I have included this section to dispel some common beliefs about Green Tree Pythons that are in fact not true. "A little leaven contaminates the whole loaf of bread", and while there is a small grain of truth in some of these beliefs, the public perception is often out of touch with the reality. I hope my comments will bring some needed balance to these common misconceptions.
Myth # 1: "Chondros are difficult to keep and only for advanced keepers"
Facts: I do not feel that GTPs are difficult at all once their specialized needs are understood and met. While it is certainly true that they are not corn snakes and will not thrive in just any old cage or environment, providing them with what they need is not that difficult. While some snake keeping experience is important before getting into chondros, and I do not recommend them for a first snake, they may be kept successfully by anybody willing to learn and do what is required.
Myth # 2: "Green Tree Pythons are among the meanest and snappiest of snakes"
Facts: Chondros come in all types of temperaments, from very tame to untouchable. Most captive bred individuals can be free-handled during daylight hours. Most babies are very snappy and don't tolerate being handled until they are a year old or so. Most captive bred adult specimens will respond well to gentle handling. Neonates younger than a year in age should not be handled, to help prevent spinal damage. If getting a tame chondro is a must for you then the best bet is to purchase a yearling or adult that is already tolerant of handling. NOTE: All chondros should be treated with the utmost respect after dark, when the feeding response can cause even the calmest of GTPs to strike at any movement.
Myth # 3: "Green Tree Pythons need constant 100% humidity"
Facts: This is a bad idea that can cause skin problems. A daily cycle of high humidity followed by a slow drying out period is best. If your cage grows mildew or mold it is too wet. This is one of the most intimidating and confusing aspects of GTP care for beginners, but need not be. Your chondro won't die if the humidity isn't exact. Shedding problems are the most common symptom of incorrect humidity, and can be treated without much of a problem.
Myth # 4: "Green Tree Pythons have enormous teeth"
Facts: This distinction goes to the completely unrelated Emerald Tree Boa from South America, which does posses very large front teeth in both the top and bottom of the mouth. That is not to say that GTPs don't have impressive teeth, but they do not have huge fangs. A bite from an adult chondro hurts less than being stuck in briars...and I speak from personal experience on both counts.
Myth # 5: "You can tell the locality of origin by the appearance of a Green Tree Python"
Facts: While there are some outward color and pattern traits commonly associated with geographic chondro races, notably the Aru and Biak Island forms, most locality claims are just wishful thinking at best. GTPs are highly variable, and reliable collection documentation for founder (wild) stock is nearly impossible to get. Somehow many people have gotten the idea that a "locality" tag on a given animal makes it more desirable, but most of the time there is no substance to it.
Myth # 6: "Many Green Tree Pythons are overpriced, they are all worth about the same price"
Facts: Compared to what? GTPs produced by legitimate, quality-oriented breeders are not inexpensive. These pythons are not easy to breed, and the babies can take quite a bit of work to get started. When it comes to buying a quality, captive bred chondro with bloodline records, data card showing feeding, shed, and hatch info, and expert friendly advice, you get what you pay for. I spend literally hundreds of hours helping those who have purchased inferior animals and can't get help from the seller.
Myth # 7: "Green Tree Pythons aren't that hard to breed, lot's of people are doing it"
Facts: It is certainly true that there are more successful breeders than there used to be, and I for one am glad about this. I support the captive breeding efforts of all who approach it with integrity. It is also true that there have been a lot of one-time lucky clutches hatched out, and many who do hatch out babies are unable to get them to eat. It takes years of learning and perfecting techniques to consistently produce quality chondros, and even the best breeders still lose clutches. The simple fact that the market isn't flooded with captive bred GTPs like so many other herps should shed light on the truth about captive breeding.
Myth # 9: "Blue chondros will produce babies that will be blue as adults too"
Facts: Actually, you could substitute other colors for "blue"... yellow being the most common. The truth is, while parents having a desired trait may possess a better chance at producing offspring with that same trait, only a percentage of the offspring will show varying degrees of that trait. Some bloodlines are definitely more potent than others, and only from seeing past results can you make an intelligent assessment about a particular animal's potential for throwing like offspring. I would never pay outrageous prices for unchanged babies based solely on the appearance of a parent with no proven past results.