Royal/Ball Python

Python Regius

Scientific Name

Royal/Ball Python:  
Python Regius

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

This snake is native to both central and western Africa.

Natural Habitat

The ball python lives on the edges of forest lands, both on the ground and in the trees.

Physical Characteristics

  • They have a heavy body with a relatively slender neck. It is the smallest of the large constrictors with an adult reaching only to 3 to 5 feet in length. Their color is a dark brown with a light brown lateral pattern. They have what we call “anal spurs”, which are single claws on either side of the vent. These are the vestigial remains of the ball python’s hind legs lost during their evolution from lizards to snakes.

Quick Facts

  1. This python is called a “ball” python because they are able to curl up in a tight ball when they are nervous.

  2. Ball pythons are reputed to be able to go for extended periods of time without food; wild-caught ball pythons have gone for a year or more without food

  3. The longest living ball python on record was over 48 years old when it died.


Education Department

Conservation Status

Least Concern: The Royal/Ball Python is common or abundant and is likely to survive in the wild.

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They eat small animals in the wild but at the Zoo they enjoy a diet of mice.