Ball Python has long won the love of terrarium lovers. Despite its length and great weight, the snake captivates with its calm disposition, ease of maintenance, and beauty. With proper care, such a pet will live 20-30 years. Let’s take a closer look at the species, tell you about its origin, features, and content at home.
Origin and Appearance
This reptile belongs to the genus of true pythons. Scientists note that the snake has not gone the full path of evolution – this is evidenced by the presence of two lungs and rudimentary hind limbs. The ancestors of the predator were mosasaurs and giant lizards.
In the photo of Ball Python, you will immediately notice its main features. The first is a pronounced large flattened head. The second is a characteristic color. There are contrasting spots all over the snake’s body, the color is beautiful and memorable, however, there are morphs in which the pattern is changed, has the form of stripes, or is absent altogether. The lower part of the individual is usually pale, without a pattern.
Females are usually larger than males. In its form, the python is one of the smallest – its length rarely exceeds one and a half meters.
There are especially many such snakes in Africa, large populations are found in Senegal, Mali, and Chad. Reptiles love warmth and moisture very much. They can often be found near bodies of water.
Ball Python spends a lot of time in his burrow, where he sleeps and lays eggs. Reptiles can often be seen near people’s homes. Interestingly, people usually do not oppose such a neighborhood, because the snake does a good job of exterminating small rodents.
What to Feed Ball Python
Keeping a python at home should be accompanied by proper feeding. This reptile is carnivorous. Mice, rats, quails, or chickens are used for food. For domesticated snakes, food should be kept frozen and served only brought to room temperature or even better slightly warmed up on a lamp or radiator, as they react to heat.
The feeding mode is selected individually. It is directly affected by the age, the weight of the python, and conditions of detention. Young animals can eat 1-2 a week, older ones – once every 1-2 weeks.
In winter and during the rutting season, the snake can refuse food for several weeks. Do not worry, because, in nature, a reptile behaves the same way.
It is very important not to overfeed your snake. One of the potential problems of keeping at home is pet obesity.
Character and Lifestyle
The reptile loves to swim and moves quickly in water. On land, it is not so agile, although it can crawl through trees, climb into hollows and nests created by other animals. She leads a predominantly terrestrial lifestyle.
Pythons are loners. They can only mate for a short period for procreation during the mating season. The inhabitant of the terrarium becomes active at night, sleeps more often during the day.
The snake perfectly tolerates the neighborhood with a person. She does not attack children, does not bite unless she believes that you are a mortal danger.
Features of the Terrarium Device
The conditions for keeping the python should be as close to natural as possible. There are some important tips for setting up your terrarium:
- The place should be spacious. It is best if it is horizontal. The optimal size of the terrarium for an adult is 90 × 45 × 45 cm. For the male, you can take a smaller terrarium – 60 × 4 5 × 45 cm. You can buy a large terrarium right away, as reptiles grow quite quickly. It makes no sense to buy a small one only for the first six months.
- The terrarium should be ventilated and have secure doors to prevent your pet from escaping, pythons are very curious.
- A woody substrate, such as Rain Forest or Forest Bark, is poured at the bottom. You should not use coconut substrate or shavings, as it is intended for high humidity, which the python does not need, and in a dry state, it becomes very dusty, clogging the snake’s airways.
- It is important that there are 1-2 shelters in the terrarium: in warm and cold corners. So the python can choose a temperature that is comfortable for him.
- It is imperative to organize a small pool of water from which the reptile could drink. It must be stable.
- Avoid excessive moisture. Increase the humidity while your pet is molting.
Several temperature zones are created inside the terrarium. Heating is regulated depending on the time of day. Main recommendations:
- The temperature in the warm zone should be between 30 and 35 degrees.
- In the cold – 24-26 degrees.
- Heating can be left on at night, but no additional heating means should be installed without the recommendation of a specialist.
The terrarium uses fluorescent lamps. For a reptile, a combination of day and night is important. A day lasts about 12 hours, in summer it can go up to 14.