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  1. #1
    Registered User Homebody's Avatar
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    Children's or Spotted Python?

    I'm considering getting a Children's or a Spotted Python and I'd like the opinion of experienced keepers as to which would be better for me. I have a couple years experience keeping a ball python. He died recently (Cancer). I live in an apartment in Jersey City, NJ with my wife, 14 year old son and two parakeets. Space constraints limit me to a 3x2x2.

    I loved my ball, but when I originally got it, I got it for my daughter (since moved to college), so it's docile nature was particularly appealing. This snake I'm getting for myself and I'd like something that's a little more active and with a little more spunk.

    I've done a little research into the smaller pythons and boas. My apartment is too warm for a Rosy Boa. Ambient temps range from the low 70's to the mid 80's. I considered a Jungle Carpet but I think a 3x2x2 may be too small for an adult. From what I've read, the Children's and Spotted Pythons seem like the best fit for me. Most of what I read lumped the two species together, so I could use some help differentiating them from each other. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Your apartment is NOT "too warm for a rosy boa"- I've kept & raised (& in the past, even sold) them for many years. There are coastal, mountain & desert varieties, btw, but pretty much they'd all be happy at your place. But I agree that Aussie pythons prefer & need the higher temps in comparison.

    In any case, the little Aussie pythons you're interested in make (IMO) better pets than rosy boas. Some of this is personal preference & admittedly a few decades of experience w/ rosy boas, (so ie. the spotted python is more "novel" to me) but the one characteristic that stands out to me is that rosies often go off eating for a while in winter. Not as bad as BPs- it's all season-related (ie. logical), but my Spotted NEVER fasts. Never. Also, she is more 'nosy', very aware of activity around her home MOST of the time- mine is not a bit shy, more like "on alert" & just nosy.

    Nor does she need her f/t or fresh-killed small mice 'warmed' the way BPs do. She's an absolute peach of a pet- a good appetite, eats from tongs, & never bites ME! Accidentally or otherwise.

    I can't help much with differentiating between Children's & Spotted pythons, since I've only kept this ONE- a spotted python, which I still have- she's about 13 years old now, & an EXCELLENT small pet python- she lacks for nothing, IMO. She also likes (NEEDS) it warm. Your desired enclosure size is fine also- mine uses her basking branches & driftwood daily when not in shed. Mine does best with a humid hide*- she really needs it for shedding, even though I live in a humid state. *I also think it's probably healthier than humidifying her entire home, since warmth + moisture often nets you mold & thriving bacteria, as BP-keepers know well.

    My spotted has remained healthy (thus far)- I got her as an unwanted yearling: she refused to eat live & the guy who bred her was talking about killing her because she annoyed him! Apparently the others he bred would eat live mice (pinkies at the time- he bred them) but she was the horrible hold-out. (jerk!) BTW, had he done some research, he'd have also known that they start off (in nature) eating small lizards, & her fear of mice was well-founded, normal & instinctive. A little research goes a long way... She ate the very first day I got her & hasn't stopped since.

    Anyway, as far as I know, there's not much difference between the 2 Aussie pythons- spotted pythons get a little bigger, but that's not saying much. Mine is about 3.5'- easy to hold. If she is typical, they tend to be grippy when held (stronger than you might imagine- apparently they don't like to fall) & since they obviously climb well, I assume they survive & hunt in the wild by doing so. Snakes can pounce on small prey running beneath them, & trust me, even rosy boas know that. Their round bodies don't climb well, but you do find them sometimes in desert scrub bushes, enjoying the "view".

    I've read accounts of others keeping the Aussie pythons- many say they're docile pets like mine is, others claim theirs are quite nippy. I think much depends on the keeper & their patience, but there may also be some genetic tendencies- so I'd say research the breeder if you can. In other words, don't buy from a big retailer that may be "unloading" what breeders couldn't sell.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 10-24-2021 at 12:37 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  4. #3
    Registered User Hugsplox's Avatar
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    Re: Children's or Spotted Python?

    I think Bogertophis said everything I could and more, so I'll just add a few notes on my experience with spotted pythons. I've had mine for probably about 6 months now give or take, and he has been an absolute blast to keep. Unfortunately for me, my wife thought so too and ďstoleĒ him to live permanently in her office.
    What I love about these guys is you get a lot of the behavior of the larger pythons in a super manageable size.

    I like to think of mine as a mini-carpet because a lot of the behavior that got me interested in carpets, I can observe in him. Hasnít refused a meal yet, but I will say mine is a little aggressive at feeding time. Iíve never been bitten, but I did start using a longer set of thongs just to be safe lol. If I donít have a mouse on me though, this guy will almost crawl up on my arm on his own.

    Highly recommend them if youíre in the market for a fun, and in my opinion easy to care for, snake.

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  6. #4
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    To say my Spotted python is an enthusiastic feeder (yes-on already dead mice, not warmed up) is an understatement. This would be THE wrong snake to confuse into giving me a feeding bite, because she wraps so hard- her grip strength is impressive. Fortunately, that's easily avoided using feeding tongs, & at other times, she's not prone to "confusion" when handled. As a pet snake, she gets a score of 10 out of 10 from me, based on attributes, behavior, ease of care (including size), etc. Did I mention mine has awesome iridescence too? She's a dark brownish-green with darker speckles ("granite phase", not a "normal") so her shine really shows up. She wasn't chosen for appearance at all though, she was a rescue.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  8. #5
    Registered User Homebody's Avatar
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    Re: Children's or Spotted Python?

    Thanks. I don't suppose there is much difference between Childrens and Spotteds. Makes sense. Until the 80's, they were the same species. Sharing your experiences only makes me more anxious to get one. I'll have to tighten up my enclosure to make sure it can't escape. My ball couldn't but he was much bigger. And I'll have to save up the dough, but as soon as I can, I'm going to get myself one of these.

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  10. #6
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Yes, they do start out small- so "tightening up" is a good precaution. I suspect you'll be just as delighted with yours as we (here) are. I look forward to you sharing your experiences too.

    Another nice thing is that they can eat small adult mice for life, once they reach adult size- I mean that they don't need to switch to rats for a bigger size, like so many do with BPs. They're just a fun little snake, every inch a "real" python.

    Mine was a yearling when she was shipped to me- and she was never shy or nippy- she just settled in immediately & seemed very relieved that I gave her f/t pinkies right off, lol.

    I love that mine eats any time of day, dim light not needed either, & right out in the open from her basking branches. These are snakes you can watch without them needing therapy, lol. A big attitude in a compact size, & while I've only known this one, from what others have said about theirs has convinced me that mine is very typical. I think many BPs are "prettier" but I choose snakes more for personality than coloration, & I like her wild & natural look anyway.

    She has also done great with a few public "meet & greets" -being held, cuddled by total strangers didn't faze her one bit. But that was before COVID-19, of course. Not doing that stuff now.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  12. #7
    Registered User Homebody's Avatar
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    Re: Children's or Spotted Python?

    I'm glad to hear their reputation as nippy may be overblown. I wouldn't want my son to be scared to handle him. And I'll be happy to share my experience. As I said, the first step for me will be tightening up my enclosure. Once I have a plan, I'll share it.

  13. #8
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Children's or Spotted Python?

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebody View Post
    ...I wouldn't want my son to be scared to handle him...
    Nor would I. Spotted pythons like to be warm- that helps them take naturally to hands & being cuddled. Mine is great at being held & "sitting still".

    Of course, any tiny hatchling & neonate snakes can be defensive, but they usually learn quick, while their teeth are of little consequence anyway.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 10-26-2021 at 09:32 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  15. #9
    Registered User Hugsplox's Avatar
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    Re: Children's or Spotted Python?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Nor would I. Spotted pythons like to be warm- that helps them take naturally to hands & being cuddled. Mine is great at being held & "sitting still".

    Of course, any tiny hatchling & neonate snakes can be defensive, but they usually learn quick, while their teeth are of little consequence anyway.
    I'll add that when mine was smaller he was a tad defensive, but once he got through his first 3 feedings and I started doing some handling sessions he relaxed a lot. Now handling him is about the same as a BP, the big difference is the spotted python is a lot more active while holding than the BP. They're impressively strong for such a small snake which gives me some peace of mind because I don't worry as much about dropping him and once my little one is old enough to start handling I won't worry as much about her dropping him either.

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  17. #10
    BPnet Veteran Caitlin's Avatar
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    We've already chatted via PM but I just had to chime and agree with how wonderful the Antaresia are. You can see by my signature that I have a lot of snakes - and I really love and enjoy each one of them. But if I were forced to choose only one type, it would be Antaresia, with the Dumeril's Boas being a close second. The photo below is of Miso, one of my Children's Pythons, resting after a climbing/exploring session on the little 'jungle gym' I made for them.

    As I mentioned to you, I think starting with a hatchling would be best so that you can start behavioral management to reduce the chance of an overly-enthusiastic feeding response. You have a few options there - The 'Ants' are intelligent and interactive little snakes that respond very well to any sort of training. I use target training with mine: they clearly understand that if they see the target, a meal is coming, but if I am interacting with them and there is no target, then they aren't getting fed.

    Be really vigilant about the enclosure. After a couple of hard lessons I won't use any enclosure with sliding front doors for mine, and if your enclosure has holes drilled for probe placement, etc. be sure to use some modeling clay to pack in around the wires so that there is no possible way to escape. People say small colubrids are great escape artists, but I honestly have never experienced any snake as good at escaping as these little guys, especially when they are hatchling/young juveniles. They are nearly supernatural in their abilities.

    You mentioned budget, and I will say that another nice thing about Antaresia is that - maybe because they aren't well-known in the U.S. yet - the prices for Spotted, Stimson's, and Children's are still quite low. The exception is the tiny Anthill Pythons, which are usually quite pricey because there are very few breeders in the U.S. and the miniscule hatchlings (they can perch coiled quite comfortably on a fingertip) are hell to get started on regular feeding.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    1.0 Jungle Carpet Python 'Ziggy'
    0.1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa 'Mara'
    1.1 Tarahumara Mountain Boas 'Paco' and 'Frida'
    2.0 Dumeril's Boas 'Gyre' and 'Titan'
    1.0 Stimson's Python 'Jake'
    1.1 Children's Pythons 'Miso' and 'Ozzy'
    1.0 Anthill Python 'Cricket'
    1.0 Plains Hognose 'Peanut'
    1.1 Rough-scaled Sand Boas 'Rassi' and 'Kala'
    0.4 Oregon Red-spotted Garters
    1.0 Ball Python (BEL) 'Sugar'
    1.0 Gray-banded Kingsnake 'Nacho'
    1.0 Green Tree Python (Aru) 'Jade'

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