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The Carpet Snake – A Beautiful Snake That Makes A Good Pet

There are two types of carpet snake, one of which you've probably encountered more than once. That type is the invisible creature which trips you when you are simply walking across the floor, minding your own business. The other type of carpet snake is quite visible, and is fairly large. It is in fact a member of the python family, and is sometimes called a carpet python. Its scientific name is Morelia spilota. There are 6 subspecies of the snake. The species and all the subspecies are found in Australia. One subspecies, the Darwin carpet python M. s. variegata, is found in New Guinea as well.

Large, Docile, And Non-Venomous - As is the case with most pythons, the carpet snake, M. spilota, is not venomous, and dispatches of its prey be squeezing and suffocating them. Although the snake can attain a length of 9 feet or more, it is not dangerous to humans. The main species, and most subspecies, are for the most part fairly docile. The subspecies M. s. variegata can be a bit more of a problem to handle as a pet as it may sometimes bite, but it is not truly dangerous. M. spilota even serves as a barn cat in some locations, keeping a barn and its surroundings rat and mouse-free.

Although the main species and the subspecies are all called either carpet snakes or carpet pythons, several species are semi-arboreal, meaning they spend a good deal of time climbing trees and shrubs. There are not often seen during the daylight hours, as they tend to move around mostly at night. During the day they sometimes can be seen basking in the sun, which can be a problem as they on occasion choose the warm asphalt on a highway to do their basking, with predictable results.

Jaguars And Tigers - Most of these snakes have a blotchy yellow and black pattern, but both the color and pattern can vary, and one familiar with these snakes can usually tell its home habitat by its colors and markings. One of the more beautiful examples of a carpet python is the Jaguar carpet, which is actually a mutation. It is mostly yellow with bold black blotches along its sides, and a black pattern of lines on its head. It is pythons such this one, as well as a mutation called the Tiger carpet, that have made M. spilota a favorite among those who wish to have snakes as pets or for breeding. M. spilota is considered to be an extremely easy snake to care for as a pet, and is also a snake that does not seem to have any problem breeding when in captivity.

About the only time you're apt to be bitten by a carpet snake, or at least by one in captivity, is when the snake is a very young one that hasn't learned its manners yet. These pythons, even the young ones, aren't usually at all aggressive, but the young ones will sometimes bite out of self-defense until they get used to being handled. If threatened, they will almost always try to flee, rather than coiling up into a tight ball as some pythons do. If you do get bitten by an adult, it would usually be during feeding, where the python, which “sees” its prey by sensing heat, might mistake your hand for a dead rat or mouse.

Carpet Snake Care - Carpet pythons prefer an environment that is slightly humid, since most subspecies live in rain forests located in warmer climates. Misting their cage once or twice a week usually is sufficient. Too much humidity, or misting too often, can result in health problems. Some pet owners will place branches in the python's enclosure for it to climb on. Some say this is something that should be done, and others say the snake really doesn't need anything to climb on, and really doesn't care. What the snake needs most in its enclosure is a hide box, where it can curl up when it feels the need for privacy or security.

Carpet pythons generally have very good appetites. They can consume an animal quite a bit larger than a rat if the opportunity arises. If you do feed your pet something that seems a little to large, you only need to let it alone while it's trying to swallow and digest the food. It will generally work things out one way or another, possibly rejecting the food item if it is too large for it to manage. Some subspecies are very picky about what they eat, and may not even be able to switch over from mice to rats or vice versa. Other subspecies will eat almost anything they can get into their mouths.

As far as cage size is concerned, the most common mistake people make is to get a cage that is much to large, figuring a python needs plenty of room. These snakes do not require a great deal of room, nor do they seem to mind being a little cramped. Provide your pet with water bowl and a hide box, and just a little room to maneuver, and it should do fine.




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