Mastering The Care Of Olive Pythons: A Guide

Have you ever felt like your pet collection is missing a certain je ne sais quoi? Perhaps you’re looking for a unique and fascinating snake that will captivate your attention and provide endless hours of entertainment. Look no further than the olive python.

Native to Northern Australia, these non-venomous snakes can grow up to 13 feet long, and require a custom-built enclosure and specialized care. But fear not, with this guide, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the care of olive pythons and adding an intriguing new member to your collection.

While their size may seem daunting, olive pythons are docile when handled correctly and make curious and friendly pets. Their distinctive coloring and inquisitive nature make them an interesting addition to any collection.

But caring for an olive python is no small feat. From creating the perfect environment to ensuring their health and well-being, there are many factors to consider. That’s why we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the ins and outs of olive python care.

So, let’s dive in and discover everything you need to know to become a master of olive python care.

Key Takeaways

  • Olive pythons are non-venomous snakes native to Northern Australia, and are the third largest snake in the country.
  • They require a large, custom-built enclosure with a well-maintained heating setup, and are recommended for advanced hobbyists.
  • Olive pythons are docile when handled correctly from a young age, but are aggressive and opportunistic feeders.
  • Care requirements include feeding fully defrosted birds, rodents, quail, and frogs once every 2-3 weeks, and watching for signs of health issues such as skin disorders, mouth infections, and respiratory infections.


If you’re interested in taking care of an olive python, it’s important to understand their behavior and the challenges of keeping them in captivity.

Olive pythons are curious, calm, and friendly in captivity, but they can become aggressive and opportunistic feeders. They are recommended for advanced hobbyists who have experience with large snakes.

One of the biggest challenges of keeping an olive python is their size and need for a custom-built enclosure with a well-maintained heating setup. They require a large enclosure of at least 8 x 4 x 3 feet, and juvenile olive pythons prefer a smaller vivarium of 4 x 2 x 2 feet.

Additionally, they are a vulnerable species and require a specialized license to own. However, with proper care, olive pythons can make great pets and fascinating additions to any reptile collection.

Husbandry and Environment

To provide the best husbandry and environment for your olive python, ensure that their enclosure is at least 8 x 4 x 3 feet and free of sharp objects. These snakes are active creatures that require ample space to move around and explore. A spacious enclosure also provides the opportunity for a temperature gradient, which is crucial for their thermoregulation.

It’s essential to create a simple environment with no sharp objects that could harm your pet. Olive pythons enjoy exploring and need a safe and secure place to do so without the risk of injury.

When designing the enclosure, consider the substrate options carefully. Olive pythons adapt well to different types of substrate, but it’s important to choose one that’s easy to clean and maintain. Newspaper, aspen shavings, and cypress mulch are some of the best options for substrate. Avoid sand or gravel as they can cause impaction if ingested.

The substrate should be spot cleaned regularly, and the enclosure should be cleaned thoroughly once a month. A well-maintained environment is essential for your olive python’s health and wellbeing.

Breeding and Health Issues

Breeding olive pythons can be a rewarding experience for advanced hobbyists. It’s important to keep in mind that the gestation period for female olive pythons is around 81-85 days. Once the eggs hatch, the hatchlings should be placed in separate containers with a temperature of 82°F. When the juveniles reach full maturity, they can be placed in larger enclosures.

While some may worry about potential health issues that could arise during breeding, it’s important to have a plan in place and seek veterinary care if necessary. Watch for subtle signs of health issues in both the female and male olive pythons during the breeding process.

Common health issues to keep an eye out for include:

  • Skin disorders
  • Mouth infections
  • Internal parasites
  • Eye disorders
  • Respiratory infections
  • Neurological disorders

By staying vigilant and seeking proper care, you can ensure a successful breeding experience for your olive pythons.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you handle an olive python?

Handle your olive python at least once a week to maintain a positive relationship and provide mental stimulation. Signs of stress include hissing, biting, and recoiling. Benefits of handling include socialization, exercise, and monitoring health.

Can olive pythons cohabitate with other snakes?

While it may seem like a good idea to cohabitate your olive python with other snakes, it’s not recommended. Olive pythons are aggressive feeders and may attack other snakes. Additionally, cohabitation can increase the risk of disease transmission. However, if you still choose to cohabitate, make sure to provide a large enclosure with plenty of hiding places and separate feeding areas. Always monitor their behavior and seek veterinary care if any signs of aggression or illness occur.

What is the lifespan of an olive python in captivity?

The lifespan of an Olive Python in captivity is around 20-25 years. However, it depends on the care provided, including proper diet, enclosure, and monitoring for health concerns such as skin disorders, mouth infections, and neurological disorders. Olive python breeding requires special attention to ensure the safety and health of the breeding pair and hatchlings.

What is the best type of substrate for an olive python enclosure?

Ready to create a comfortable enclosure for your olive python? Consider the types of substrate available, including newspaper, which is easy to clean and monitor for signs of illness. Other options include coconut fiber and cypress mulch. Factors to consider include humidity, ease of cleaning, and the python’s natural environment.

How do you determine the sex of an olive python?

To determine an Olive Python’s sex, you can use Python sexing techniques such as probing or visual inspection of the cloaca. Breeding considerations include introducing the female to the male’s enclosure in May and removing her in mid-July.


Congratulations on mastering the care of olive pythons! With your dedication and attention to detail, your snake will thrive under your care.

Remember, it’s important to provide a custom-built enclosure that mimics their natural habitat, as well as a varied and balanced diet. Regular health check-ups and monitoring for potential health issues are also crucial to maintaining your snake’s well-being.

While some may argue that the specialized care and requirements of olive pythons make them difficult pets to keep, the rewards of owning such a unique and fascinating creature far outweigh the challenges.

With proper care and attention, your olive python will become a curious and friendly companion, and a source of endless fascination and joy. So go ahead, take the plunge and add an olive python to your collection – you won’t regret it!

Alain Grant

I'm Alain, a passionate reptile enthusiast and the creator Reptilebehavior.com. A blog sharing my 15 years of hands-on experience in caring for reptiles, my goal is to provide valuable insights, practical tips, and reliable information to fellow reptile lovers. Contact me at alain@reptilebehavior.com for assistance.

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