Ball Python (Royal)
Python regius

CLASS: Reptilia
ORDER: Squamata
SUBORDER: Serpentes
FAMILY: Boidae

4 - 5 feet; short and stout

Africa (western)

Grasslands, e.g., savannahs and sparsely wooded plains

Wild - Rodents; occasionally goes on long self-imposed fast
Zoo - Rodents


  • Very dark brown to black; attractively marked with irregular cream and brown or golden blotches
  • When alarmed, it may hide its head among its coils. Often called ball python.
  • Rather inactive; remaining tightly coiled for days on end.
  • Generally good-tempered and easily handled. Seen often in the pet trade. May be finicky eaters, requiring force feeding.

Small clutch of eggs is laid and there are no accounts of females brooding these (in captivity). They are also not bred easily in captivity. The python fashion, however, is to coil around her clutch of 6 - 7 eggs and remain with them throughout the three months of incubation.

CITES App. II; Ball pythons are a favored food animal of various tribal groups within their range. They are also slaughtered for their skins. Some other subspecies are considered threatened and permits are required for legal export, living or dead.