The green tree python (Morelia viridis) is a popular display snake. If you are hoping to own one, you may be wondering:
How much does a green tree python cost?
On average, a green tree python will cost between $500 and $750 for a baby snake. A yearling that is beginning to change color will be $800 and up. Adults can go for over $900 once their color is known.
For a complete guide to enclosure setup, feeding, daily care and breeding,
check out my Green Tree Python Care Sheet.
The Importance of Captive Bred
The first thing to know about this species is commonly poached or traded illegally. This seriously threatens the wild population and results in many deaths. Snakes that have been taken illegally are smuggled in.
This process is very dangerous to the snake and leaves it sick and stressed. The animals that survive this stressful journey are typically sick and traumatized.
Even if they arrive uninjured with few parasites, many snakes will never tame down. Wild caught green tree pythons also frequently die even with the best care.
Many animals that have been smuggled in will be sold as farm-born. While there are genuine farms in Indonesia, it can be difficult to ensure your snake came from one of these places. Many of the less-reputable farms will pay people to catch snakes. These animals are then kept for enough time that they can legally be called a captive or farmed green tree python.
The only reputable source for farmed snakes in the United States is from a company called Bushmaster. Every other green tree python has a high chance of coming from an unethical source. Some animals may be claimed as captive-born as well. For this species, you need to find animals that were bred and born in captivity in your country.
If you are looking into a breeder, ask to see the parents of your snakes and for the hatch date. Look for a breeder that can show you the adults and ideally documented the whole process.
If they can’t provide parent pictures or a hatch date, it is best to look elsewhere. It can be tempting to skip this since you can find cheap snakes, but these animals were likely smuggled in. The extra money makes sure you have a healthy and happy snake that will thrive in captivity.
Notes on Pricing
At the time of writing, captive bred and born animals are pretty expensive. This is even more true of animals born in the United States. This is because of scarcity and that these animals are much better pets than an imported snake. G
reen tree pythons that have been bred for certain traits like high black, high yellow, or high blue are much more expensive. Part of this is due to few breeders, and partly because of age.
Green tree pythons take at least a year to show their adult colors.this means that the breeder has to take care of the snake until then. Most common captive snakes can be sold within a few months or whenever they start eating reliably. This can be as little as a month for some species.
Since most snakes on the market are a year old, the prices are higher. Most snakes under this age are a gamble since you have no idea what they may look like as an adult. Many of these younger snakes are also imports, so do your research.
Lines and Morphs
There are a number of lines of green tree python that come from different parts of their range. The Biak line is typically green or yellow. These snakes are typically more aggressive. Other lines are named for where the animal was caught or where the parents are from.
You will see many lines that come in a number of colors. These are typically referred to as designer snakes. Some have been selected to stay yellow as adults or have much more blue.
These high blue snakes can be over $750 at the lowest. Subadults that are changing colors can be over $1500. Rare morphs like calicos will typically be over $2500 when they are available.
Animals that show more black like high blacks can be easily over $4000 depending on how much black the animal shows.
Generally speaking, you should expect to pay quite a bit for these snakes. The captive-bred market is still getting established, so many animals with desirable genetics are going for high prices.
Snakes that retain the juvenile yellow coloring are called high yellow.
These animals are rarely found for under $1000 since it takes at least a year to be sure they will keep their color. You may also see red babies.
Only a few locations have red as a juvenile color. This means that snakes with this color tend to go for higher prices even if they will not stay that color. Most of these hatchlings will sell for between $1500 and $2500. Many snakes on the market are also of breeding age.
If you want to get into breeding, healthy adults that are sexually mature will typically be over $2000. If the snake is going for less as a fully grown adult, ask plenty of questions. It can mean that the snake has some health issues that may be genetic, like kinking in the spine.
Setup & Feeding costs
When it comes to supplies, there are some costs to get your pet set up. The enclosure itself, perches, and decor will total out to around $500 to start.
Reptizoo Terrarium – 36Lx18Dx24H
- Front access will stress your snake a lot less than enclosures opening from the top
- Completely escape-proof
- Convenient inlets for heating cables, without any visible wires.
- Very sturdy, and easy to setup
You will want multiple perches that are secured well and ideally can be removed.
You also need heating, lighting, thermometers, and a temperature gun to monitor the humidity and temperature of your pet.
This will be around $100. You will also need things like extra-long feeding tongs, mister, cleaning supplies, and a first-aid kit in case your pet is hurt. This will be around $100, but you should ask your vet what your snake will need.
Recurring costs include food and substrate. Substrate should be something that holds humidity. Paper towels work for quarantining new snakes and are a few dollars a roll.
However, better substrates like coconut will be around $30 for a month or two of substrate minimum. Food will be a bit more. Generally, you will pay between $30-60 for appropriately sized feeders for your pet.
Micedirect Frozen Rats X15
- Direct from the producer
- Packed in dry ice, delivered by FedEx
- These feeder Rats for snakes are put to sleep with Co2 so they never suffer
The package sizes are large so you should be able to feed your snake for at least a few months off the feeders you have. Since adult snakes should be fed larger prey less often for their health, adults will have their food last for much longer.
Veterinary care is another point. An average exotic pet visit is $40-70, but it depends on the practice and what tests your snake may need.
You can opt for pet insurance for your snake and that is around $10 a month to cover regular care. Many plans also cover emergency vet visits but check your policy.
It will be around $800 for all supplies if you have nothing for a snake already in your home.
Green tree pythons are not cheap animals. Most animals under $700 may have been poached from the wild. Be careful and ask plenty of questions if the price seems low.
If you have any questions, please leave them below. If you have a green tree python, how much did you pay for it?