Common Names: Ball Python, Royal Python Scientific Name: Python Regius Average Size: 3′ to 5′ Medium Bodied
DIET: Rodents TEMPS: 80-84 F w/ basking 88-94 F HUMIDITY: 50%-60% LIFESPAN: 20-30 + years in captivity
Ball pythons are a relatively small, thick-bodied species of python featuring a slender neck and well differentiated head. Common “wild-type” ball pythons are highly variable in color and pattern, but all feature some version of tan markings on a chocolate or black background, edged with varying degrees of white, with white bellies that may or may not contain some dark speckling pattern. Thanks to the efforts of breeders and enthusiasts, however, ball pythons are becoming increasingly available in a wide range of brilliant colors and patterns called “morphs.”
Ball pythons are found in the wild in central and west Africa and typically make their homes in abandoned rodent burrows or termite mounds. Their common name “ball” comes from their tendency to curl up into a ball and hide their head within their coils when threatened. This un-aggressive defense mechanism, combined with their manageable size and ready availability make them extremely popular in the pet industry.