• Ark Animals

Royal Python Care Guide

Updated: Jan 31

The Species: Royal Pythons (Python regius), also known as Ball Pythons are a common reptile to keep as a pet and are considered to be one of the best beginner snakes to own. These animals are native to West Africa inhabiting tropical forests, usually living in burrows underground. These snakes are usually solitary by nature however they can cohabitate with other Royals if a large enough enclosure is provided.

Enclosure: Royal Pythons are terrestrial

and should not be housed in an enclosure too big for them as it can make them feel vulnerable and can put them off feeding, a general rule to follow is to make sure the enclosure is large enough for the snake's body to create an L shape around 2 sides of the enclosure. As adults a suitable size enclosure is 4x1x1ft. However if an individual is excessively large a maximum enclosure of 4x2x2ft can be acceptable. Being a tropical species, forest substrates such as forest floor, peat substrates and orchid bark are all good options which can keep humidity and a stable level. We do not recommend using paper towels, or newspaper unless an animal is being quarantined.

It is important to provide these pythons with lots of hides and decor so that they can choose different spots to sit whilst still being able to feel secure. Foliage to slither through and branches to climb are also important as it allows them to exhibit natural behaviours as well as a large water bowl, big enough for them to submerge themselves in.

Heating: These animals should be kept at a temperature range of 30-32 degrees celcius (86-90 degrees farenheight). They should be provided with a hot and cool end with a basking spot to reach peak temperatures. Unless being housed in a plastic rub, heating should be provided by a heat lamp on a thermostat with a cage guarding the lamp to prevent the animal from burning themselves, all heating should be on a 12 hour cycle, turning off at night to provide a natural drop in temperature. If they are being housed in a rub, a heat mat can be used as long as it cover no larger than half the size of the enclosure and is controlled by a mat stat.

Lighting: Although no evidence has been produced to prove that Pythons need UVB lighting, it can still be beneficial to provide them with lighting. This can be UVB or LED lighting and can help them by providing a day/night sequence, if UVB lighting is used, the bulb should be no more than 12% and all lighting should be on a 12 hour cycle. If lighting is added to an enclosure, it is important to make sure that the lighting is guarded using a cage to protect the animals from burning themselves.

Humidity: They require a humidity range of 50-60%, the best way to achieve this is by using a misting system to keep the humidity of the enclosure up. Mist King are the top-rated misting system but there are other suitable options. Alternatively, you can use a hand sprayer throughout the day, however this can become more difficult to reach ideal humidity levels.

Diet: Snakes are natural carnivores and primarily feed on rodents and other small mammals, as juveniles, they should be fed appropriate sized mice/rats once a week, as adults they should have a maximum of a Medium or Large rat every 7 days. The food should be bought frozen a thawed out before feeding, many snakes will only eat if the food is heated up in warm water before feeding as snakes use heat sensors to hunt.

Water is also an extremely important aspect to an animals diet and constant water access should be provided in a water bowl and should be changed daily, we generally recommend RO water or mineral water due to tap water containing chlorine which can be harmful to some animals.

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