Royal Pythons are calm, gentle and curious, making them an ideal beginners snake. You should be aware of their adult size, reaching up to 5 foot (1.5m) in length.
Royal Pythons are also known as Ball Pythons due to them rolling into a ball in defence. This species of Python grows to an average length of 4 foot (1.2 m), with the females being the large of the two. Some specimens have been known to reach more than 5 foot (1.5m) in length.
Royal Pythons have a distinctive head, slender neck and a wide body. The body colour is black with yellow, gold or brown markings. The patterns may be banded, broken or reduced in some specimens and some may have a dorsal stripe.
Royal Pythons are found within Central and Western Africa. They inhabit forests and are equally comfortable on the ground or in trees. These Pythons are active during dawn and dusk and hide away during the day.
Royal Pythons have to be one of the easiest species of snake to own, as long as the basic requirements are met.
Although these Pythons do grow big, they prefer a smaller enclosure then you would think. If the enclosure is too large, this could cause stress to the Python. There are a number of different enclosures you can use from vivariums, glass tanks and plastic containers. Young Pythons can be housed in plastic containers measuring approx. 20x10” (LxW), sub and fully-grown adults in a 36x15” vivarium.
You need provide your Royal Python with an ambient air temperature of 27-29C (80-85F) throughout the enclosure with a basking spot of 32.5C (90F) during the day. At night, allow the ambient air temperature to drop down to no lower than 23-24C (73-75F), with a basking area of 27C (80F). No additional UV lighting is required for your Royal Python. You can maintain the temperatures by using either a basking lamp with a guard or a heat mat, a thermostat should control both these.
While your Python is young, the best substrate to use would be kitchen towel or newspaper, this is cheap and easy to clean out. Once your Python starts to grow, you can use aspen, bark chips or cage carpet that is washable. A humidity box must be placed in with your Python. Cut a hole out of the plastic container, place vermiculite and sphagnum moss inside. Another hide should be placed in the enclosure so your Python can hide away during the day. To make the enclose look nice, place a large branch with some artificial plants around it.
Feed you Royal Python on defrosted mice and rats. The size of food given depends on the size of the Python, this shouldn’t be any larger then the widest part of the Pythons body. Young Pythons should be fed every 7-10 days, older Pythons every 10-14 days and adults should be fed every 3 weeks with breeding females being fed every 2 weeks.
Fresh water should be provide daily in a dish/bowl so your Python may drink or bathe. This is very important when your Python is due to shed its skin. Once you notice the Pythons eyes go clear after being cloudy, bathe it in luc warm water for 10 minutes, dry off then place back in its enclosure. The Python should then shed within 24hrs.