Caresheet for Royal Python/Ball Python (Python regius

Species:P. regius
Royal Python



Royal Pythons are also known as Ball Pythons due to their habit of rolling into a ball when they feel threatened. They are docile and generally very reluctant to bite, making them one of the easiest species of snake to keep, proving a few basic rules are followed. The natural colouration for Royal Pythons is typically black or dark brown with light brown or gold sides, but there are now many colour variations, including albino, available due to selective breeding.


Royal Pythons originate from Central and Western Africa, generally from sparsely wooded areas, so although they are primarily a terrestrial snake they do climb branches.


Adult Royal Pythons are a stocky snake with sizes ranging between 90cm - 150cm (3ft-5ft). The average length is 120 cm (4ft).

Life span

The average lifespan is between 20-30 years, but some have reached 40 years old.


You should make sure that the snake that you wish to purchase is captive bred, apart from conservation issues wild caught specimens often suffer from health issues and parasites. You must handle the snake not just to check temperament but to examine its health. The snake should be alert with bright eyes and no discharge around the nostrils and mouth. Closely examine the for ticks or mites and for any retained shed.



Royal Pythons are not a very active snake and do not need a large vivarium. In the wild they live in small tunnels or burrows so a tank that is too large may create stress. A tank 36x18x18 inches (90x45x45 cm) is suitable for an adult and is 48x24x24 inches (120x60x60 cm) is more than adequate. Make sure there are adequate hiding places for your snake, without these it could get stressed. They should be large enough for the snake to curl up in, but not too large that it does not feel secure.


A variety of substrates can be used, but aspen shavings and reptile bark are probably the most common. You should be careful that your snake does not ingest any of this, so it is a good idea to feed it outside the tank.


Royal Pythons require normal humidity which is between 40-50 percent. If the humidity is too high this can lead to respiratory problems.


During the day the basking area should be between 32-35 C (89-95 F) the cooler end should be around 24 C (75 F).


A standard spot light at the hot end of the tank is sufficient. Royal Pythons like most other snakes do not need ultraviolet light.

Food And Water


On average Royal Pythons should be fed once a week, the standard food offered would be an appropriate sized mouse. Larger specimens may require a rat, but may also be fed less frequently. Royal Pythons are well known for suddenly refusing to eat, which can be worrying for the owner. Usually this fasting only lasts for a short period, before feeding resumes.


Fresh water should always be made available. It should be in a bowl large enough to allow the snake to fully submerse its body. This will aid the shedding process. The bowl should be fairly heavy to stop the snake tipping it over.

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