Ball Pythons are scientifically known as python regius. They come from western Africa, hence they thrive in warm, tropical locations. They are called ball pythons in the US for their habit of curling themselves up into a tight ball when they are nervous or upset. However, in Europe and many other parts of the world, they are referred to as the royal pythons. This is because many believed that Cleopatra used to keep these ball pythons coiled around her wrists.
These docile reptiles are even esteemed in many parts of Africa. They are one among the 27 python species around the world. This python breed is one of the smallest of all pythons. They grow to only about three to four feet long.
Although ball pythons are constrictors, they are simply the most popular pet python in the world as they are docile and gentle. They are also generally shy. Perhaps these are the reasons which draw them to more hobbyists and reptile keepers. They do make for ideal captives because of their small size, friendly nature, the interesting array of colors and patterns. On top of all these, they are one of the easiest reptiles to maintain.
Ball pythons will be a great quality pet for novice keepers as well as for those already experienced herpetoculturists. It is interesting to note that a wide variety of never-before-seen patterns are color variations are made available each year through the efforts of breeders.
If you are wondering where you can find one of these interesting breed of pythons, you don’t need to look any further. These docile pythons are commonly available from pet stores, reptile expos, reptile breeders, and even through online vendors and breeders. Your best option for a python from this breed will be a captive born and bred snake as they are normally healthier and are parasite free. Opt for one that is already well-started and eating to keep as a pet or to breed.
Hatchlings of this breed are about 10 inches in length. Adult female ball pythons grows to an average size of 3 to 5 feet long, while adult male ball pythons grow to an average length of about 2 to 3 feet. Generally, mature females are much larger than the males. A 5-foot long python is already considered huge, but there pythons that can grow to up to 6 feet or more as reported.
Ball pythons can live to up to 30 years or more with proper care. The oldest ball python reached 48 years old in captivity. (more…)