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Fast Facts:

  • Also known as the Royal Python, these snakes have a pattern of blotches with shades of yellow or gold on brown or bluish brown color. There is some iridescence.

  • Excellent swimmers, they have the ability to pump air into their bodies for flotation. When they want to dive, they simply release air.

  • Some African cultures hold the Ball Pythons to be sacred.

Ball Python

Scientific Name: Python regius
Classification: Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Reptilia Order: Squamata Family: Boidae
Status: Threatened
Range: Equatorial West Africa
Habitat: Forest and savannah regions
Diet: Rodents
Size: 3 -5 feet.
Lifespan: 20 - 30 yrs.
Print Fact Sheet Ball Python

Special Features

  • When threatened, it curls itself into a ball with its head inside the coils. The ball is so tight it can be rolled along the ground.
  • Spend some time in the trees and bushes.
  • Constrictors, they seek out food with the aid of a heat sensing pits located in the scales boarding their mouths.
  • They are primitive snakes that still possess a pelvic girdle and "vestigial" limbs (remnants of hind legs) . These snakes have upwards of 100 "recurved" teeth (curved inward), which are used to hold prey until the snake can kill them by constriction.
  • They swallow their food whole.

Social Structure & Behavior


They are oviparous and the female will take over a mammal burrow or other retreat and coil around the eggs to incubate and protect them. Eggs are large and there are 6-7 in a batch. Incubation is 3 months. Sexual maturity is between 18 months and 4 years. At birth the pythons are able to hunt and constrict. They mate every 2-3 years.

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