White Lipped Python: A Bold And Beautiful Addition To Your Reptile Collection!

Are you looking for a bold and beautiful addition to your reptile collection? Look no further than the white lipped python! This striking species of snake originates from the jungles of Papua New Guinea and is known for its glossy black head and brilliant white lips.

While not recommended for beginner reptile keepers or children, with proper care and handling, these medium-sized pythons can thrive in captivity for up to 30 years.

In this comprehensive care guide and species profile, we will provide you with everything you need to know about the white lipped python, from its appearance and habitat to its behavior and care.

So, if you’re ready to add a stunning and impressive species to your collection, read on to learn more about the white lipped python!

Key Takeaways

  • White lipped pythons are a medium-sized python with iridescent scales, a glossy black head, and brilliant white lips, originating from Papua New Guinea.
  • White lipped pythons are aggressive and known to bite, so they are not suitable for beginner reptile keepers or children.
  • White lipped pythons require minimal — and careful — handling and need to be housed alone because the snakes can be territorial and need their own space.
  • The minimum enclosure size for a white lipped python is 48x36x24 inches, with suitable lighting options and substrate to maintain high humidity. Common health issues include obesity, scale rot, respiratory infections, and mites.

Appearance and Habitat

You’ll be drawn to the striking appearance of the white lipped python with its jet-black head and brilliant white lips. This medium-sized python has iridescent scales that shimmer and shine in the light, making it a bold and beautiful addition to any reptile collection.

The white lipped python originates from the dense, vegetated jungles of Papua New Guinea, where it is found roaming the forest floor in search of prey. With its intimidating appearance, the white lipped python is a sight to behold.

Its black head and white markings around its mouth resemble skull teeth, giving it a fearsome look that is sure to impress. The northern white lipped python has a gold-bronze body with hints of olive, while the southern white lipped python has dark brown/black, purple-hued scales.

No matter which subspecies you choose, the white lipped python is sure to make a bold statement in your reptile collection.

Behavior and Care

Handling white lipped pythons requires gentle and careful techniques to prevent defensive responses. These snakes are known for their aggression and tendency to bite, so it’s important to approach them with caution. When handling a white lipped python, it’s important to avoid squeezing or restraining the snake, as this can cause stress and defensive behavior. Instead, support the snake’s body with both hands and move slowly and steadily. It’s also important to wash your hands before handling the snake to remove any smells of potential prey.

In addition to careful handling, it’s important to be aware of common health issues that can affect white lipped pythons. Obesity is a major concern, as it can lead to liver disease, heart disease, and kidney problems. Scale rot is also a common issue, caused by poor tank conditions or trauma. Respiratory infections can cause wheezing, open-mouthed breathing, and excessive discharge, while mites can embed between the snake’s scales and cause discomfort and irritation. By being aware of these potential health issues and taking steps to prevent them, you can ensure that your white lipped python stays healthy and happy for years to come.

Handling Tips Common health issues
Wash hands before handling to remove smells of potential prey. Obesity can lead to liver disease, heart disease, and kidney problems.
Support the snake’s body with both hands and move slowly and steadily. Scale rot is caused by poor tank conditions and trauma.
Avoid squeezing or restraining the snake, as this can cause stress and defensive behavior. Respiratory infections cause wheezing, open-mouthed breathing, and excessive discharge.
Mites are small, black parasites that embed between the scales of the snake.

Buying and Price

When searching for a new slithery friend to bring into your home, it’s important to look for a healthy snake from a trustworthy breeder, like finding a ripe avocado at the grocery store. Here are some tips to keep in mind when buying a white lipped python:

  • Look for captive bred options to ensure the snake is acclimated to living in captivity and is less likely to carry diseases.
  • Check that the snake is alert, with clear eyes and unlabored breathing, and ask the seller for a feeding demonstration to make sure the snake is eating well.
  • When buying a baby snake, look for one that has fed and shed at least twice already.

Remember to consider health considerations, such as obesity, scale rot, respiratory infections, and mites, before purchasing a white lipped python. It’s important to make sure you can provide the necessary care and attention to keep your new pet healthy and happy.

Buying a white lipped python can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re prepared to give your new pet the care it needs. With captive bred options and careful consideration of health considerations, you can bring home a beautiful and captivating addition to your reptile collection.


For more information on caring for and keeping reptiles, check out Everything Reptiles, the go-to source for all things scaly and slithery.

As reptile enthusiasts, it’s important to also consider the conservation efforts for different species. The white lipped python, for example, is listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List, but their habitat is still threatened by deforestation and human encroachment.

Breeding white lipped pythons is also a challenging task that should only be attempted by experienced snake-keepers. These snakes are known for their aggressive nature, and breeding them can be dangerous if not done properly.

It’s important to also consider the impact that breeding can have on the wild population, and to only breed if there is a demand for captive-bred snakes. By supporting conservation efforts and responsible breeding practices, we can ensure that future generations can continue to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of the white lipped python.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are white lipped pythons venomous?

Don’t let the beautiful appearance of the white lipped python fool you. While not venomous, they are known for their aggressive nature and strong jaws. Understanding the danger and proper care is crucial for owners.

Can white lipped pythons be kept in groups?

It is not recommended to keep white lipped pythons in groups due to their territorial nature and potential for aggressive behavior towards each other. Individual housing is necessary to ensure behavioral compatibility and overall well-being.

How often do white lipped pythons need to be fed?

White lipped pythons should be fed every 7-10 days, with prey selection varying between rodents, rabbits, and birds. Be cautious not to overfeed, as obesity can lead to health issues.

Do white lipped pythons require any special supplements or vitamins?

Before adding any supplements or vitamins to your white lipped python’s diet, consult with a reptile veterinarian. These snakes have specific dietary needs and may require additional vitamin requirements, but it’s important to ensure proper dosing and avoid over-supplementing.

What is the average size of a white lipped python at birth?

At birth, white lipped pythons are about 20 inches long and are independent. They grow quickly, reaching sexual maturity at around five years old. Breeding white lipped pythons requires competence and proper knowledge.


Congratulations, you’re now equipped with everything you need to know about caring for a white lipped python!

From their striking appearance and natural habitat to their unique behavior and specific care requirements, you’re now a white lipped python expert.

But wait, there’s more!

While these snakes may not be suitable for beginners, experienced reptile enthusiasts can attest that owning a white lipped python is a thrilling and rewarding experience.

With their bold and beautiful appearance and impressive lifespan, these creatures make a truly incredible addition to any reptile collection.

If you’re up for the challenge and ready to take on the responsibility of owning a white lipped python, do your research, find a reputable breeder, and bring one of these fascinating creatures into your home.

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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