The ball python, popularly known as the royal python, is a python species. They are found in the west and central Africa. They live in grasslands and shrublands. It is widely distributed across different regions. They are named the ball python because they have a natural ability to curl themselves into a ball when stressed or afraid.
In 1802, George Shaw proposed the scientific name Boa Regia for the pale ball python found in Africa. Shortly after, Francois Marie Daudin proposed the name python for the non-poisonous snake. Zoological specimen Enygrus was also proposed by Johann Georg Wagler and Cenchris and Hertulia by John Edward Gray.
Ball python features
A ball python is black or dark brown in color. It has light blotches on the back and sides of their form. The belly of a ball python is cream in color and is scattered with black markings all over. The head of a ball python is small. The body of the animal reaches the maximum adult length of 182 cm.
Ball Pythons are found in the wild. They are mostly found in Senegal, Togo in West Africa and eastward to the Nile River in southern Sudan. They survive in dry grassland, savanna and forest edges. Some of them could also be found in exhibit location.
Ball pythons reach a length of 3-6 feet. The female ball python are larger than the males and have a heavy body.
The head of a ball python is flat on top, with a square boxy nose. They have heavy jaw muscles that stretch to the sides of its head and behind the round eyes. Their neck is narrow that the head and the trunk is twice the width of their head. They have a short, blunt tail. There are a few rare color variations that happen through confined breeding. Ball pythons have 100-150 sharp teeth. Their life span is for about 10-15 years. If they are caged then the lifespan is 20-25 years.
This terrestrial species is popular for its defense strategy. They curl themselves into a tight ball when scared or threatened. The head and tail are tucked away in the middle to protect themselves.
In captivity, they are suggested to be good pets. Since they are comparatively smaller in size they are easy to handle. Ball pythons are very good at climbing. Despite that fact, they are often seen on grounds.
During the dry or winter season, they live in mammal burrows or underground areas where they find shelter. They are very fast during the summer season. Ball pythons become inactive during the cool or dry seasons when the temperature doesn’t keep their bodies warm enough. This act of going underground helps them stay warm during the cool season and also helps them digest food faster.
Ball pythons are usually active at night and they prefer living alone. The ball pythons hunt their prey by wrapping them in coils or by pushing them against burrow walls which suffocates them. They also have natural tendencies to protect themselves by curling into a ball in order to protect their head and tail.
Ball python diet
A ball python hunts its prey. The diet of a ball python in the forest or wild consist of small mammals. These animals include Natal multimammate mice, shrews, gerbils, striped mice and birds. Young python usually hunts little birds and immature young. Even the adult pythons prey mostly on small mammals.
If one is holding a ball python in captive or as a pet, one must always ensure the best living habitat for the animal. This includes proper diet and living conditions as well as creating a proper living climatic condition for them to survive.
How to Increase Humidity in Ball Python Tank?
If one is keeping a ball python, one must know all about humidity. As a ball python is a tropical reptile, humidity is required for them to survive. Humidity is the measure of water vapor in air. If humidity is low, then the air is dry and if it is high then the air is completely saturated. Many tropical reptiles are prone to high-humid conditions as they come from burrows, forests, under logs, etc.
If one is keeping this animal in a cage or tank, then it is imperative that one re-creates their natural habitat. Inadequate humidity would cause dehydration and result in difficult conditions for the ball python.
How to measure humidity in a cage or tank?
This is simple. Humidity is a cage of a ball python could be easily measured with the help of an analog humidity gauge. This device will tell the exact level of humidity inside the cage.
How to increase the humidity in the cage or tank?
Large water dish
Most reptiles require a water dish that they could fit into. The larger the water dish, the better the humidity. As the water evaporates, the moisture molecules will travel through the air making it more saturated. Placing a warm water dish will enhance the chances of increasing humidity.
Animals need fresh air, this includes ball pythons. But if one is re-creating a tropical living environment for a ball python, one has to manage the air surfacing through the cage. Cover the side of the cage and one will see the improved efficiency of the setup.
This is the most effective way to keep a cage humid. Regular misting will keep the humidity levels in the cage as required. The droplets will evaporate and increase humidity.
Substrate or bedding can also help in increasing the humidity greatly. Dry materials like paper products, shavings and sand hold very little moisture. They absorb humidity out of the air and keep the ball python warm. Wooden cages will make a good choice. Best bedding for ball pythons will ensure to maintain higher levels of humidity. Many zoologists suggest that using a high-quality terrarium moss is an artificial tropical setup that helps in holding the water like a sponge and slowly releases the water into air over a period of time. This will create a warm natural surrounding for the ball python.