The blood python (Python brongersmai) is a wonderful snake that is becoming much more popular as a pet after years of bad press. If you want one of these snakes, you may be wondering just how big the blood python gets.
On average, the blood python will reach 4-6 feet as an adult. While they aren’t much longer than many common pet snakes, they do weigh much more. An adult can weigh over 20 pounds. A breeding female can be over 7 feet long and 30 pounds without being overweight.
Hatchling blood pythons are similar in size to newly hatched ball pythons. They are typically around 12 inches when they hatch.
These little guys will put on length before they put on weight. Many owners note that their snakes started really packing on the pounds after they reached about 40″ and 2 years of age.
This is also when blood pythons begin to develop the characteristic color that gives them their common name. A two-year-old snake may weigh 10-15 pounds by this point.
Everything you need to know about caring for Blood Pythons in captivity:
Read our Blood Python Care sheet (Complete Setup & Guide)
Males are typically shorter and lighter than females. A male snake may be 4-6 feet, while a female will typically be over 5 and even up to 8 feet long.
Blood Pythons can easily weigh over 30 pounds, and one specimen was 50 pounds.
These are thick, powerful animals that rely on ambush tactics to hunt in the water. One important reason for the huge size of females is how they take care of their eggs.
Generally, blood pythons incubate their eggs. They shiver to help generate heat for their eggs. The female will not leave her eggs for the 2-3 months it takes for the eggs to hatch.
She will typically not eat during this time. She may lose up to half her body weight and be in very poor condition by the time her eggs hatch. Because of this, larger and heavier females are typically more successful at producing eggs.
A related python was tested to see the effects of maternal incubation. They found that maternal incubation improved the fitness of hatchlings.
The increased activity and larger jaws of the neonates improve can improve early hunting and predator evasion. This means that the hatchlings are more likely to survive until adulthood.
Size at Sexual Maturity
For most snakes, size is more correlated to sexual maturity and reproductive success than age. Most snakes will be around 3-4 years old when they are sexually mature, but most breeders wait until the pythons have finished the majority of their growth before they breed them.
They will typically weigh at least 10-15 pounds as well. They do breed easily since their native range changes very little before the breeding season.
Blood pythons have a very steady growth rate. They are even slow compared to many other closely related python species. You will.see them put on length at a steady pace.
Their weight will also increase, but they may not seem much more thick than a ball python until they reach around two years of age.
At this point, your snake will start to achieve the characteristic girth of this species. Make sure you watch your snake’s body condition during this time.
Blood pythons are prone to obesity and many will gain far too much weight if kept on the weekly feeding schedule that works for hatchlings.
Your snake should not look like a loaf of bread or completely round on the sides. A healthy blood python has an obvious spine that gently slopes to the full sides of the species.
They have incredibly short tails that seem very stumpy compared to the body. Keep an eye on this to help tell if your snake is gaining too much weight.
Adult snakes will keep growing very slowly for the 25-30 years that this species lives in captivity. Your snake will also become more solid as it ages.
Adult snakes feel weighty but still have a good body condition. If you can find a vet with blood python experience, they can help make sure your snake is at a healthy weight and body condition.
Blood pythons are fantastic feeders in captivity. This means that they can easily become fat if you aren’t careful. These snakes are also ambush predators, so in the wild they are used to periods of little prey.
They will hold onto fat stores for as long as possible to help tide them over during dry spells. This means that you need to carefully watch your snake to ensure it doesn’t end up fat.
Fat blood pythons have difficulty breathing and normally have issues breeding.
Overweight females produce more bad eggs than a healthy female. This will also shorten their lifespan since their organs have to work harder to keep a larger body going.
If you want to enjoy your pet for a long time, keep them healthy and give plenty of chances to get some exercise by decorating their enclosure.
The blood python doesn’t get very long, but it does get very heavy. A male blood python will be under 6 feet and around 15 pounds.
A female will be around 6 and will weigh at least 20. Make sure you watch your snake closely and learn how to identify the normal body shape for the species.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!