Royal Pythons, or Ball Pythons, are a very docile snake, that is easily handled, and very rarely bites. They don't grow very large, though they are a more full-bodied snake, than something like a Corn Snake for example. Fully grown, they can reach up to 5ft in length, though 4ft is more typical, with females being slightly larger than males. They come from western sub-Saharan Africa, preferring grassland, savannas and sparse woodland areas.
Their enclosures should be around 4 x 2 x 2ft in size by the time they reach adulthood. As with all snakes, these will need a heat gradient to create a hot spot on one end, of around 30-32C, with a cooler side with lower temperatures of around 22-25C. This can be achieved best with the use of a basking bulb or ceramic bulb, though any heat source used should be controlled with a thermostat. Any bulbs will also require a bulb guard on them, as snakes do have a tendency to wrap around bulbs. A heat mat could be used as a non-light emitting heat source for overnight, ensuring that the snakes get a good day and night cycle as well though this would depend on temperatures reached when the heating goes out, for example if you are reach above 15C without heating then it isn't necessary to heat. As with all snakes, UVB is not an essential part of their equipment, however it has been shown to be really helpful to their general health and well-being to have a low level of UVB, boosting their immune systems and overall wellness, so a low level, such as the Arcadia ShadeDweller is highly recommeneded. Alternatively, for the larger vivariums such as the 2ft tall, a 6% strip with reflector may be more beneficial.
Royal Pythons although sometimes inactive during the day, will enjoy moving around their enclosure during evening-night periods, so plenty of decoration for them to utilize is recommended, such as branches, plants and rock work. It is important to have a few options for the Royal to hide in, ideally at least one on the hot and one on the cold end, though more is beneficial, even if its just a hidden area created with plants over a branch, giving a shaded area underneath. A water bowl, ideally large enough for the snake to submerge in, helps to keep them hydrated, as well as helping with shedding if required. This should be located on the cooler end, so as not to encourage too much extra humidity in the vivarium. Saying this there should be a moderate level of around 50 - 60% with may require misting and addition of moss to reach.
For substrate, keeping in mind the moderate humidity, Royal Pythons, are best kept on orchid bark or on a more natural soil mix, which will replicate their natural habitat a bit more. A small amount of sand mixed in may ensures that the soil is not too humid on its own depending on the mix used. This should be spot cleaned as needed, as snakes do tend to only defecate once a week, and then fully cleaned on a regular basis, ideally every couple of months.
Royals are best fed on frozen thawed rodents, ideally rats, going up in size as they grow. Other prey items such as mice or chicks aren't as high protein which is necessary for this heavy bodied species so should be fed infrequently, rats and multi-mammates tend to be more likely to keep the snake in the right body condition, and in a good weight range. As youngsters that are still growing, weekly feeding is ideal, though this may be extended to every other week for adults, using their body condition to judge this.
Swell SuperStore Royal Python:
- Current Age/Size - juvenile 45cm approx
- Adult Expected Size - 4 - 5ft
- Habitat - Savannah, grassland and forested woodland across sub-Saharan Africa. Terrestrial living.
- Required Enclosure Size - 4 x 2 x 2ft
- UV Lighting - 2-3 UVI (ShadeDweller for smaller enclosures and 6% strip bulb for larger enclosures)
- Expected Lifespan - 20 - 30 years
- Temperature Gradient - 22 - 32C
- Humidity Levels - 50 - 60%
- Feeding - Defrosted mammals once weekly, 10 days - fortnightly when adult (Rats recommended)
- Handling - Docile, easily tamed and easily handled. One person handle. Handling to be avoided 48 hours after feeding and when shedding.
If you like the look of these animals, and would like any further information, please call the shop directly on 0161 351 4705, or contact them for more images or information at email@example.com. The Livestock List is updated regularly, but please call ahead to ensure we still have what you want, or to reserve something you may have seen.