Ball python FAQs
What are they and where do they come from?
Ball pythons were given their name due to their habit of curling into a ball when threatened. They are commonly known as Ball or Royal pythons, with a scientific name of ‘python regius’ and originate from West African countries of Ghana and Togo.
How big are they?
Upon reaching full maturity the ball python can range between 3.5 to 6 feet.
How long do they live?
They have an expected life span of 25 years.
What kind of tank do I need?
Adult ball pythons will require a vivarium such as the Vivexotic Compact Vivarium.
What sort of heat does it need?
A ball python will require both a heat lamp and an under tank heater. This can be done by placing a heat mat such as the Habistat Heat Mat underneath the terrarium and a Daylight Exo Terra heat lamp.
Please note that the heat mat and light should be placed on one side of the enclosure, with the habitat on the opposite side.
The heat mat is essential to provide heating to the snake’s belly when digesting.
An Exo Terra Analogue Thermometer should be included inside the vivarium to maintain the optimum temperatures, which can be found below:
Daytime temperature: 80 – 85 degrees farenheit
Basking temperature: 88 – 93 degrees farenheit
Night time temperature: 75 – 80 degrees farenheit
What sort of light does it need?
Snakes do not require UVB rays to meet their vitamin D requirements.
In terms of normal light you can either use natural light, or make use of an energy saving bulb, in combination with a timer to replicate the cycle of day and night.
What else do I need in my tank?
In addition to the heating of the terrarium you will also need an exo terra water dish, exo terra reptile cave, as well as a substrate of orchid bark.
It should also be noted that ball pythons do not enjoy large empty spaces.
They prefer décor and hideaways in which they can feel comfortable.
What does it eat?
Ball pythons dine exclusively on mice and rats throughout their lives.
What are the positives about ball pythons?
A great benefit of ball pythons is that they a very resilient and docile pets.
Compared with other snakes they are not overly large and as such will not require very big enclosures.
In addition to being docile, they are also well-sized, making them easy to handle and not likely to dart away quickly.
One of their great attractions is the huge variety of ‘mutations’ of colour that are possible. By selectively breeding snakes with certain patterns it is relatively easy to predict the combination of scale colours.
What are the negatives about ball pythons?
A drawback to the keeping of ball pythons is their sensitivity regarding their environments. It does not like change and as a result, if the environment is altered, even something as simple as adding new décor, they can potentially go off their food in response.
Their tendency towards being fussy eaters is also a point to consider. However, due to their highly resilient metabolism going off their food is not often life-threatening.
If you want to learn more about snakes you can check out our snake help guides, like our Western hognose snake care sheet.