return to main index

  mobile - desktop
follow us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on YouTube link to us on LinkedIn
click here for Rodent Pro
This Space Available
3 months for $50.00
Locate a business by name: click to list your business
search the classifieds. buy an account
events by zip code list an event
Search the forums             Search in:
News & Events: Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard . . . . . . . . . .  Herp Photo of the Day: Iguana . . . . . . . . . .  Central Illinois Herp Society Meeting - Oct. 06, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Northern Virginia Reptile Show - Oct. 08, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Madison Herp Society Meeting (Milwaukee) - Oct. 12, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Madison Herp Society Meeting (FoxValley) - Oct. 12, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Madison Herp Society Meeting - Oct. 14, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  DFW Herp Society Meeting - Oct. 15, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Lancaster Herp Society Meeting - Oct. 21, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Richmond Reptile Expo - Oct. 22, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Bay Area Herpetological Society Meeting - Oct. 28, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Exoticon Pet Expo Fishersville VA - Oct. 29, 2022 . . . . . . . . . . 

Photo and Text by Ken Felsman

click here for Rodent Pro

Troubleshooting Guide to BALL PYTHONS

Natural History | General Information | Housing Your Snake | Care and Husbandry | Feeding Strategies
Breeding | Common Questions | Glossary | Ball Python Breeders | Classified Ads | Forum

General Information

Do Ball Pythons, Python regius, make good pets? I'd have to say yes, but like most other animals, they can be challenging at times. Before you consider getting a pet snake, you might be interested in reading "Keeping a Snake as a Pet." This excellent article was written by Dana Payne, a keeper at the Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Washington.

Ball Pythons can be good 'beginner' snakes, if you follow a few caveats and know what you are buying. One thing that you should know, is that getting the snake setup in a secure cage will probably cost as much, if not more, than the snake itself. You will need a cage (typically an aquarium), a secure lid, at least one heat source (either a heat mat, or an aluminum type clip lamp), a thermometer, a water bowl, and at least one hide box. I would suggest you also get a lamp timer, an extra hide box or two, a hygrometer (humidity gauge), a second heat source, a snake hook, and a pair of hemostats×. You will also need to know where to get food for your snake (or be able to raise your own), and know of a qualified reptile veterinarian in your area.

So you've done the research and decided that you are ready to care for a snake. Now the question is, where to get it? The easiest place to get a pet snake, would most likely be a pet store. As typical with life, sometimes the things that come easy aren't necessarily the best. Unfortunately Ball Pythons are not commonly bred in captivity, which means that most of them seen in pet stores originate from the wilds of Africa. If you do some research and find a herpetological (or herpetocultural×) society in your area, you may be able to find someone who breeds them. If you do get your snake from a pet store, hatchlings (16-18 inches) usually adjust to captivity. Wild caught adults (36-48 inches) however, typically do not fare very well in captivity, due to a host of health problems.

Once you have your snake and got him/her set up at home, the best thing to do is leave it alone for at least a week or two. This will give your snake time to get comfortable in it's new home. A snake that is not stressed and acclimated will eat, and generally be a better pet. After you've patiently waited a few weeks, I would try and feed it it's first meal See Feeding Strategies. Once it eats a few times for you, it's OK to start handling your snake for short periods of time. I feel it's better to get them out of the cage with a snake hook×. Ball Pythons do not usually bite, but if a bite is going to happen, reaching your hand into the tank is typically when it does. The snake may not know your intentions and see you as a predator or confuse you with a food item. Bites very rarely happen, and fortunately do not hurt any worse than getting a shot from the doctor. Once you've had your snake for awhile you will be able to "read" it based on it's body posture and activity cycles. For the most part, hatchlings may tend to be a little more defensive and/or hungry, and adults are typically very docile.

< BACK     NEXT >

Sponsored Link
Click here for LLL Reptile & Supply
advertise here

Recent Ball Pythons Forum Posts
• Is This Enough Airflow?, posted by BelatedBoa
• Can’t find extremely rare morph: normal, posted by breitenup
• Sick Python, posted by pandalumps
• Introducing New Morph, the "Nguyen", posted by KNreptile
• Picture Request, posted by zippy00_99
• Mystic VS Mojave, posted by alchemyreptiles
• Ball Python Eggs ????, posted by mingdurga
• Wrinkly baby ball, posted by jmsandlin
• 6 y.o male hypo, het albino - San Diego, posted by zraverherp
• Opinions please on these snakes..., posted by ArmorofGod
• Female Lemon Blast Spider Ball Python, posted by Northwest
• Super banana spider, posted by jerryruiz510
• Stressed? (Change in behavior), posted by MessickMe
• ball python acting strangely, posted by jmsandlin
• White Diamond, posted by RichardHurtz
• Help with Bamboo Vanilla Ghost clutch, posted by Chad_Ramsey
• New Owner . . . soon, posted by Leah844
• Ball Python, posted by alexisstar
• How to maintain humidity?, posted by HiddenMe
• Eating problems, posted by Pythons1233

Recent Ball Python Classifieds:
- Female Spider Yellow Bel...
- Female Pastel Yellow Bel...
- 2021 C B Pastel Ivory Ba...
- 2021 C B Enchi Pied Ball...
- 2021 C B Mojave Pied Bal...
- 2021 C B Pastel Pied Bal...
- 2022 C B Banana Pinto Pi...
- 2021 C B Spinner Ball Py...
- 2021 C B Pastel Ball Pyt...
- 2021 C B Pastel Special ...

Banner Pool
click here for Healthy Herp
$100.year special flat rate banner! - click for info