which might be a bit too steep for some but is actually very reasonable for a snake that is as uncommon as this one.
How to Care for a Woma Python?
Here are some tips on how to care for a Woma Python:
- As voracious eaters, the Woma Python should be kept under control when it comes to their feeding schedule so as to prevent them from getting obese. It is best to feed adult Woma Pythons once every 10 to 14 days.
- Woma Pythons are easy to handle so long as they trust you well enough. The best way to earn their trust is to give them time to adjust and to support their entire body weight as much as possible when handling them.
- A Woma Python’s enclosure should be spacious enough for it to stay active and should also be quite deep for it to burrow through.
- Keep an eye on the humidity levels of the Woma Python’s enclosure so as to prevent bacterial and respiratory infections.
Are Woma Pythons venomous?
Similar to any kind of python, Woma Pythons are not venomous. However, they are usually mistaken as venomous snakes because they have an appearance that is quite similar to some other varieties of venomous snakes.
Are Woma Pythons good for beginner owners?
For beginner snake owners, Woma Pythons might be good because of how easy they are to handle compared to some other types of snakes. However, they might not be the best for a beginner pet owner in general.
Do Woma Pythons bite humans?
Woma Pythons are not too aggressive when it comes to humans and are generally friendly. However, if they feel like you are a threat, they might not take your approach too well and might end up biting you.
How much do Woma Pythons usually cost?
Woma Pythons cost somewhere near the $300 price range and are generally more affordable than other types of pythons.
Can you keep two Woma Pythons in the same enclosure?
If you are talking about two males, then it might not be a good idea because of their territorial tendencies. But if you want to breed them, putting a male and a female in an enclosure during breeding season is just fine.
How long are Woma Pythons?
While some Woma Pythons can grow close to 9 feet, they are generally somewhere near the 6-foot mark.
Why is my Woma Python always in its burrow?
Woma Pythons are semi-fossorial snakes that spend a lot of time in burrows to keep their skin moist while they are resting during the day. But if you notice that your snake is always in its burrow even at night, then you might want to check the living conditions of its enclosure.