How Long do Reticulated Pythons Get (and How Long Does it Take Them to Grow)?

Reticulated Python

I was wondering how long reticulated pythons got and how long it took them to grow, so I did some research. I did this research because it is important to know (when looking at what type of snake to buy) how long each species of snake gets and how long it takes them to reach that length.

So, how long do reticulated pythons get, and how long does it take them to grow? Reticulated pythons are one of the longest snakes in the world and can grow to be 32 feet but most adults will only grow to be around 20 feet. The first few years of a reticulated python’s life, they have been known to grow more than 5 feet in a year, but after about the first 3 years their growth rate slows down a bit.

If reticulated pythons can grow so long, how long does that mean they live? And because they are so big, does that make them dangerous? Can you keep a reticulated python as a pet? What are like in the wild? There are so many questions that come to mind after learning about the length of these massive pythons, so I thought I’d do a little more research and let you all know what I found.

It’s Crazy how Big Reticulated Pythons Get

Reticulated Pythons are mammoth sized snakes in the snake community and as we learned can grow crazy fast, but learning this information made me want to learn more.

What is crazy to me about the length of reticulated pythons is what that means for their size. The weight of a reticulated python is 350 pounds! How Wild!

Anacondas are big snakes and I cannot imagine having one as a pet. Yet reticulated pythons are bigger! Plus they are kept as pets. If you could swoon online I would be swooning now. 

Can You Have a Reticulated Python as a Pet?

The basic answer to this question is yes. People are allowed to have reticulated pythons as pets and they are fairly easy to purchase.

When purchasing a reticulated python though you have to be careful to make sure you are buying from a credible source, and most of the time you will want to buy from a breeder because buying a reticulated python that was caught in the wild can cause a lot of problems. These problems can be because of temperaments and because of all of the parasites they carry.

Although it is legal to own reticulated pythons, it is strongly suggested by zoos that people do not keep them as pets. Zoos make this request because of how big these snakes get and how much food they consume, but mostly they ask people not to keep them as pets because of how long they live. It is easy to get sick of feeding and housing a really big snake after ten or twenty years, but imagine keeping one for twenty to thirty years. So zoos suggest finding a different type of snake for a pet.

If you are going to keep a reticulated python as a pet though, there are a few essential things that you will need to know. The space that is needed for your python:

These creatures are not small by any means and as such need a large enclosure to hold them. This enclosure should be around 3 feet high and 4 feet wide by 10 feet long. It is super important that the enclosure is tight and that there is a lock so that the python has no means of escaping.

The enclosure needs a substrate flooring of either Aspen or Cyprus mulch that needs to be changed regularly. You need to supply the proper amount of heating and humidity to keep your snake healthy, using heating lamps and pads have proven successful.

Reticulated pythons are super food oriented and most pythons will not accept pre-killed food. A good way to feed them is to offer a good sized food that is about as thick as the thickest part of your snake every 7-10 days. Lastly, they need a heavy water dish that won’t easily tip over and the water will need to be cleaned every few days.

Needless to say, these creatures are a lot of work and as some zoo specialists would say, are better off in the wild.

How Long do Reticulated Pythons Live?

Reticulated pythons are one of the largest snakes in the wild and in captivity and they also have a surprising lifespan. Reticulated pythons live for about 15-20 years on average but are known to live up to 30 years as well.

Unlike a lot of snakes whose lifespans increase while in captivity the lifespan of reticulated pythons stays the same whether or not they live in the wild or are raised in captivity.

Are Reticulated Pythons Dangerous? 

While Reticulated pythons are not known for hunting humans and have rarely caused harm, these creatures are still dangerous and there have been cases of these reptiles killing humans.

Normally though, reticulated pythons tend to have a more docile personality and don’t seem to be interested in causing much harm to the humans around them. Reticulated Pythons are constrictor snakes, which means that they are nonvenomous.

In order to kill their prey, reticulated pythons bite their prey and then wrap their bodies around their prey and squeeze. Their prey will soon die mostly of suffocation and rarely of crushing. But needless to say, out of all the big snakes out there, there are very few and probably the least amount of human attacks made by a reticulated python.

How do Reticulated Pythons Live in the Wild?

Reticulated Pythons are native to South East Asia and love the humid conditions of the rainforest. They are normally found near a water source and as such can be found around river, streams, and ponds. These creatures are predators and because of their coloration, they can easily camouflage into the rainforest floors, where they lay in wait of unsuspecting prey.

Younger and smaller reticulated pythons aren’t as ground constricted and can often be found climbing around in trees and shrubs. Reticulated pythons are known to be very aggressive when defending themselves. They will raise their heads off the ground and hiss loudly before repeatedly striking at the creature that is invading their space.

After they have caught their prey though, reticulated pythons will often retreat into a crevasse or cave. Because they are nocturnal reptiles, most of their activity happens at night.

Reticulated Pythons are large and because of that their prey must be rather large as well.

A normal diet for a reticulated python would consist of medium to large sized mammals like monkeys, pigs, birds, and deer. Swallowing their prey whole and having their prey be so large, one meal may last a reticulated python several months.

Reticulated pythons mate in the wild and the female then lays eggs, her clutch could be as little as 20 eggs and as big as 100 eggs, it all depends on the mom’s size. The bigger the snake, the larger her clutch.

Something that is unique about reticulated pythons is that after the female snake lays her eggs, she will then spend the next few months guarding and protecting the eggs until they hatch. This is unique because a lot of the species of snakes do not protect their eggs.

Related Questions

What do Reticulated Pythons look like? Reticulated pythons are very long and thick. They have big brown spots that are connected by either dark brown or black skin. Although, the majority of this species is quite large, there are some dwarf reticulated pythons that only get to be 7-12 feet long.

How many teeth do Reticulated Pythons have? Surprisingly, reticulated pythons have about 100 teeth. They are all angled backwards towards the back of the mouth and help the snake hold on as it wraps around and strangles its prey.

What is a Reticular Python morph? A reticulated morph python is a reticulated python that has different color patterns than normal but is still the same species. There are 18 different variations of the reticulated python that breeders have mastered.

Gracie Lords

Hi, my name is Gracie Lords and I am a crazy but hilarious English major. I love to write and love even more to edit. I don't love classic literature but probably because I consider Harry Potter to be one of the best books ever. I love learning more and as my husband can attest I have a need to be right, even when I am wrong. I hope you enjoy learning more about snakes!

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