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Read About Ball Pythons

Ball pythons are generally considered a good pet, particularly for new snake owners. Everything you need to know about them is contained in this article.

Ball pythons - Facts

  1. Description:

    Ball pythons are constrictor snakes that usually grow to around 4 feet long. They are cold-blooded reptiles that are limbless, except for a small anal spur (larger on the male than the female). Most ball pythons are fairly docile snakes.
  2. Varieties:

    Ball pythons come in several varieties and many variations of coloration.
  3. History:

    Ball pythons are native to western and west-central Africa, in countries such as Ghana, Togo and Benin.
  4. Physical Traits:

    Ball pythons grow to anywhere from 3 to 6 feet long and are brown, tan and black in color. There are also albino ball pythons.
  5. Other Defining Characteristics:

    Ball pythons are so-named because when they feel threatened they roll up into a ball.
  6. Habitat:

    In the wild, ball pythons are ground-dwelling snakes that live in the rain forests and savannahs of Africa. When kept as pets, ball pythons like enclosed tanks with newspaper, bark, or other soft substrate.

Ball pythons - Concerns

  1. Benefits:

    Once removed from their natural habitat in Africa, ball pythons must be fed a domesticated diet.
  2. Liabilities:

    Ball pythons can be picky eaters, and may go days, weeks, or even months without eating.
  3. Health Issues:

    Check your new ball python carefully for signs of ticks, mites, and other parasites, and have him checked by a vet. Ball pythons can also develop respiratory diseases, which is why it important to be sure the snake you select is not wheezing or showing difficulty breathing.
  4. Specific Care Needs:

    Ball pythons need a warm, moist environment, a place to shed, and either live or prekilled food.
  5. Reaction to Children and other Pets:

    Never leave a ball python unsupervised around children or other pets. Ball pythons are predators by nature and, like any wild animal, can be unpredictable.
  6. Special Household Needs:

    Be sure the habitat for your ball python is completely secure, so that the snake cannot escape and children cannot remove the snake without proper supervision.

Ball pythons - How to Choose

  1. What to Look for:

    Although it is not common, it is possible to find domestically-bred ball pythons. More likely, though, you will need to purchase an imported ball python. Look for a snake with clean eyes, with no wheezing. A ball python should gently grip your arm as you handle it.
  2. Supplies:

    You will need a place to house your ball python, usually in an acquarium. Since ball pythons are not overly active snakes, a 20-30 gallon tank is usually sufficient, depending on the size of the snake. It is essential that the container have a very secure lid, to prevent the snake form escaping. You will also need a water bowl and some sort of heat source for your ball python. Typical heat sources are heat mats or clip lamps. You will need a thermometer to monitor the temperature in the tank, as well.
  3. Expense:

    Depending on the size and age of your ball python, you should expect to pay somewhere around $50 - $75 or so. Keep in mind that you will likely spend close to that same amount on the habitat for your ball python.