A pair of ball pythons.
A pair of ball pythons.

Ball Python

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Royal pythons, or as they are more commonly known ball pythons, are relatively small constrictor snakes from sub-Saharan Africa.

Royal Python.

A royal python (Python regius) or ball python with wild coloration, Veszprém Zoo.


Ball pythons are also very popular pets in the pet reptile trade due to their small size (under 6ft long), relatively docile nature, small space requirement, and the fact that they breed quite readily in captivity.

Like all snakes that come from a warm climate they do have certain temperature and other requirements that must be met by the pet owner for the continued health of the their pythons. Their needs are however well known and one can find plenty of ball python care sheets on the Internet.

Ball Python Rolled Into a Ball.

Ball pythons, as the name suggests, love to roll themselves into a ball.

Even in the wild different ball pythons have different color patters. In captivity there are hundreds, if not thousands of different color morphs.
Ball Python Rolled Into a Ball.
Ordinary wild colored ball pythons can be moderately priced in the pet trade, while individuals with a relatively rare color pattern can fetch a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars depending on how rare the morph is and what is its exact genetic make up.

Like with guppies, the inheritance on the ball python color variations is well known in the hobby.

Fancy Ball Python.

Serious breeders at reptile shows usually do provide information beyond the name of the color morph, and you should get some information about the genetic makeup of your pet, which mostly only matters if you ever plan to breed it and you wish to know in advance how the offspring will look like.

There are on line calculators to determine what the genotype and phenotype of the offspring will be if you cross a female of a certain genotype with male with some other genotype.

Fancy Ball Python.

If you keep a ball python as a pet you can, and according to most expert you should, handle your snake with some frequency. Ball pythons can learn to feel quite comfortable when being held by a human, especially if they are handled on a regular basis from a young age.

The nature of their comfort can be quite different from what one expects after having experience with only mammalian pets. Your cat or dog or rabbit or guinea pig might have the same reaction to being petted as a human would. A snake does not. Your ball python might like being held because your hand is a nice comfortable and more importantly warm place.

Ball Python.

Further Readings:

Fancy Ball Python.
Last updated: June 27, 2016

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