Bothrochilus Albertisii 'White-Lipped Python'

The Bothrochilus Albertisii, a.k.a. Northern White-Lipped Python is a species that is not very often found in captivity. This probably has to do with the fact that they have a reputation of being very agressive, well agressive might not be the right word but nippy is. My experience is that this is only true for wild caught specimens. They don't head bump you like alot of agressive snakes do but they will bite you at the first time. Captive born White-Lipped pythons only do this when they are young. With frequent hook handling and a lot of patience they will calm down quickly.

White-Lipped Pythons have a wide distribution range in Papua New Guinea and also inhabit several islands. Leipython Albertisii can only be found in the Northern part of Papua New Guinea. Here it lives in the dense forests but can also be found near small villages. Like Mark 'O Shea mentioned in one of his books, it wasn't uncommon to find several White-Lipped Pythons on a night time snake hunting trip.

Leiopython Albertisii - White Lipped PythonBothrochilus Albertissi can reach a length of 200 till 220cm. Combining this with the fact that they can be nippy snakes this isn't a snake for a beginning snakekeeper. Like mentioned before captive bred specimens can be calmed down a lot with frequent hook handling and a lot of patience. This does not mean they are easy to handle, even tough they can be calmed down they remain very nervous snakes. When touched with a handling hook they will hiss and let you know they are not amused with the attempt to pick them up. It seems they communicate with the hisses because it aren't long hisses like most snakes do when provoced, but it is a quick intens hiss. You could say this is a more intelligent species then other pythons. When observing them at night they will stop moving when they see you approach the cage. They seem to study your intentions by following your motions clearly with there eyes. Another fun fact about these White-Lipped pythons is that they can change color. In the night they get a very nice golden color but when it becomes day light this golden colour becomes more brown/black. This might have to do with the fact that darker colors pick up sunlight better then light colors.

A vivarium of 120x60x60cm is enough for a single specimen. This species loves to climb so try to keep in mind that you provide them with higher places they can climb on. I heat the cage with a heating mat wich is placed under a large tile. This tile will consume the heat nicely which means you need a lower amount of watts to reach the right temperature. White-Lipped Pythons do not like a very warm environment. A hot spot of 33 degrees combined with a cool side of 24 degrees is enough for this species to thermoregulate properly. Try to keep the humidity high because it is a tropical species. This can be done by spraying the substrate regularly or by placing a humidifier in your snake room.

Leiopython Albertisii - white Lipped PythonA young White-Lipped python ca be fed with life or dead mice, when they become older you need to switch them over to rats. I prefer feeding them dead preys because they are very quick and food responsive. When they are not taking a life prey item it can be quite the adventure getting the prey item out of the cage. This means you have to catch a very fast, large rat which is not happy of being in the environment of the snake. And you have to deal with a very fast python which is in hunting mode and could mistake your hand for the prey item.

Bothrochilus Albertisii become mature at the age of for years but will not breed till they are 6-8 years old. Breeding this species is not easy, it can occur the animals will mate together but often they female will not lay eggs. In the wild the animals start to surch for a partner at the beginning of the rainy period. This means you have to start spraying them alot from november till march. In this period you can place the animals together on a 3 week period. After a 64 till 71 days after ovulation the female will lay 7-15 eggs. when keeping the eggs on a 31 till 31,5 degrees celcius temperature range the gestation will take place after 55 till 60 days. When born the neonates are 40 till 50cm long and are very nippy. After 10 days the neonates will shed and can be fed for the first time with a mouse.

Photos used in this care sheet are not from my animals.