Ball Pythons are an excellent beginner snake and
one of the most popular pet snakes due to their docile nature. Captive bred Ball Pythons are becoming more readily available in the hobby, and the many color morphs being created have added to the growing popularity of this small python species. Ball Pythons were given the name “Ball” because when threatened, they will curl into a ball and hide their head in their coils. In Europe they are called “Royal Pythons.”
Common Name:Ball or Royal Python
Scientific Name: Python regius
Distribution: Western African countries of
Ghana and Togo.
Life Span: 25 years
Hatchling to juvenile Ball Pythons (under 3′) can be housed in a 20 gallon terrarium.
Adult Ball Pythons will need at least a 40 gallon terrarium. We recommend keeping Ball pythons in an enclosure that is no shorter than half the length of the snake.
Hatchling Ball Pythons can be housed together, however juveniles and adults should be
Daytime Terrarium Temperature
Basking Temperature 88-93°F
Nighttime Terrarium Temperature
Create a thermal gradient in your
snake enclosure by placing a heat lamp and an Under Tank Heater on one side of the terrarium. Zoo Med’s Daylight Blue Reptile Bulb is a good choice for heating snake enclosures.
Any of Zoo Med’s thermometers will help you keep a close eye on
Keep all hides, such as a Repti
Shelter™ or Habba Hut™ on the
cool end of the enclosure.
An Under Tank Heater is essential to provide belly heat to your snake while it digests a meal.
Snakes typically do not require UVB to meet their vitamin D requirements. However, many snakes receive UVB and sunlight in their natural habitat and there is new evidence that they benefit from UVB lighting in captivity.
Zoo Med’s NatureSun® or ReptiSun® 5.0 fluorescent lamps
can be used to illuminate your
terrarium and create a photoperiod (light cycle) that will keep your snake on natural
Ball Pythons will do best on Zoo Med’s Aspen Snake Bedding,
Forest Floor cypress mulch, or ReptiBark®. We recommend a
substrate layer of 2.5-3″ in depth.
Provide moistened New Zealand Sphagnum Moss in a Repti Shelter to create a humidity
chamber. This chamber will help your snake shed it’s skin as
Zoo Med’s Eco Carpet can be used as a safe, environmentally
friendly and easy-to-clean substrate.
Ball Pythons can be fed
exclusively mice and rats
throughout their lives.
Have fresh water available at
all times. ReptiSafe® Water
Conditioner is a good choice
for removing Chlorine and
Chloramines from tap water.
Zoo Med’s Corner Bowls are an
excellent choice water bowl for
Food items should be no wider
than the girth of your snake.
Hatchlings: Will eat 1 hopper mouse per week.
Juveniles: Will eat 1 adult mouse or rat pup per week.
Adults: Will eat 1
appropriately sized rat or 2 adult mice per week.
When selecting a Ball Python of any age or size, we recommend
purchasing Captive Born and Bred animals. Captive Born Ball
Pythons fare better in captivity and have fewer problems associated with parasites and disease. Captive born Ball Pythons also tend to be more
docile and have fewer problems feeding.
Purchase a quality book on the care and husbandry of these
animals before bringing any animal home.