The Ball Python (Python regius) can be found in West and Central Africa, reaching from Uganda and South Sudan and west through Nigeria and into Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Its range comprises many countries such as Togo, Cameroon, Benin, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, and the Central African Republic.
They occupy savannas and deforested regions and usually prefer locations near water. This species may be located in agricultural lands where it performs a significant role in pest control.
Sometimes there have been found some specimens from the Florida Everglades, probably escaped or released pets. But unlike other hazardous snakes in Florida, such as the Burmese Python (Python bivittatus), Ball pythons have not yet an established population in the Everglades.
This snake species when in a defensive posture, coil themselves, with the mind protected in the middle, almost like a chunk, from this behaviour derives their usual name, Ball Python.
Their additional common name royal python stems out of their use by Cleopatra who’s believed to wore them as bracelets on her wrists. Another frequent myth concerning Cleopatra is she took her own life by allowing a deadly venomous snake bite her, most likely the Egyptian cobra (Naja haje).
The Ball python can measure up to 6 ft (1.8 m) long, but generally they do not exceed 4 feet (1.2 m) in length and about 2 kg in weight, thus making it the smallest of all of the African pythons. Generally, females are bigger than males. In diameter they’ll reach around 10 to 15 cm. There are no recognized subspecies.
Being bigger and among the most inoffensive and less aggressive python snake species known, means it is easily handled, making it perfect for people who want to have an exotic pet snake. But, its popularity among snake lovers resulted in enormous captures in the wild species because of its holding in captivity.
The Ball Python mind is oval-shaped and narrow, this snake has a slender neck, a solid figure, and a relatively short tail. Their skin colour is a color of brown at the background with a design of a underside, and curved spots of yellow color.
The color and pattern could also exhibit many genetic variations known as morphs among snake fans, including Albino, Piebald, Leucistic, Spider and lots of others, all these are accessed via selective breeding, such as its exotic pet market. A number of them color morphs some could attain several million bucks for a noun.
In general this species resides about 20 years, however, a male in the Philadelphia Zoo from the US lived for 47 years in captivity. The Ball Python has mainly nocturnal habits and utilizes stone crevices, openings or hollow tree trunks in the floor during the day to take refuge, they’re also excellent climbers.
Each of the pythons is all non-venomous snakes that use constriction to kill their prey, by carrying them together with their limbs and spiral their own body around the immobilizing and squeezing the victim until it dies from asphyxiation.
The Ball Python feeds mostly on small rodents and mammals found in their habitat, such as
Shrews, striped mice and African soft-furred including rats. Young snakes have been known to occasionally feed on birds.
The Ball Python is a oviparous species, its own breeding season takes place from December to January, and the eggs have been laid from February to April.
Throughout the roughly 2 weeks incubation period, the female won’t feed and remains coiled around the eggs, and through contractions of its muscles is able to raise the temperature of their eggs.
The clutch is currently approximately from 5 to 10 eggs, but they only reproduce once every two or three years. At birth, the young have been between 7 to 12 in (20-30 cm) in length, they have no parental attention and will need to fend off for themselves out of arrival.
In this snake species, sexual maturity is attained at the age of 2,5 to 3,5 decades, however, age is simply one of the factors influencing the snake sexual maturity and capacity to breed. Their weight also plays an important role in breeding skill, together with females breeding for the first time with a weight as low as 800 gram and males even lower at 600 g
The species isn’t globally threatened according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and has been evaluated as a”Least Concern” species. It’s included in Appendix II of CITES, and their catch for the illegal commerce of exotic species and the search for skin commerce are the primary threats.
Improving captive breeding strategies can help in lessening the pressure that the pet trade puts over the species.
It’s one of the most common snake species found in the pet trade. The ball python creates an excellent pet as they are inexpensive, normally have a fantastic temperament, and their life span makes them one of the most common pet snakes.