Facts about Ball Python snake. "Scientific name for Ball Python snake is Python regitus and it is a nontoxic Python type of snake that comes from the Pythonidae family. The Ball Python snakes are native to Africa, and they are the smallest snakes of Africa. They are the most popular snakes in the pet trade, owing to their typically passive temperament. This variety of snake is also called Royal Python. Usually, the Ball Python snakes prefer savannas, grasslands and sparsely forested areas to live. They normally live in homes, such as termite mounds and empty animal burrows. They are largely found in West Africa, chiefly in Sierra Leone, Senegal, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Cameroon and Liberia.
Features of Ball Python snake
Generally, an adult Ball Python does not grow more than a length, ranging from 5 feet 6 feet (1.5 m to 1.8 m). Usually, female Ball Python snakes are slightly bigger and less lengthy than male snakes, with the length between 4 feet and 4 1/2 feet (1.2 m to 1.4 m). Male Ball Python snakes appear with a stocky body, with a small-size head. Their scales are smooth, and both genders boast anal spurs on both sides of the vent. Even though male Ball Python snakes are inclined to have bigger spurs, this is not perfect. Their sex is best decided through physical eversion of the male hemipenes or introducing a probe into the cloaca to discover the upturned hemipenes. While probing to decide sex, male Ball Python snakes usually measure eight to ten sub-caudal scales, and the female ones usually measure two to four sub-caudal scales.
The color pattern of the Ball Python snake is usually black or dark tan with light tan or gold color sides and dorsal marks. The belly of the Ball Python snakes is cream or white in color that may contain scattered black color markings. However, the snakes in the pet businesses will develop several morphs, with distorted patterns and colors through choosy breeding.
Diet of Ball Python snake
The Ball Python snake mostly feeds on small creatures, like shrews, soft-furred rats of Africa and striped mice in the wild. They also feed on all kinds of birds. Younger Ball Python snakes have also been recognized to eat birds. In the captive, they are fed with domestic mice and rats, killed, live, or frozen-thawed.
Behavior of Ball Python snake
The Ball Python snake is a terrestrial variety of snake and it is recognized for its protective strategy that entails coiling into a firm ball when in danger, with its neck and head tucked away in the central part of the coil. In this situation, it can be rolled around literally. The preferential retreats of the Ball Python snake varieties comprise mammal holes and other underground hiding locations, where they aestivate, too. In captivity, the Ball Python snakes are measured as good pets, with their fairly small size body and docile nature, making them trouble-free to handle. Captive developed adult snakes seldom bite unless they are harshly threatened.
Reproduction of Ball Python snake
Usually, the male Ball Python snake attains its sexual maturity after 11 to 18 months after their birth, whereas the females attain the sexual maturity after 20 to 36 months after their birth. The age and the weight are the significant factors in deciding the sexual maturity and the skill to breed in these varieties of snakes. Male Ball Python snakes will breed when their body mass is more than 21 ounces (600 grams), whereas the females will breed when their body mass is as low as 28 ounces (800 grams). Female Ball Python snakes are oviparous, and they appear with 3 to 11 big, leathery eggs being arranged. These are protected by the female snake under the ground through a shivering movement, and the eggs will hatch after 55 to 60 days. Once the eggs are hatched the parental care will come to an end, and the mother snake will leave the young to fend for themselves.
The average lifespan of the Ball Python snake is 30 years in the wild, whereas in the captive, they can live up to 50 years.