Ball Pythons

Cold Weather Initiates Hibernation

Ball pythons, named due to their tendency to roll themselves into a ball and hide when frightened or threatened, are also commonly referred to as “royal” or “regal” pythons.

Ball pythons are generally well-mannered, easy to handle, and grow between three-five feet; making them an ideal snake for a beginning snake owner. Ball pythons do not usually bite, and for the most part, are very docile. Young snakes tend to be more aggressive, but become more comfortable with frequent handling. 

Ball python

The ball python’s indigenous environment is western and central Africa and, according to, the Web site for reptile lovers, can be found in Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone and on the west coast of Liberia, east to southern Chad and Uganda.

Ball pythons are normally found in grasslands and sparsely wooded areas, under the ground in burrows; they are known to climb, as well.

These particular snakes are carnivores, and are normally fed mice and rats. It’s recommended to feed ball pythons pre-killed, thawed food, since introducing live prey to your snake might result in bite wounds to your snake that can become infected.
Ball python

Ball pythons have a camouflaged design of mostly brown and tan “blobs” with white underbellies. However, their colors and patterns can vary depending on their regional location.

Female ball python snakes are normally larger than males; males are normally more slender and have smaller heads. Both have muscular bodies due to their constricting nature. 

Maintaining a proper temperature in your snake’s enclosure is key in keeping your ball python healthy. Snakes tend to do well with temperatures in the mid-80 degree Fahrenheit range, although it helps to keep one side of the enclosure warmer and one side cooler so the snake can choose the temperature it prefers.

A ball python should always have water available, along with a “hide” place, where the snake can retreat to curl up or feel safe, such as a hollow log or a store-bought, snug-fitting enclosure.

Find a Knowledgeable Veterinarian One very important step you should take while in the process of buying a ball python: locate a veterinarian who is experienced and comfortable treating reptiles. Many veterinary clinics with reptile experience are more than willing to see clients for a post-purchase consultation. A veterinarian can be a terrific resource to help guide you toward choosing the right pet for your family and help prepare your expectations. 

Unfortunately, snakes are vulnerable to illness and health risks just like their cat and dog counterparts. With the proper care, ball pythons have a life expectancy up to 30 years. Did you know that Nationwide pet insurance offers an avian and exotic pet insurance plan? Click here to learn more.