Meet the Ball Python
Latin Name: Python regius
Distribution: West Africa - Primarily Ghana and Benin
Captive Diet: Mice or Rats
Difficulty Level: Easiest
Average Adult Size
Average length is around 36-48" and 800-1,500 grams for males, 48-60" and 1,500-3,000 grams for females. Specimens around 72" and 5,000+ grams have been recorded.
The Ball Python in Herpetoculture
Today, the ball python is probably the most popular snake species on the planet - although it's hard to estimate how many corn snakes sold in the pet trade are actually out there. Ball pythons are one of the best pet snakes out there for beginners, and they're very forgiving of minor husbandry errors.
The price of a ball python can range from around $30 for a normal baby into the tens of thousands of dollars for the rarest and most sought-after morphs.
These snakes can live for 40+ years and are especially hardy if you only buy a snake that has been housed by itself and maintained properly from birth, and is already feeding regularly when you buy it. Health problems are fairly rare in animals that are well taken care of.
I don't do this often, so this will be the third book I've ever recommended on my website. While my caresheet will give you an idea of what ball pythons need to thrive in captivity, and my collection page will give you an idea of what all can be done with ball python morphs, there is a book available that covers this species in great detail. I do not sell it - in fact, you can only purchase it direct from the authors, so I get nothing out of telling you to get this book - but hopefully you'll remember who told you to buy it!
If you're not really that into ball pythons, I still recommend this book to anyone who breeds or keeps any python species. It is easily the most extensive piece of literature ever written on any snake species, and much of the information contained in it can be applied to other snakes - especially other pythons. This book really has helped me to better understand all the snakes I work with, especially carpet pythons, and I really cannot recommend it highly enough.
The book is Pythons of the World, Volume II: Ball Pythons by David and Tracy Barker of VPI. This book is large and well done. Lots of great photos and lots of husbandry tips and information that you'll probably never read anywhere else, and certainly not all in one place. While it's not cheap (it costs $75) it will undoubtedly be one of the best investments you'll ever make as a ball python breeder.
Click HERE to visit VPI.com and learn more.