Keeping Reptiles Newsletter
  Issue 11 November 2008
Roger's New Cage In this Issue

This was an email from Phil who purchased the "How to Build Reptile Cages" plans some time ago to build a snake cage for his Diamond Python. Phil decided to use an old cupboard as the basis for his new snake cage and used the snake cage plans and supporting material to assist him in the process. Here is what he wrote...


Not sure whether you remember me but we spoke ages ago Re me getting advice building a new cage for my diamond python Roger. I promised you photos of the end product. Well, very belatedly, here they are.

Your advice in your How to build reptile cages was invaluable. As for the paint work in the cage, I first gave it 2 coats of white to seal timber, then painted it a very light green at the bottom, gradually thinning it with more white till I got to the top.

I went down to the local park which is a bit sub tropical and grabbed a %#$@load of cuttings of all different types of plants and pressed them for 2 weeks. Then got 2 spray cans, one a light green (but darker then the other light green) and a real dark green.

I firstly laid out the plants in a design I liked (see back wall photo) then sprayed it with the light green, then re-arranged the plants and sprayed it with the dark green. Using the 3 colours that way gave it a perception of depth. The result turned out way better then I hoped.

The cage now takes pride of place in my living room. The comments I get when people find out I built it justify the 2 months I took to build it.

A few months ago I added a few shelfs in cos Rog is getting so big he loves to stretch himself out as well as a retaining shelf round the bottom shelf as he was pulling the hide off the shelf.

I also had to put some wire mesh round the fluro light cos he knocked the bulb out a few times. These are the most recent photos. Hope you can use them. Feel free to use any and all photos and words in your newsletter, only too willing to help out other herpologists in making a swweeet cage.

indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake


Thanks for sharing Phil!

  1. Rogers new cage
  2. Can Reptiles Be Trained?
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Considering a (Australian) snake as a pet..

This article is a bit Australian Centric, but I thought the information was general enough to be useful and also, it does promote some wonderful Australian snakes that are freely available to buyers in the US and Europe. This question was submitted to the Yahoo groups on australianherps from someone interested in getting a pet snake.



I am considering a snake as a pet.

What species is best for a beginner?
What size tank do they need?
And do i need a licence?


Hi this is Deben from Sydney. I am an experienced herpetologist and

1. It would be best for you to purchase one of the smaller pythons which are easy to care for. Australia has many different species.
Some of these include:

Genus: Antaresia (Australian Children's & Anthill pythons)
A small genus from Australia, where they inhabit termite mounds. These species are included in the genus Liasis in some systems of classification. Small to medium-sized pythons which are brown in colour with some irregular dark mottling or blotches. Nocturnal
species which feed on small mammals, frogs and lizards. Oviparous, with up to fifteen eggs per clutch in A. maculosa.

A. childreni (Children's python) N Australia
A. maculosa (Spotted python) N Australia
A. perthensis (Western children's python) W Australia
A. stimsony (Large-blotched python) W Australia


Genus: Liasis (Australasian Olive & Water pythons)
This genus is found throughout Australia and the Lesser Sunda Islands, including New Guinea, in a variety of habitats. Some systems of classification place L. albertisii in the genus Leiopython and L. papuanus in Apodora. Medium-sized to very large species, all have vertically elliptical pupils and heat sensitive pits which are found in the labial scales.

Colours and patterns differ greatly from species to species. The Olive python L. olivaceus is an olive brown colour with yellow underparts, while L. albertisii is darker with iridescent scales and white on the lower jaw. They feed on birds, small mammals and reptiles. Oviparous, with up to twenty two eggs per litter.

L. fuscus (Brown water python) N, W Australia
L. olivaceus olivaceus (Olive python)
L. olivaceus barroni (Olive python) W Australia


Genus: Morelia (Australasian Carpet, Jungle carpet & Diamond)
Consists of pythons found throughout Australia and Indonesia, in a wide variety of habitats. Some regard the Centralian carpet python, M. bredli, as a subspecies of M. spilota.

Medium-sized to very large snakes, the largest being the Amethystine python, M. amethistina. Most have a series of dark symmetrical rosettes, except for the Oenpelli python which is an olive to cream colour and Boelen's python is dark with some irregular white markings.

All species have vertically elliptical pupils and heat sensitive pits in the labial and rostral scales. They feed on birds, mammals and reptiles. Oviparous, forty seven eggs per clutch.

M. spilota spilota (Diamond python) W New Guinea, E Australia
M. spilota imbricata (Carpet python)
M. spilota variagata (Carpet python)
M. spilota mcdowelli (Coastal carpet python)
M. spilota cheynei (Jungle carpet python)
M. viridis (Green tree python) Misool, Salawati,

Do some more research on what snake you would like to own and what is practicle for you to keep. If you live in a house no problem. Apartment - you may have to get consent to keep the animal.

2. Tank size will have to change through the life of the snake. It is best to purchase a hatchling as long as it has fed at least once.

Make sure of this. A plastic tererium of Width40cm x Depth25cm x High30cm is adequate for a young snake, it will have to be changed after a six to eight month period when the snake has grown from 20cm up to 70cm. Do not get a big tank and put a small snake in it. The reptile will feel insecure in this huge wide open space. A smaller tank is always better.

3. Yes you will need a license from Parks & Wild life. First find a reputable breeder, what stock he has and when he or she will be able provide said animal. The new season is soon to start so there will be young snakes a plenty. Ask for their breeder license number, full name and if they are a company. Go to Parks and wild life and aquire the permit. Then go back to the breeder with the paperwork and purchase the animal.

Remember to find a reputable breeder.......

If you have any futher questions on caring for your pet please feel free to contact me. If you want to invesigate my references check out my blog at

Good luck and enjoy.

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