Many people including myself would say that the blood python is the perfect-sized snake. Blood pythons are thick-bodied and heavy but don’t get to enormous lengths. But just how big do blood pythons get?
Blood pythons are generally 4 to 6 feet in length and can weigh up to a whopping 30-plus pounds. Female blood pythons tend to be larger and heavier, whereas males tend to be smaller and lighter.
I would not consider the size of a blood python to be either small or large. Though they tend to not get as long as many other pythons do, they are very thick and heavy.
If you want to learn more about these incredible pythons, you’ve come to the right place. Below we will break down the nuances of their size and rate of growth, whether or not they’re good for beginners, and a few alternate options you might want to check out.
Blood Python Size
As we alluded to above, blood pythons tend to vary in size based on their sex. That said, just how big can you expect your blood python to get if it is male or female?
- Female Blood Python Size: Females tend to be the larger of the species. As adults, they range from 4 to 6 feet in length and have been reported at 50 lbs. Though 30 lbs female blood pythons are more typical.
- Males Blood Python Size: Males are usually (but not always) the smaller of the two, ranging from 3 to 5 feet.
It’s important to note that these are averages. It is quite possible that you could end up with a blood python that grows far larger.
Some of the largest blood pythons ever recorded came in around 96 inches or 8 feet in length!
Are Blood Pythons Bigger Than Ball Pythons?
Blood pythons are bigger than ball pythons. Though they might not be much longer, blood pythons weigh significantly more than ball pythons.
In fact, though they get close to the same lengths, blood pythons can weigh 3-5 times more than ball pythons. They really are thick and muscular snakes.
On average I would say that you can expect a blood python to be about a foot longer than a ball python but much heavier.
How Fast Do Blood Pythons Grow?
Generally, blood pythons grow more quickly in captivity than they do in the wild. In the wild, it usually takes 4 to 5 years for their growth to significantly slow down. In captivity, however, it only takes around 2 to 3 years.
The reason they grow more quickly in captivity is largely determined by a steadier and more nutritious diet. In the wild, they are less likely to receive meals with any kind of regularity.
Blood Python Enclosure Sizing Requirements
The size and type of enclosure that a blood python will thrive in are largely determined by their age and size. If they are young they need a small enclosure with just enough area for them to hide. If you keep them in an enclosure that is too big, they will feel overwhelmed and very well might stop feeding.
- Hatchlings: When they are around 8 to 10 inches long, hatchlings are usually housed within a rack system of plastic tubs. The plastic containers have holes drilled into them for ventilation and are usually around the same size as a 5-quart clear tote. If you’re only keeping one baby, however, a 15-quart-tote will do.
Either way, double layers of paper towels can be used as the substrate lining the floor of the container. Having double layers gives them a place to hide and feel more secure.
- Juvenile Stage: After just a few short months they’ll be ready for an upgraded reptile tub that has 180 square inches of floor space. You can replace the substrate with aspen chip and a layer of craft paper so they still have a place to hide.
You also no longer need to drill small holes into the tub, the capacity of their new home along with their water bowl (16-ounce deli cup) creates quite enough humidity for them. If they do not seem to want to feed, you should provide more layers of paper for them to hide in because this is a sign of stress.
- Adult enclosures: After a year or two they’re finally ready to move into their adult enclosures. You’ll want a reptile tub with around 1040 square inches of floor space. You can finally remove the kraft paper and simply use aspen chips for the substrate. You’ll want to use heat tape or heat pads to provide a temperature around 84 degrees during the day and 80 degrees at night.
Please keep in mind that blood pythons DO NOT do well in glass aquariums that are screen topped as they do not provide enough insolation. You should always opt for reptile tubs instead.
Are Blood Pythons Too Big For Beginners?
While blood pythons make for great pets, they aren’t necessarily the best for beginners. They can be temperamental—especially during their early stages—and require a great deal of care to manage.
So perhaps blood pythons are not too big for beginners, but they might be too temperamental. I’d suggest starting with an easier pet snake.
Not to mention the fact that they can live longer than 25 years in captivity. Overstress can occur for a number of reasons, even from spending too much time around them.
Additionally, if you keep them in the wrong enclosure with the wrong temperature, are not feeding them appropriately, or not giving them enough space to hide, they are likely to stop feeding altogether.
More Ideal-Sized Snakes First-Time Snake Owners
If you’re looking for your first pet snake there are a lot of great options out there. If your hearts not set in a python or python-like snake, the following are some you should check out:
- Corn Snakes: These small, colorful snakes have a docile nature and are great for beginners and experts alike.
- California King Snakes: These beautifully patterned snakes are easy to care for and fun to handle. They have a mild manner that makes them more enjoyable to be around and less stressful to care for. Check out my California King Snake Care Guide here!
If you’re dead set on some type of python or python-like snake but you’re still just starting out, the following might be for you:
- Rosy Boa: These snakes are similar in appearance to other pythons, however, they are much smaller, coming in at around three feet long as adults. They have a very gentle nature and are great for handling.
- Ball Python: Ball Pythons are quite flexible when it comes to their living quarters, plus they are docile and fun to watch. Due to how easy they are to take care of, they’ve become one of the most popular picks for people looking to break into the wild world of limbless reptiles. They are also a more manageable size than the blood python. Though blood pythons do look amazing, there are also some very cool ball python morphs that are hard to beat.
You can’t go wrong with any of the snakes above. Still, you should always research the specific needs of whatever species you chose to adopt.
Just remember every type of snake is different and therefore requires customized care specific to them.
Is The Blood Python The Right Sized Snake For You?
Blood pythons are not small nor are they very big either. Though they do not get as long as many other pythons, these snakes are thick. A blood python is just as big around as many snakes twice as long as the blood python.
Blood python size is different between the sexes; females are the larger of the species at 4 to 6 feet and males are around 3 to 5 feet.
As they grow, their enclosure must grow with them—always providing enough space to hide but not so much space they feel insecure.
Due to how temperamental they are and how much goes into feeding and monitoring them, blood pythons are a better pet for people who have intermediate to high levels of experience caring for reptiles.
If you’re a beginner who really wants a python, start with a ball python and work your way up. You’ll be glad you did and your snake will as well!
For more on blood pythons, check out my ultimate Blood Python Care Guide Here!