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WOMA PYTHONS


Reptile Rapture
6308 Monona Dr.,
Monona, WI 53716
608-221-0094, www.reptilerapture.net

WOMA PYTHON Caresheet

Common Name: Woma
Scientific Name: Aspidites ramsayi
Origin:  Found in arid sand and semi-arid scrublands of both the west and central areas of Australia.
Size: 4.5 to 6 feet
Lifespan: 20+ years

You will find many ways on the internet on "how to" take care of this animal. This care sheet is showing the way we found works best for us from our many years of experience of breeding and caring for this species.


HOUSING

Woma python babies can start out in enclosures as small as 10 to 15 gallons. At around a year old, you can increase the size of the enclosure. There are several kinds that work for womas, e.g., glass aquariums, snake racks and any of the commercially available, plastic-type reptile enclosures. For an adult, you can step up to an enclosure that is at least 36" x 18" (Exo Terra Large, or Zilla 40 gal) or a larger 48" x 24" (Zoo Med low boy). Womas are a little more active than some snakes and like to explore so larger is better. If you use a glass tank, you'll want to provide a humid hide--that is, a hide that has some damp moss in it for humidity. They are also skilled escape artists. It's extremely important that your top is clipped or locked to the tank to prevent them from getting out.

You can use many types of bedding for your woma. The ones that look and work the best are Exo Terra (natural) sand, Zoo Med eco earth, and Zoo Med aspen. Spot clean the bedding whenever they defecate. If you choose sand, keep it thin (about 1/2") do not use calcium sand. It can clump in your animals gut like cat litter. You should only need to clean the whole thing out about once a month. Disinfect the enclosure and change out the bedding at that time. Zoo Meds wipe out or vinegar and water both work good for cage cleaning.


LIGHTING AND HEAT

Womas originate from the arid and semi-arid regions in Australia and they like it pretty warm, though they need to be able to cool off if they want to. Like all reptiles, they are dependent on external thermoregulation to control their body temperature. This essentially means you need to provide both a hot and cool side to your enclosure. All the heat elements should be on one side and the other will then be the cool side. This way your snake can move back and forth between the different temperatures depending on its needs.

The hot side basking spot should be at 87-90 degrees. Put one hide there and another hide on the cool side. The cool side can be between 75-80 degrees. At night it can drop down to 72 ambient temperature. It's a good idea to use a basking light and an under tank heat pad also. The heat pads are usually placed on the hot side with a hide over it. We recommend a Zoo Med heat mat or Exo Terra heat pad that stays on 24/7 to give them a little bit of supplemental heat during the night. Both of these are placed on the outside underneath the enclosure. You want a heat pad that only covers half the tank (or less). The basking light should be housed in a good quality light dome like Exo Terra and Flukers that has a ceramic housing to tolerate high heat and an on/off switch.

Use a good quality temperature gauge too, like Zoo Meds digital temp gauge or Exo Terras Thermometer to figure out the temperatures in your enclosure. Don't guess at it. You can also use a rheostat and/or timers to control your heat source. We do not recommend the use of hot rocks. They have a tendency to heat unevenly over too small an area and can cause serious burns.


HUMIDITY

Keep a non-porous water bowl in with your woma python and make sure they always have clean water. Exo Terras water bowls or Flukers water bowls are good decorative choices or a good ceramic crock dish. Scrub the bowl at least once a week to keep bacteria slime from building up. If you maintain a humidity level of around 50%, your snake will be able to shed properly. Hand misters are usually sufficient.


FEEDING

Womas are known for being good eaters. Do not handle your snake for several hours before you are going to feed it. We do recommend feeding in its own enclosure. Feeding in its home will not make your pet more aggressive or associate you with food. Womas are generally a docile snake. Young babies might be a bit nippy but usually grow out of it with some gentle handling. If you are worried about your pet associating food with you, get yourself a good snake hook. Gently hook your snake out of its enclosure when you want to hold it. Check out these hooks: collapsible hook for babies and larger hooks for adults. Using a snake hook when you take your pet out will greatly reduce the chances of you being bit from a feeding response. If you don't have a hook and are still worried about picking up your snake, reach around and pick your snake up from behind, rather than from the front. This way your hand is not coming at his face.


Hatchlings to 2 years
1 chick, duckling or rodent of appropriate size once a week. This means the girth of the rodent should not exceed 1 1/2 times the girth of the snake (at it's biggest point, not his neck size). We suggest providing a variety by rotating what kind of prey item is offered.  Do not handle your snake for at least 24 hours after it has eaten. Snakes in general tend not to eat when they are in shed. Just wait to feed until your pet sheds. Snakes over two years can eat every 2 weeks if you want. Make sure it's a decent size meal.


TEMPERAMENT

Woma pythons are rather gentle snakes with a good tolerance for being handled. This along with a nice feeding response makes them great pets. They are generally friendly and easy to care for.

When holding your pet, always remember to support your snakes body. Once a woma realizes that you will not hurt it, they often seem to enjoy (or at least tolerate) being handled. Relax and give your snake time to get used to you. Avoid touching the top of its head. Unless it knows and trusts you, touching the top of the head will cause it to jerk away from the touch. The fast movement of the snake tends to scare a lot of new snake owners. This is called being "head shy." Most womas will get over it with gentle handling.

Give your snake at least a day to settle in to its new home before handling. Start slow and gradually increase the amount of time you have your snake out. Remember your new pet's life is in your hands. So please take care of it properly.