Snake Breeders online
I. General Information
Python regius also known commonly as Ball Python or Royal Python is a snake belonging to the Pythonidae Family and are indigenous to Central Africa and west to the western coast of Africa south of the Sahara desert. They typically will be found in grasslands and savannahs in their natural range and occasionally in sparsely wooded areas. They generally remain hidden during the day, and take up residence in abandoned rodent burrows and termite mounds. In their natural state, they are typified by black and brown coloration, and can at times display colors that are at the yellow end of the brown spectrum. They are a non-venomous species of snake, and generally considered very placid. Adult ball pythons typically range in size from about 3 feet to 5.5 feet in length and are generally about 2 to 4 inches in girth at the widest point of the body. The females typically fit in the higher end of that spectrum, with the males being smaller. The general nature and size of these snakes make them very desirable in the pet trade, and contribute to their popularity as a pet snake. The common name Ball Python comes from the fact that these snakes will ball up with their head in the center of the ball as a defensive mechanism. They are not known to strike when scared, but rather to ball up and wait for the threat to go away.
In the pet trade today, very few animals are imported from Africa, although they were imported in large numbers in the 80's and 90's. The large majority of ball pythons today come from breeders that have been breeding for genetic mutations. Today the black and brown normal patterned ball python is quickly being replaced with every color and pattern imaginable.II. Housing
These snakes as pets are generally kept in glass aquariums and as a rule do not require a very large amount of space, due to the fact that in the wild, they do spend the majority of their lives in very small underground locations. While glass aquariums do work, and can be adapted to keep the animal in optimum conditions, we prefer to use plastic housing for these animals, as plastic is better at retaining heat and humidity (more on this later). Plastic tubs can be purchased at most large chain stores, and are very affordable. This makes it easy to buy an enclosure that is sized properly for your snake, and can be upgraded to a larger size when it is required, without having to spend a lot of money, or store old glass cages.
For a baby Ball Python, one that is between 12 and 18 inches, we recommend a plastic tub that is similar to a Sterilite 16 qt. container. This is one that is approximately 16x12x7. For sub-adult females and adult males, generally represented by a snake that is 18 - 24 inches (up to about 32 inches for adult males), something similar to a Sterilite 28 qt. is sufficient (approx. 23x16x6). For adult females, generally described as a snake that is 32 - 64 inches, a 41 qt. Sterilite is more than enough room (approx. 35x16x6). Sterilite containers do not have to be used, as any other brand is sufficient, but make sure that the dimensions are similar, and the lids have some sort of locking device (more on this later). Once you have selected the proper size container, we will begin preparing it for your new snake.