My breeding sheet for Diamond python

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MoOrelia

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As requested by some i translated the breeding sheet i wrote about diamond python, that was published on Reptil Mag (France) late 2011.
This paper was wrote, as no such thing existed there, and i could do it owing to all of thoose gave me advice, and i thanks you all for that again.

I translated it a bit quickly, I don not pretend to wrote the bible for it, only what appears to be the most praticed for this species (at leaste with europe conditions).


Description:

Species belonging to the group of Morelias and spilota sub species. Of moderate size 180-200cm on average. But some individuals reach record sizes of 280cm or more sometimes (very rarely). Some females reach up to 4-5kg in adulthood when the male as in snake is usually more moderate.
Wearing two dresses can black / white or Black / yellow belly and cream / white. Their common name comes from their pattern recalling the precious object. The scales are black, and the center can see the lighter color (yellow or white). Of all the snake length, dorsal and lateral, it is covered with white spots surrounded by black. They have a morphology identical to other spilota: a well demarcated head neck, a slender little stocky, and have obviously also of labial pits. Juveniles in turn are much less attractive than an adult as they are very dull with few scales clear.


Range:

This is a single python has courted a pretty cool area, it is found along the southern coast of Australia along the State of New South Wales (NSW), overlapping the top of Victoria and southern Queensland, where it is naturally inter-grade with morelia mcdowelli. In this zone, the thermal gradient day / night it is very important all year, and the temperature difference between summer and winter. In summer, daytime temperatures can exceed 35 ° C, while the night is falling on average to 10-15 ° C. In winter, temperatures rarely exceed 20 ° C, and nights are sometimes very low fall below 0 ° C. In addition to changing temperature climate is too, since little move quickly from very sunny day, dry days of heavy rain. But in no case the diamond python hibernates. It is frequently found in dry grasslands, forests and rocky road. For all this we can see that this is a most atypical morelia, far from a tropical biotope as some.


Habits:

Commonly semi arboreal, but there is no rule, some specimens will climb other all their lives will never curl up on the stick provided by the owner. But in general, at least as juveniles, he likes to make the climb.
In nature, the day has little easily met on a rock or on a garden table, absorbing the suns scoff, it stores the heat and trying to keep up during the night hiding in a corner. That why he eats little or not at all for 2-3 months in winter. The temperatures are very cool as we have already said, making prey less frequent over the diamond python needs to stay in the shelter to conserve body heat, so it leaves little to hunt during this period.


Terrarium:

- Layout:
For my part I would recommend for an adult about a terrarium 140x50x50 minimum to adjust according to preference of the specimen (tree or not). For the substrate I use poplar chips "Aspen Pro", very fine and little dusty. Otherwise the classic beech bark will do nicely, it is widely used to meet the needs of low humidity of the species. A cache on each side will be appreciated not forget he loves to snuggle in leaves or under a rock, especially during cool. Some even use a box insulation in winter allows the snake to keep a little heat at night.
-Temperatures:
The most important part! We all recognize one rule: you must reproduce at best in a terrarium conditions of natural habitat in which the snake evolves. Here we have case temperatures low enough, and lack of knowledge by some breeders are hibernating the diamond python, or leave the terra 3 months without heating for the winter, or none of these methods does not reflect reality! And this is how we risk respiratory problems. Contrary to prevent some farmers (European and American) overheating the terra (up to 40 ° C in a hot spot and cold spot was never below 25 ° C) ... the one must ask certain questions, remember that weather conditions are listed in the genes of snakes. Not respecting natural parameters is as stupid as to maintain 100% humidity all day for fear of viridis a bad moult, to maintain an Pogona without UV or sub feed to keep a Reticulated as small as possible ...
The gradient must be important, the temp is between 28 ° and 32 ° from a breeder to another, so I would opt for 30 ° C hot spot. For the cold spot a large thermal gradient is not awkward it can drop to 22 ° C in the day.
The night some will not heat at all but a gradient of 22 ° C to 18 ° C will be appreciated.
For the winter period: this species needs a fresh period of about 2-3 months a year. Many people dislike the Stan Chiras solution that offers the plunge into hibernation, and it very quickly. In the wild they do not hibernate. For this period we offer a hot spot of 28 to 30 ° C on 8h in the day. The remaining time may not have heat. At night, during this period, there is no point since heat must reach at least down to 18 ° C for young people between 12-15 ° C and for more mature. The use of lighting is not a requirement if the room is lit even if it is often practiced. For my part I use ceramic lamps 60W protected, to locate a hot spot and the rest of terra remains at low temperature with good gradient. I use natural lighting 8W per tube. We can do without, but if lighting is too low in your room I would recommend putting a light source, not just for UV but to stimulate them with a light cycle marked, and make the most of their colors .

-Humidity:
There is no debate, it should be between 40 and 60% max. Most of the farmers do not spray even during molting without having problems. But nothing prevents us from providing a small box a bit wetter, but normally a bowl of water to moderate size sufficient to their needs. Proper ventilation must be large enough, some breeders keep them even in terra screened indoors with no problems shedding.


Feeding :

True to its genre diamond does not usually difficult to prey. However it is not nearly as "guzzler" that some morelias, and we will sometimes prey denied. But this snake can take a long time without eating, so it is useless to attempt anything is anything from the first prey denied. The sayings that I have had many specimen prefers rats to mice, therefore preferred. But we often hear is it's true: this species is prone to obesity. Suffice it to an appropriate size of prey a week max to 2-3years then be able to feed every 2 weeks or less (some feeding every 4 weeks with no problem). Regarding the period no longer fresh feeding should be done either for juvenile or adult. This snake can take a very long time without eating, and do not need to feed over the winter. After feeding they greatly appreciate the slightly warmer temperatures in the range of 32-35 ° C, a few hours a day. Diamond pythons have a slow metabolism, and may take a long time without eating, they can survivrent a year without eating and without complication. Some juveniles have expected nine months before the first swallow their prey! But of course it is not recommended starved specimen that accepts each prey without problem.


Reproduction:

- Method:
It will take to have a female about 5 years old and 180cm. The winter period shall be carefully executed, November, December and January are the months well suited to us to set up this time. Have thus gradually decrease the lighting and heating for a period of 3 months. Some Australian cut the heating completely for several days to stimulate the pythons. Females should be more thoroughly before nourrits cool period, and especially after spawning. Before introducing the / males must ensure that all specimens have an empty stomach, but as we have taken care not to feed them for the last 2-3 months it should not be any problems. After this period, one can introduce several all male, the female will be stimulated. We begin by introducing a male first few days and then have added a second for 3-4 days after we separate all the world. This can be applied for 2 months increased the odds, or until they perceive the female ovulating. Between copulation and oviposition it takes about 80 days, the pre-spawning molt occurs 22 days before spawning. Care should be taken to install a few days before a brood box containing several inches of peat moss. Hatching takes place about 52 days after spawning, the eggs must be kept at 32 ° over a period of 50-55 days. The average of a range is quite high and can easily reach more than 15 eggs (range of more than 25 small are common). The eggs are about 30 to 45% by weight of the female, why do not reproduce every year and two years left to see a re-worse.
- neonates:
For sexing, even juvenile there is no problem, count 4-5 scales for the female and over 10 for males. The first moult occurs within 2 weeks. The reserves accumulated after hatching might enable them to take months, it is not "urgent" to feed them. May have to wait two weeks after molting (approximately 4 weeks after hatching) to offer a suitable prey, no need to feed more than once a week. The first year temperature cycling and fasting are not obligatory, it says it is appropriate to begin these two parameters dice the second winter.


Purchase :

The number of breeder of this species in France can be counted on the fingers of one hand, it is difficult to find specimens born in captivity throughout the year.
In mid-2010 prices for the NC juvenile in the best neighborhood of € 600 for a male and about 1000 € for a female, is from 1600 to 2000 € for a couple. Today the prices drop a bit to get for 1200€ for a yearling couple.
The best-known breeders of this species in Europe are Mats Jacobsson, Precision Reptiles, Marc Mense, Daniel Pottier (Reptibel) and Reinhauld Maugg.


In short :

It is noteworthy that this python, provided with beautiful colors, keeps size and reasonableness. Even if the maintenance is very different from other morelias is a species manageable by most of the love of the genre. However, do not let all hands, an experience with the kind morelia is more than recommended. But with the diversity of knowledge that have today is no longer a species that must be scary. Unable to share the climatic conditions of the other Pythons, it is easier to keep them in a separate room.
Breeders breeding these wonderful Australian Pythons indoors and outdoors for years without problems, keeping in mind to let them live as they would in their gardens, it has added the decreasing price this is a python that I 'hope will quickly become more democratic in our farms!


Recap Sheet:

Range: South East Coast of Australia.
Adult size: 180 to 200 cm on average.
Biotope: Boulder field, meadows, forests.
Habits: Semi arboreal, nocturnal.
Food: Rodents, birds, moderate dose.
Character: Not aggressive, active.
Season temperatures: 30 ° C - 22 ° C
Winter temperature: 30 ° C - 15 ° C (2-3 months a year)
Humidity: 40 to 60%


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