White Lipped Python - What is It and How Big Does It Get? The Facts.
The white-lipped python (Leiopython albertisii) also known as the D'Albertis' python, is a non-venomous snake in the family Pythonidae. The species was first discovered and described in 1878. White-lipped pythons usually have a brownish-violet coloring that fades to yellow on the underside or a blackish-blue that fades to gray on the belly. Overall, they are patternless, though a rare few Northern white-lipped pythons have been found to have some markings. When they mature their skin takes on a very beautiful iridescence in the right light.
Their heads are a shiny black color and triangular shaped. As their common name indicates the upper and lower labial scales (lips) are white. They have small teeth though they actually have the highest number of teeth of any python species.
Semi-arboreal and nocturnal, the white-lipped python spends the day resting and then becomes active at dusk and into the night. Unlike other python species, they are active hunters that forage for prey instead of waiting in ambush. They locate prey in the dark via the heat-sensitive pits in their jaws, similar to those of pit vipers.
Overall, these snakes grow to medium size. Northern white-lipped pythons can grow up to 7 feet in length, but the Southern white-lipped pythons grow a little longer, up to 9 feet in length. White Lipped Python adults grow to an average of about 6–7 ft in total length.
White-lipped pythons are carnivorous, so their diet is comprised of a variety of lizards, small mammals, rodents, and small birds. These snakes kill their prey by catching and coiling around their food, then constricting to suffocate and swallow it.
White-lipped pythons can live anywhere between 20 to 30 years or more, though more likely they may only survive up to 20 years in the wild.
White-lipped pythons are native to the island of New Guinea and some of the surrounding islands of Eastern Indonesia. These snakes are mostly found in forested habitats, including coastal swamps and monsoon tropical forests.
No, but they still bite. And while a white-lipped python’s bite can hurt and will draw blood, they are not venomous. If you ever encounter a bite from a white-lipped python, it’s recommended to wash the bite immediately and spray it with Bactine or a similar disinfectant and cover it with a bandage if necessary.
Yes, they can be. White-lipped pythons generally don’t mind being held but can be defensive, territorial, and don’t really like to be touched. And they are not shy about getting their message across. Known as a “snippy snake” they occasionally will snip and bite at you if they feel threatened or don’t want to be handled. Even if they don’t bite, white-lipped pythons can make their displeasure known in other unpleasant ways. If startled, white-lips can secrete a pungent musk or spray their holder with urine.
Although these are undoubtedly beautiful snakes, the white-lipped python is not a popular species of snake to have as a pet. They have a distinct reputation for having a quick temper and being aggressive. Though they are smart and inquisitive, they are not docile and can get rattled easily. Unless you are a seasoned handler or reptile expert, it’s not recommended to have a white-lipped python as a pet.
Check out the YouTube on White Lipped Pythons here!