Toffee Ball Python
Name/Common Name: Ball Python or Royal Python
Scientific Name: Python regius
Ball pythons are one of the most common snakes held in captivity today. The combination of their docile nature, easy captive care requirements, tolerance for handling and seemingly endless potential for selective breeding has made them popular with everyone from the new hobbyist right through to the sophisticated collector/breeder.
Ball pythons are terrestrial snakes and are native throughout Western and Southern Africa. They are shy and reclusive animals by nature and true to their name will coil themselves into a tight ball if frightened or stressed. Adults will grow anywhere from 3 to 5 feet, with females being distinctively larger then males. Captive bred ball pythons do very well in collec¬tions and have been known to live upwards of forty years.
Ball pythons are visually very attractive snakes. The normal coloration of a ball python consists of a black background with contrasting dorsal and side markings in browns and yellows. The belly of a ball python is typically white/cream and sometimes has random black markings. However many ball pythons in captivity today are anything but normal. Selective breeding projects have resulted in the creation of many morphs that have specific markings and/or colorations. Additionally the potential for new morphs remains an exciting proposition for many collectors. Here at The Urban Python we specialize in some very exciting morphs including our extreme toffee ball, sandblast and lemon frost.
Regardless of whether you are a hobbyist/breeder or a pet owner our advice is the same and that is to keep it simple. For pet owners your best option for caging is a glass/plastic enclosure while the hobbyist/breeder who will be keeping several ball pythons should look to a rack system.
Glass enclosures can be used to provide a naturalistic and visually appealing environment for a hobbyist. For those looking to house several ball pythons a rack system is an excellent option. These systems can be built by the hobbyist or purchased from a caging company such as Animal Plastics. The benefit of a rack system includes: ease of cleaning, efficient use of space and provides a secure space that is conducive to the humidity requirements of a ball python. For either set-up an average sized ball python should have an enclosure that is approximately 500 square inches, which in a rack system would be the equivalent of a sweater box for males (26” x 17” x 5”) and blanket box for females (36” x 17” x 5”) and for a glass enclosure a 30 gallon tank. Hatchlings are best started out in a shoe box sized enclosure, but will need to be “upgraded” to their larger enclosure as they grow to adult¬hood. The enclosure should also be well ventilated and should be securely closed at all times.
Ball pythons should always be housed individually.
Within either of these types of enclosures there are four basic fixtures required to provide an environment that your ball python will thrive in; they are heat/light, humidity/water, substrate and shelter.
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