Royal pythons are curious and generally calm tempered snakes who grow to around 4-5ft as adults, males are generally smaller at around 3-4ft.
Royal Pythons are also known as Ball Pythons due to their appearance when coiled up, looking like a ball.
Royal pythons are cold blooded and are known as ‘exothermic’ meaning that they need heat from an outside source in order to maintain their body temperature. In captivity this comes in the form of a heat mat or basking spot– dependent on what kind of enclosure you have.
Royal pythons enjoy a large enclosure to explore, although sometimes large spaces can cause insecurity in your snake and consequently feeding problems. Its always a good idea to provide a smaller enclosure for a young snake and move up in enclosure size as your snake grows.
HOUSING YOUR SNAKE
There are a number of wooden, plastic and glass enclosure available for royal pythons. Always purchase an enclosure which is a suitable size for your animal. Plastic or wooden and part glass enclosures are the best as glass alone can make it hard to control temperature. Always try to use a thermostat with your enclosure to enable the snake to gain suitable hot and cold temperatures.
Due to their humidity requirements and difficulty shedding their skin, Cypress Mulch makes an excellent substrate as it retains humidity but also dries out so it isn’t too wet. Provide a large water bowl big enough for your snake to bathe in if it chooses to soak. Depending on the enclosure, you will need a heat mat or bulb/ceramic lamp for your snake in order to provide the required hot spot. The enclosure should have adequate ventilation so that the tank doesn’t become humid and moldy. The substrate can be spot cleaned daily, the enclosure should be fully cleaned and substrate replaced every 4 weeks or sooner.
HANDLING YOUR SNAKE:
When handling your royal python it is important to use an antibacterial hand wash before and after touching your animal. This ensure that no parasites or bacteria is passed between you and your snake. When handling always use a hook to gently stroke the snakes head to let it know you are going to touch it- we call this tap-training. Over time, the snake is able to distinguish between feeding and handling times by not expecting food once it has been stroked gently on the nose. This should be continued throughout the snakes life.
Gently pick the snake up by scooping around 2/3 of the way down the snakes body. Don’t restrict the snake and try not to hold the first 3rd of the snake where the vital organs are, this can cause discomfort to your snake. Always leave 48 hours or more after feeding your snake before handling to prevent bites and discomfort to your animal which can cause regurgitation. We advise not to handle your snake 48 hours before feeding- especially for fussy feeders.
Genus, Species: Python regius
Adult Size: 3-5 feet
Lifespan: 15-20 Years
Diet: Mice/Rats once a week
Ambient Temp (f): 78
Basking Temp (f): 86-90
Humidity (%): 40-50
Locality: Asia Difficulty: 2
Breeding Age: Female: 3 Years, Male: 18 Months
Social Structure: Live alone except breeding times
∗ Dust free substrate
∗ A water bowl large enough for your snake to submerse in
∗ Hides or décor on hot and cold sides
∗ A thermometer to check the temperatures
∗ Ideally a thermostat
∗ Feeding tongs: steel ones are a good idea
∗ A pet care book / care sheet
∗ Heat bulb/ceramic/heat mat
∗ A reptile safe disinfectant for cleaning
∗ A Rat or Mouse for feeding your snake
SEXING YOUR SNAKE:
Male and female snakes may differ between sizes and length of tail, but to get an accurate gender there are 2 methods.
1- probe your snake by sliding the probe under the vent towards the tail. If the probe goes in a small amount then the snake is female, if the snake is male the probe will slide further, this is where the hemipenes are located.
2- ‘pop’ the snake by holding the snakes tail in one hand and gently rolling towards the vent with the other exposing the genitals.
Snakes can be badly damaged during sexing and should only be sexed by a professional.
It is important to regularly check the health of your Royal Python and there are a few common diseases and disorders to look out for.
Eyes– check the eyes are clear of infection, discharge or stuck eye caps (these can occur from a dry shed, increase the humidity or place snake on soak periodically until eye caps come off) Royal pythons are prone to dry sheds if they do not have enough humidity in their tank. Add a wet moss hide for shedding or soak in a tub of warm water for 20 mins at a time until the shed slides off.
Skin– check the skin for black spots or raised scales which can be a sign of mites in a Royal python. Mites can usually be seen around the eye socket and under the chin. Mites can be treated using a number of chemical products or for a natural cure, Taurrus predatory mites can be used regularly for prevention and treatment. Mites cause mild irritation but can cause more serious issues if left. Some people choose to periodically treat their Royal Python for mites in order to prevent them.
Respiratory Infections– RI is a term for a broad spectrum of infections in the lungs and respiratory system. It is generally caused by ill health along with damp or cold conditions and can be treated with a nebuliser. We always recommend seeing the vet if you suspect RI, however it is extremely rare and is not usually the actual cause of the symptoms that are seen. Many people worry about RI in Royal Pythons, however it is rarely the issue. Often nose plugs stuck in the snakes nose or the snake being in blue or about to shed can be the cause of whistling. Always consult a vet if you are concerned about the health of your Royal Python