Royal/Ball Python

Latin name: Python regius


Sexing and Characteristics:

There are several ways of sexing a snake but the main methods are popping & probing, both of these ways are reliable with probing being the most accurate.

If you need your snake sexed, make sure this gets done by a professional.

A normal Royal Python is brown with blotches or spots of black and tan along its body


Generally Royal Pythons reach between 3 – 5 foot, females are typically larger than males reaching around 5ft. Occasionally some royals can reach 6ft.

Substrate and Water Needs:

For bedding you can use a variety of things, Pine & Cedar are to be avoided as these are toxic to reptiles.

You can use newspaper or paper towel which are cheap but not very appealing.

Aspen, Auboise, Megazorb, Cypress mulch, Orchid bark or similar are your best bet, they are fairly cheap and it look good.

You will need a fair sized water bowl, one the snake can submerse its body in.

Lighting and UVB:

Royals have no special lighting requirements but if you do use a bulb, please ensure the light has a bulb guard to avoid your snake from being burnt.

Temperatures & Humidity:

Your Royal should be provided with a basking spot between 28-32’C (82-’89F) in the hot end.

To achieve these temperatures several heating devices can be used such as:

Ÿ  Heatmats

Ÿ  Basking/Infrared Bulbs

Ÿ  AHS heaters

Ÿ  Ceramic bulbs

These are down to personal preference & all should be used with the appropriate Thermostats to control the temperature & avoid overheating.

Royal’s humidity should be around 40-60% which can be increased whilst shedding.

A moss box can be provided when they are shedding to help assist them but is usually not needed.

If help is needed choosing heating/thermostat options, please do not hesitate to contact us & we will guide you in the right direction.


Royal Pythons can be stubborn snakes when it comes to feeding, this can be prevented with appropriate housing.

Neonate Royals are best kept in small tubs, with secure hides as they may go off feeding if they feel insecure.

Juvenile/adult Royals can be housing housed in 50L storage tubs or a 3ft x 1.5ft x 1.5ft (lxhxw) vivarium would be an appropriate size for them.

Provide them with 2 hides, one in the hot end & one in the cool end, an appropriately sized water bowl should also be provided



Description of Diet:

Neonate Royals are able to take fuzzies on their first feed.

You should be able to start feeding your snake on fuzzies, if they are on the smaller side, then large pinkies. You may feed them every 5 to 7 days at this point.

As the snake grows it will need larger prey items. You will know when they need to go up a size once you can’t see the food item in their belly anymore.

Sub-adults can be fed a weaner/small rat every 7-10 days.

Adult snakes should be fed on an appropriately sized meal every 2 weeks to avoid becoming overweight.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

Generally supplements are not needed but I feel that calcium can benefit breeding females to help the production of eggs, to replace the females calcium levels & prevent them from becoming egg bound.


They are easy snakes to keep, this is why they make good pet snakes. They may go off feeding but it is generally nothing to be alarmed by, check your husbandry and if you still think it’s something else, feel free to contact us, and we will do what we can to help you.

Royals come in an amazing variety of colour mutations (known as morphs) making them attractive to look at, they are also becoming more affordable which makes them popular pet snakes.

I would recommend changing their water every 1-2 days, spot clean every few days, and clean them out properly every 4-6 weeks, using an appropriate disinfectant, I use F10.

Handling your Royal should help keep them calm & easy to handle.

Sometimes young Royals will hiss in order to scare a ‘predator’ this is often a warning. If you have a nippy one, don’t let it put you off, they calm down easily with handling.

They also get there name Ball Python due to their likeliness to ‘ball up’ when approached/threatened.

Some Words on this Species:

Royals are a popular first snake due to their attractive colours, manageable size & low maintenance but as with most snakes can have long life spans, so be prepared to take care for an animal for the rest of its life.

I would say they make good pets as they are calm, attractive, easily cared for.

Whilst they are still heavy bodied, they are not as large as the bigger boas or pythons in captivity.

About Us

I am a UK hobbyist and breeder of reptiles, specialising in Brazilian Rainbow Boas. I am also home to the Leopard Phase Brazilian Rainbow Boa - a highly prized project of mine. I aim to produce high quality reptiles, giving you after sales help or advice, to ensure that your pet has a good and healthy standard of life. All reptiles available are AS-Exotics bred unless stated.

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