Ball Python care Sheet
The Royal python also known as the ball python because of its ability to curl into a tight ball when feeling threatened is the smallest African python. It has a large triangular head, black or red eyes, and a large chunky body. Whilst they come in many different colours and morphs the common royal python has a black or dark brown back with tan, gold and white patch like markings and a creamy white underside with the occasional black mark.
Whilst these snakes have a large chunky body males normally only grow between 3ft - 3.5ft. Females tend to be bigger than males and grow between 4ft - 4.5ft! Some Royal pythons have been known to reach 6ft but this is very rare.
Royal pythons live between 20-30 years on average but have been known to live for 40 years or longer if given the correct care!
Native to most areas of Africa Royal pythons are terrestrial and can usually be found living in the grassy savannah or on forest floors under piles of leaves and in burrows.
Male royal pythons reach sexual maturity around 11-18 months old and should weigh around 800g. Females take longer to reach sexual maturity which is around 3 years old and should weigh around 1500g. Breeding occurs when the temperatures drop slightly and the nights become longer. Introduce your male to the female and leave them together until they mate. If they haven't mated within 3 days take him out and give them a 3 day rest from each other. Once mating occurs your female will lay between 3-13 eggs with the average being 4-6 eggs about 26 - 30 days later. Females tend to be very protective of their eggs and may strike at you if you come across as threatening in any way, if you use one hand to gently grasp the female behind the neck and your other hand to unwrap her tail she should be fairly easy to remove and should relax fairly quickly. Remember this should be done gently in a calm and non threatening way. Once you have removed the female incubate the eggs at 31C and after another 55 - 60 days they should start hatching.