Woma Python Care Sheet


The Woma Python or Ramsay’s Python is a non-venomous constrictor snake found in Australia. It was first described in 1882 by an Australian Zoologist and was long believed to be a sub-species of the closely related Black Headed Python.

Unfortunately this species is endangered in the wild and conservation efforts are required in order to ensure its survival in the wild. It is however, becoming a popular snake for hobbyists and with more specimens being produced in captivity, the market for wild-caught specimens is reducing.

Woma Python Description

The Woma Python usually grows to between 1.5m and 2m in length although it is possible for them to reach up to 3m in length. Larger specimens are more commonly found in the southern parts of their range. They have an orange coloured head with a light and dark brown banded body. They often have black scales around their eyes with a creamy yellow underbelly.

 It has a very narrow pointed tail, which it uses to attract prey by wiggling it while the rest of its body remains motionless. The Woma Python does not have heat sensing pits like most pythons. This is likely due to an evolutionary trait due to the snake’s tendency to spend their life burrowing beneath the sandy earth and hunting in burrows, feeding largely on other reptiles meaning heat sensing pits are not necessary.

The Woma Python has small dark coloured eyes which is typical of fossorial (burrowing) animals. This is due to the reduction of light in their environment, as well as to reduce the amount of contact their eyes have with their abrasive surroundings.

Woma Python Care Sheet

Natural Habitat and Distribution

The Woma Python can be found throughout Central Australia and in certain parts of Western Australia. Their range extends from Western Australia through to the southern parts of the Northern Territory and the northern regions of South Australia and into southern Queensland and north-western New South Wales. They share the majority of their range with the Bearded Dragon.

The Woma Python prefers sandy regions where they can easily dig and can be found sheltering in hollow logs and burrows. They are known for their tendency to extend burrows by using their head as a shovel to dig away at it. However, they can be found in a wide range of habitats such as shrublands, woodlands and grasslands.

It is important to consider the natural habitat of a snake before setting up their enclosure. Replicating their environment in captivity is very beneficial for the snake and will ultimately make other aspects of Woma Python care easier, as the snakes are less likely to be stressed.

Woma Python Behaviour

The Woma Python is a nocturnal snake and will spend most of the day burrowed underground or sheltering in a hollow log. It has a very characteristic way of moving when out in the heat of the day. To avoid the extreme heat of the sand, the snake will raise most of its body off the ground and extend itself forward before pushing off the ground again.

Their diet in the wild consists mostly of reptiles but they will also eat small mammals and birds. They are even known to eat venomous snakes. As a constrictor snake, the Woma Python will coil around its prey and suffocate it before consuming it whole.

This snake has also adapted to hunt in narrow burrows where it doesn’t have the space to constrict its prey. It overcomes this by pressing the prey against the wall to crush it. These mammals and rodents will fight back with sharp teeth and claws so many wild Woma Python’s will have scars along their body.

Woma Python Curled Up


 The average lifespan of a Woma Python in captivity is 20-30 years. This can vary greatly depending on the level of care the Woma Python has received.

Woma Pythons as Pets

This snake has become popular among reptile hobbyists, especially in Australia due to its docile nature and manageable size. The Woma does well in a wide range of setups and has a very good appetite, rarely refusing a meal. They are easy to handle and will enjoy time out of their enclosure to exercise.

However, any snake can become a challenge if their basic requirements are not met. If these snakes become excessively stressed, they may refuse to eat and could become ill. It is important to understand basic Woma Python care before acquiring one of these snakes.

Australian Pythons are becoming more and more popular in American and European collections with many people adding Australian Python’s such as the Black Headed Python and the Children’s Python to their collections.

Feeding a Woma Python

In captivity, Woma Python’s are known to be fantastic feeders, rarely refusing a meal. An appropriately sized rat once a week is enough for an adult Woma. Don’t confuse their aggressive feeding response with hunger as they can easily be overfed and become overweight.

You should not feed your snake live prey as it can injure them. Most prey items fed to snakes have sharp teeth and claws and can injure your snake if he doesn’t eat it straight away. In the wild, the rodent will have the opportunity to run away if the snake doesn’t choose to eat it. However, in a confined space, such as an enclosure, the rodent will be forced to defend itself against attack. This is cruel for both the snake and the rodent.

The most convenient option is to feed your Woma Python frozen thawed mice and rats. Never feed your snake wild rodents as they will likely carry disease and mites that can make your snake sick. As these snakes have ferocious appetites you might choose to feed them outside of their enclosure. This will reduce the chance of evoking a feeding response when opening their cage.

Always ensure your snake has a clean supply of water to drink from. This should be changed regularly as your snake will go to the toilet in it and might even bath in it to assist with shedding. Water should be provided in a heavy, shallow bowl to prevent the snake from tipping it over.

Woma Python Feeding

Woma Python Housing

A Woma Python will do well in a basic setup. The necessary items to keep this snake include an adequate sized enclosure, a water bowl, a heating element and a hide at each end of the enclosure. You can elaborate on this as much as you like with decorations, climbing branches and rocks.

An adult Woma can be housed in a 4ft x 2ft x 1.5ft enclosure. They are primarily a terrestrial species so enclosure height isn’t overly important. However, you can offer this snake a deep substrate to burrow in as this will mimic their behaviour in the wild. While this is a terrestrial species, they will utilise rocks and climbing branches if you choose to add them to their setup.

Many breeders house their Woma Pythons in reptile racks. While this type of setup isn’t suitable for arboreal snakes, a Woma Python will thrive in this setup. It is however important to choose a rack big enough to accompany the snake and allow for a thermal gradient (hot and cool side).

Whatever type of enclosure you choose, it is important to ensure that your snake as adequate hiding places. At a minimum, you should provide your snake with at least one hiding space at either end of the enclosure.

Always ensure your snake has a clean supply of water to drink from. This should be changed regularly as your snake will go to the toilet in it. Water should be provided in a heavy, shallow bowl to prevent the snake from tipping it over. Your snake may also bath in the water bowl to help it shed.

Light and Heat

A Woma Python requires a hot spot of about 32oC (90F). The cooler end of the enclosure can be around 25oC-27oC (78F-80F). As this is a terrestrial species, belly heat is the preferred method of providing heat so a heat mat or heat cable should be used.

As with any reptile, the heating system should be controlled using an appropriate thermostat. Pulse proportional or dimmer controlled Thermostats are the best options to use.

Never use a heat rock for heating snakes. They are prone to getting excessively hot and can burn your snake. There is no need to provide a Woma Python with UV light as this is a nocturnal species that spends most of its time underground.

Humidity in the enclosure should be kept between 55-70%. This can be maintained by misting inside the enclosure a couple of times a week if the ambient humidity is too low.


You can keep a Woma Python in a very simple setup with newspaper or paper towel as a substrate. This is easy to clean and maintain as the paper can simply be thrown away and replaced when soiled. However, this substrate does not allow the snake to replicate their burrowing tendencies in the wild.

To allow the snake to burrow, provide them with a substrate such as Aspen bedding that is 0.5ft deep. Your snake will enjoy burrowing through the substrate and will feel more secure. You can also use a loose soil/sand based substrate for the same effect.

Do not use Soft Woods such as Cedar for substrate in a reptile enclosure. While it is a very common substrate for small mammals and birds, it is toxic to reptiles. Several species of Cedar are known to be particularly dangerous, such as White Cedar, Japanese Cedar and Western Red Cedar. Pine and other Eucalyptus trees produce aromatic phenols which are reportedly toxic to reptile.


Just like all reptiles, Woma Pythons will shed their skin on a regular basis. This is completely natural and does not harm the snake in any way. Younger snakes will shed more frequently as they are growing, but a snake will shed its skin for the duration of its life.

Juveniles tend to shed approximately every 5-8 weeks while adults will likely shed approximately every 8 to 12 weeks. This is just an estimation and the length of time will vary depending on a number of factors including how much the snake is being fed and their growth rate.

You can make the process easier for your snake in a number of ways. You can place a large enough water bowl in the enclosure for the snake to bath in or include a damp hide box. Misting the substrate in the tank will increase the humidity which will also assist with shedding.

After your snake has finished shedding, do a quick examination to ensure there is no stuck shed. Common areas for stuck shed include around the eyes and the tail. Stuck shed can be easily removed by giving your snake a warm bath. During the bath the stuck shed can be easily rubbed away.

Handling a Woma Python

Woma Pythons are considered to be a docile snake and can usually be easily handled. They are a very active snake so interactions with them can be beneficial for both the snake and the person. If safe to do so, you can allow the snake time out of their enclosure to wander around the room to explore.

Handling of hatchlings should be kept to a minimum until they are established feeders. If a hatchling is stressed it may refuse to eat so it is best to wait until they are readily taking meals before handling them regularly.

You should also refrain from handling a snake for at least 24hrs after a meal. Handling them soon after a meal is known to cause regurgitation.

Woma Python Care

Woma Python Breeding

A female Woma Python will reach sexual maturity in 2 to 3 years while a male will generally go sooner, about 1.5 to 2 years. Before putting a snake through a vigorous breeding cycle ensure they are in peek health and adequate weight as this process will take a lot out of them.

At the beginning of November, the ambient temperature of the female’s enclosure can be reduced to about 21oC (70F) at night. The male can be introduced into the female’s cage at this point. Woma Python’s are prolific breeders with courtship and copulation usually occurring the day the male is introduced.

The female should begin to ovulate and become gravid around January, although this can vary considerably. You will notice that the middle of her body becomes considerably larger, as if she is after eating a large meal. The male can be removed from the female’s cage at this point. It is important to give the male about 3 days off each week by returning him to his own cage.

About 20 days after ovulation the female will have her pre-lay shed. This is a good indication of when she will lay her eggs which are usually dropped about 30 days after the shed. It is important to include a nest box in the enclosure for the female to lay in. This can be as simple as a plastic storage box filled half way with damp (not wet) vermiculite.

Clutch size can vary considerably but typically range anywhere from 10-25 eggs. The eggs should be removed from the enclosure and incubated at about 32oC (90F). The eggs will typically hatch after 55-60 days. The hatchlings can then be set up in their own individual enclosures.