Reptile Information from



   Ball pythons are easy and inexpensive to maintain, and the babies, unlike the adults, are even tempered and a good beginner's snake. For the greatest success, there are a few things the snake purchasers should bear in mind. 

   Feeding: Baby ball pythons are not that difficult to start feeding. Fuzzy mice, one week to ten days old, are best. Remember that these snakes are primarily night feeders, and schedule your feeding accordingly. 

   Housing: Ten gallon tanks are ideal housing for baby pythons; larger containers will be needed when they grow. Newspaper is recommended for the tank bottom, as it is easy to clean. Pine shavings are not recommended as they can become lodged in the snake's mouth during feeding. A large bowl of water should be provided for drinking and soaking. 

   Temperature should be kept between 80 and 85 degrees, with an area that reaches 90o for basking. Temperatures may drop to 75o at night. Experts strongly discourage the use of hot rocks due to a high incidence of thermal burns on ball pythons.

 Full spectrum lighting is nice but not essential. Since ball pythons are nocturnal, make sure the light is not left on at night, and a hiding place is more essential for ball pythons than for other snakes. 

  Additional information is readily available. The booklet by Philippe De Vosjoli entitled The General Care and Maintenance of Ball Pythons is the primary source for this article. Other sources include: 

West African Snakes, by G. S. Cansdale, Longman Group, Ltd., London, 1961, reprinted 1973. 

Captive Propagation of the Ball Python, by R. Carter, The Monitor, Vol. II, No. 3, 1990. 

Biomedical and Surgical Aspects of Captive Reptile Husbandry, by F. L. Frye, Veterinary Medicine Publishing Co., Kansas, 1981. 

A Guide to Snakes of the Uganda, by C. R. S. Pitman, Wheldon and Wesley, Codicote, 1974 (Revised edition). 

The Python Breeding Manual, by Richard A. Ross, Institute for Herpetological Research, 1979 

Some Notes and Reminiscences on the Royal Python, Python Regius in Ghana and elsewhere, by S. Spawls, Snake Keeper, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1989.


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