Royal Python Caresheet

 

Background Information
Royal Pythons are medium sized snakes originating from sub - saharan Africa. From as far east as Sudan and Uganda across central Africa and throughout west Africa to Senegal. A mixture of brown, gold and dark brown in colouration these pythons blend in well to their surroundings relying on ambush to catch their prey. Thick bodied they use sheer constrictive force to kill their prey. Females tend to get larger and more stocky than males. This is because the size of egg in comparison to the snake is quite large. A slow moving species and very docile they have also become known as ball pythons as they tend to just sit curled up like a ball.

Level of Experience

Beginner - Intermediate

Habitat

Scrublands

Life Span

Average age is 25 but can be upto 40 years old

Active Time of Day

Nocturnal

Natural Prey

Rodents

Terrestrial / Semi Arboreal / Arboreal / Aquatic / Fossorial

Terrestrial

Reproduction

Mate: Winter
Lay: Spring

Clutch Size

5 - 15 eggs average size is 8

Breeding Weights / Length / Age

Males: 1200g+ / 3ft / 2 years of age
Females: 1800g+ / 3ft / 3 years of age

Brumation Time

2 months

Brumation Temperature

18 – 23 ‘C

Incubation Time

52 - 85 days

Incubation Temperature

29 – 32 ’C

 


Captive Requirements and Welfare
Royal Pythons or also known as ball pythons due to their nature of sitting in a ball. They make great starter pythons due to their incrediably placid temperment and medium size. Sound to good to be true for beginners who want a really calm slow moving snake, well it is important to note that royals can be finicky with their food. Hatchlings are known to be very hard to get started so it is important to make sure that the royal is feeding consistently before buying. Older royals occasionally have fasting periods especially males. They can go on for months without eating which can unrattle new owners but it is a natural occurance especially during breeding season. Like corn snakes, royals come in countless amounts of different colourations and patterns some can sell for very high prices. The value is defined on what genes are present in the snake some are visible others can only be proven through breeding. Wooden vivariums are the best choice of housing for a royal they're quite shy pythons and like to feel secure and the wood keeps the heat in for the warmer temperatures they prefer.

Vivarium size

30x30x30cm for hatchling
3ft x 1.5ft x 1.5ft for adult

Daytime Temperature (cool – warm)

25 – 32 ‘C

Night-time Temperature

20 – 24 ‘C

Heating /Lighting Equipment (on timers)

Spot bulb during day, room temperature at night

Lighting - T8 natural sun 2% UV Arcadia tube

Substrate

Most Natural: Dried Forest Floor Bedding
Alternatives: Beech Chip , Aspen or Dried Reptile Bark

Hides

2 at minimum: one on each side a 3rd moss hide during shedding would be beneficial

Decor

Branches and fake plants allow the opportunity to climb and aids shedding

Water

Fresh water topped up when needed clean out water bowl every few days to prevent slime build up

Food (Feeding)

rat pups for hatchlings then increase the size as they grow. Always take the snake out and feed in a separate box to prevent substrate being eaten.

Cleaning

Spot pick weekly, full clean monthly