Green Tree Pythons
Green Pythons without a doubt would have to be the most aesthetically beautiful python of the Morelia genus. They are also referred to as Green Tree Pythons (GTP’s) or “Chondro’s”, in reference to their previous genus classification Chondropython.
This arboreal nocturnal gem inhabits the rain forests of New Guinea and some of the surrounding islands that are part of Indonesia. They are of course also found on the Cape York Peninsula of Northern Australia. These pythons attain a length of 1.2 – 1.5m and are considered a smaller python with a relatively small and slender build which coincides with their strictly arboreal nature.
Green Pythons as their common name suggests are typically of green colouration but they also come in a wide array of colours found in both the wild and captive bred designer morphs. Adult colouration, pattern and markings vary from locality to locality. Juvenile green pythons hatch yellow, maroon red and less commonly brown – black or orange.
It’s worth noting that Australian native greens have to date, only produced yellow neonates. Juveniles will remain these colours until about 12 months of age where they will then begin the Ontogenic colour change to their adult colouration. Some animal’s change quickly, even overnight. Though the change usually takes anywhere from several weeks to a few months.
In captivity Green Pythons require a higher level of care/maintenance than other Morelia. They require constant heating year round and regular misting to maintain adequate humidity levels. These pythons rarely descend to the floor so a multitude of perches of various widths and sizes should be provided. As long as these requirements are met the animal becomes very low maintenance.
During the daylight hours these pythons are usually shy, easily handled and well-mannered animals, that is until darkness falls and that quiet calm animal morphs into a hungry feeding machine! Green Pythons as mentioned previously are nocturnal hunters who will often be seen with their head directed toward the cage floor in the typical “ambush” position.
So in keeping with this behavior these pythons are best fed at night. Green Pythons will readily accept a diet of thawed appropriately sized rodents, quail and chick, with neonates establishing on pink mice usually without too much fuss.
A note on Rectal Prolapse:
Green Pythons prolapse part of the bowel each time they defecate, the trouble occurs when the bowel fails to retract and becomes swollen which can result in a potentially fatal condition. Although it is accepted that prolapse in these pythons occurs more frequently in this species than in others, it can hardly be deemed a common occurrence.
If you are thinking of purchasing a Green Python I highly recommend the book “The More Complete Chondro” written by Greg Maxwell.