Ball Python

Python regius

Animal Ambassadors



Ball pythons are one of the smallest species of pythons. Males and females are typically distinguishable by size, with males maturing at around 2-3 feet in length and females maturing at 3-5 feet. These snakes are non-venomous, relying instead on constriction to subdue and kill their prey. Young ball pythons and the smaller males tend to specialize in hunting nestling birds, whereas adult females are more likely to hunt small mammals. Perhaps because of these divergent specialties, males tend to be more arboreal than females, which are more often found hunting on the ground. Regardless of their hunting techniques, ball pythons’ gold and black blotchy patterns break up their silhouette, allowing them to camouflage into leaf litter. This makes them incredible ambush predators. These snakes are popular pets due to their small size and docile temperaments; they are named after their tendency to curl into a ball when threatened, rather than striking. They are also frequently called royal pythons because royalty such as Cleopatra used to wear them around their wrists as living jewelry. Unfortunately, wild ball python numbers are dwindling due to poaching, primarily for the exotic pet trade. You can help by only purchasing pets that were responsibly bred in captivity, rather than wild-sourced animals.

Western sub-Saharan Africa through Central Africa
10-15 years / 20-30 years
Grasslands, savannahs, and sparse woodlands Diet: Rodents, birds
Length / Wingspan: