Apodora Papuana 'Papuan Olive Python'

Apodora Papuana is a python that you will rarely see in captivity. It was discovered in 1878 by Peters and Doria. At first this species was classified as being a member of the Liasis family. After a revision of this family the species was placed into the Morelia family in 1990. A few years later a further examination placed the species in a new family named Apodora. To date Papuana is the only species in the Apodora family.
You will not see this species quickly in captivity.

Most of the specimens being offered are wild caught, but they seem to adapt relatively easy to captivity.

The average length of the Papuan Olive python is 4 meters and a body weight of 22,5 kilo. At first look this species shows some similarities with the Australian Olive Python hence the name Papuan Olive Python. The base color of this species is an olive green tinge nut this can change to a darker or liter shade. This probably has to do with body temperature of the snake. Darker colors take in more heat than a lighter color. For a reptile this is a huge advantage because it means the snake has to spend less time in an open area to seek sunshine. Other reptiles like chameleons show the same principal. This python is also unique because it has a blue tongue.

Apodora Papuana lives in dense forests which extend from the coast lines well into the mainland. These forests have a varying climate through the year with high and low temps. Therefore the Papuan Olive python can tolerate lower temperatures in captivity even into the lower 20 degrees Celsius.

The behavior of this species is similar of that of Reticulated pythons. They are slender and can move quickly. They seem to seek the height in captivity therefore it’s likely to assume in the wild they spend most of their time dwelling in trees. Their diet mainly consists of small mammals but they are also known to be ophiophagous which means they consume other snakes, maybe even their own relatives. ┬áTaking this in consideration it means this species needs a large terrarium. Heating can be done in various ways depending on your own preference. Underground heating underneath a tile in multiple places is a good way to go. But heating with a heatpanel mounted on the ceiling is also a way to go. Keep in mind that underground heating uses less power than a heatpanel. These snakes need a high humidity so a proper substrate that will hold water is a necessity.

Apodora Papuana is a species that grows slowly and will reach maturity after six till eight years. This is something that a lot of Papuan species share, Boelen’s pythons and white lipped pythons also grow relatively slow and reach maturity on a later age than other snakes. ┬áSeveral keepers mention these animals will feed easy, almost too easy. Try to keep the amount of food moderate, a lot of keepers tend to feed their animals to often resulting in obese snakes that seem fine but will not breed properly.

There is not much known about breeding this species but based on the geographical data of this species it’s likely it will be similar of Liasis Albertisii. Animals should graduately be cooled for several months. Males will start producing sperm and females will start producing follicles. Try to put the animals once every two or three weeks. Keep a close eye on your animals because like mentioned before this species can be ophiophagous. When a copulation is not seen within 48 hours the male must be removed from the females cage. Always place the male into the females cage, this lowers the stress level for the female and matches with their life in nature. In nature the males will surge for females when the time is right.