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Chat Transcript
Python Pete 9/23/99


Jeff Barringer - Tonights guest is Python Pete and tonight the topic is Pythons and Monitors. Pete Kuhn is a breeder of numerous species of pythons and small monitors. He lives in San Diego. Welcome Python Pete
Python Pete - Thanks, Jeff.

JeffB - Pete let me start off and ask you... what is you favorite reptile to work with?
Python Pete - My favorite reptile to work with? Tough question. I am having a lot of fun with V. scalaris right now because they are a new challenge.

diuk - a question pete what monitors can you export to uk? This is kevin by the way.
Python Pete - Hi Kevin. The export of all Appendix II reptiles native to Australia is touch and go right now.

Allibabu - I'm pretty new to constrictors....Albino Burmese Pythons is my interest. Tell me a little about them and where's the best breeding source and a good price.
Python Pete - I'm sorry but I don't work with those and would not due to their size.
Allibabu - Too large or too small?
Python Pete - Much too large for my interest.
JeffB - Bob Clark, whose not here... would be the source I would recommend

BG - Have you had bad luck with Diamond Python Syndrome?
Python Pete - Not at all. We have never seen a hint of it in our Diamonds or Crosses. I could not sell Diamonds if I thought that was an issue.

blackwidow - My friend recently found some info on what's called super dwarf reticulated pythons. They're supposed to reach only six or eight feet in length. What have you heard about them so far?
Python Pete - I've heard tell of them but have no experience with them. I work predominantly with Australian pythons and monitors. The only exception right now is Boelens Pythons.

diuk - Any tips on argus breeding?
Python Pete - Yes, based on my experience with V. flavirufus which is closely related, I suggest you keep the female separate from the male until she cycles. Leave male in for 2 to 3 weeks and them take him back out so she can lay

greg - How difficult are the Blackheads to breed?
Python Pete - Tough enough that I haven't succeeded yet. My oldest female just turned five years old and it is thought that they need a long time to reach sexual maturity. Especially the males. I hope this is my year for Black Headeds. They also don't go every year. There egg mass is so large they need time to recover.

JoeRom - Hi Pete. If I separate two monitors to let one catch up in size will I have trouble re-joining them? (Ackies)
Python Pete - No. Are they a sexual pair?
JoeRom - They are the ones I picked up at your house. still not sure of the sex they do act like male/female
Python Pete - Males often outgrow the females by 2x early on.

JohnO - Pete, I'm getting conflicting info on woma incubation. Barkers say normal python moisture, cover the box, little air flow. Zulich says less moisture, leave the box uncovered, more air flow. What temps, humidity, air flow do you recommend?
Python Pete - I use my own system with a 32 quart tupperware filled with an inch of water. Then float a small plastic cat box filled with dry Perlite on the water. The eggs obviously go in the Perlite . Closed container keeps high humidity and the eggs are never in direct contact with water. 88 to 89 degrees F. I open the box every few days to monitor the condensation level and allow oxygen exchange. We get very high hatch rates with that system. Make sense? You have to reduce water the last two weeks so the neonates can't drown.

kleb - Hey,Pete do you know what the price of woma's will be in the next few year's?
Python Pete - I expect the price to continue a graceful erosion and "eventually" reach $1000 a pair. Not all Womas will be equally valued. We have breeding programs in place that are producing unique and outstanding color characteristics. That $1000 a pair price should take years.

love2 - Hi Pete...I'm still new at this....but i have a ball python....and am thinking of getting another...is it safe to keep them together, even if they turn out to be same sex?
Python Pete - If they are the same size and your housing is adequate it is probably safe as long as both animals are healthy. It is not the ideal way to raise snakes but probably more fun for you.
love2 - K..thanks.

lzzzzzz - ok pete i was wondering first of all if U deal with any uromastyx or blue tongues and if not for your kimberly rock monitors i hear many things some say they are nice tame easy and friendly and not skittish while others say they can be very skittish and not tame easy like just being extremely shy and get scared easy , also how long they live and how long till sexually mature ,and how big are there clutches
Python Pete - All juvenile monitors are shy and skittish. Depending on your relationship with them they generally calm down with age and familiarity. I do not know how long they live yet but suspect they may not be as long lived as some other monitors. They are like a race car, sleek, elegant and finely tuned. More finicky eaters than many others and can be prone to stress that Ackies or some others may not be. We have had them mature well under a year and lay clutches. They are absolutely awesome animals and tremendous to work with.
lzzzzzz - so you don't have any uromastyx or blue tongues i am assuming , and thanks for the help, i am going to be picking up a trio hopefully in 4 months.

MikeB - I am interested in buying a pair of yellow acanthurus, what husbandry methods do you recommend?, for ex, what temps, feeding schedule?etc, thanks almost forgot sorry, what other monitor do you think that is similar makes an ideal small monitor pet/breeding project for around the same price? Thanks again Pete.
Python Pete - I think acanthurus are the ideal monitor for hobbyists because of their size and temperament. They are robust and solid as a tank and eat everything. I have fairly detailed husbandry information published on my web page http://www.pythonpete.com and also published in a recent issue of The Vivarium. Go with the Ackies, Mike. Ron St. Pierre has some available right now and so does Pro Exotics. I just work with the Reds.

reptile - Hi Python Pete its an honor to speak with you today and my question is , in the future will there be any piebald and albino piebald or albino granite Burmese pythons and if so what will be the price range on them be?
Python Pete - Your guess is as good as mine on the Burmese, reptile. Who knows?

snakebyte - Hello Pete, you mentioned earlier that Blackheads have large eggs masses, do you mean a large number of eggs, or are the eggs unusually large for there body size?
Python Pete - They can have a large number of eggs, I think Frank Retes got 18 in one clutch once. The size of their eggs is HUGE. They have been known to lay 2 years in a row but very seldom 3.

JeffB - Recently a 7 foot African rock python killed a 3 year old child. This has been getting a lot of negative press for herpers... what do you feel we can expect as the fallout from this?
diuk - USA will ban the keeping of all exotics
JohnO - Personally, nraac and others should condemn the owners, make sure people realize it is a rare happening
Python Pete - Even MORE anti reptile legislation. It is a scary time for the hobby. If you all have not joined NRAAC I encourage you to do so immediately. We are on the verge of loosing the freedom to work with reptiles in many cities and states across the country and really need to organize. We also need to find a way to educate herpers to the responsibilities of owning reptiles. Many get them without knowing what they are really in for.
MikeB - Too much money to have people regulate it, there are people now to regulate other things like hots but to ban and enforce all exotic herps in the USA? impossible diuk, way out of this world to do that, too much money and to many resources period
JeffB - Ok...thanks..

BG - Has Diamond Python syndrome ever been seen in crosses?
Python Pete - There has been reports of it but I have never seen it or heard of it from anyone I know. DPS has become a catch phrase for anything that goes wrong with the species. The original syndrome was complete loss of body tone and tremors.

blackwidow - My friend and I are trying to add a carpet python to our collection. Our favorites so far are the diamonds, but they're a hair pricey. The jungles are also really pretty, but they are too snappy--we sometimes show our snakes around children. Is there any alternative type of carpet python you would recommend for us? Also, who could we go to for them?
Python Pete - Jungles are generally a calm snake. Juveniles can be nippy but quickly grow out of it. Crosses are also quite calm as are common carpets. I recently got some Centralian Carpets from Casey lazik and they are as docile as any snake I have seen. There are a number of sources for the animals. I think we have some of the nicest but many other peoples are less expensive.
blackwidow - Okay, we'll look into it. Thanks.

diuk - How do you tell when a female monitor is cycling and do they multi clutch?
Python Pete - Every one I have worked with has multi clutched. You can see when they cycle because the put on a lot of weight and almost appear gravid. That is because they have created the ovum. I have multi clutched most monitors as much as three clutches in three months and then keep them apart a while for their health. By most, I mean most I have worked with.

Garter - Great to be here talking to you python pete. question--- I have never owned a snake, never even held one.(pathetic huh) I plan to get one in the future. what small (4-5 feet max) snake, pythons specifically do you suggest for extreme snake beginners? I was thinking of spotted python, rosy boa, or gartersnake, or hog island boa constrictor, however, i am not sure if they are for beginners? and do any of them REQUIRE hibernation, or UV rays?
Python Pete - Spotteds, or captive bred Ball Pythons are both great beginnings along with Rosy Boas which are smaller yet. Snakes do not really hibernate, they just get less active. There is no need to hibernate or cycle a snake unless you want to breed it. That is how we cycle them to breed. Good Luck!

JoeRom - How is the re-release of your album doing? And are you aware of any new dwarf monitors that will be available in the U.S. any time soon?
Python Pete - We were able to export flavirufus until six months ago. The re-release of my first album is still pending for 2000. I recently got the first clutch of V. scalaris ever produced in the US. Some of that species may become available next year. Hopefully I'll hatch an albino Acanthurus!

love2 - My ball is about 4 months old....and my rosy is about 2 months old....both were gtd vet checked and parasite free......and have seen a lot of talk on mites and parasites...how can i tell if my snake has parasites....and should i treat them regularly anyway?
Python Pete - First off, I strongly encourage all to only buy captive bred reptiles. Many health issues are avoided that way. If the animal goes off feed, is emaciated or has unusual stools then you might have a fecal done. If the snake is soaking in the water bowl or you see black pepper like speckles the it may well have mites.

Jeff Barringer - Well pete its 10:30 here, I want to thank you for filling in for Bob Clark on such short notice
Python Pete - Thanks, Jeff and everyone here. It has been a real pleasure chatting with you. Anything for my friends at kingsnake,com, dude.
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