Do Royal pythons make good pets?
Royal python, Python regius make great pets regardless of your experience level. They are relatively docile animals and when you couple this with the vast range of morphs on the market, there is a Ball python out there to suit everybody’s tastes. Due to their cool, calm and collected nature, Royals are very easy to handle and won’t mind you fiddling around inside their enclosure while they are in there, however, this can also be their downfall, as they can become easily stressed and go off their food, sometimes for weeks. Potential keepers should not allow this to put them off, but it is definitely worth keeping in mind when handling, especially if the snake is new and still settling in. Ball pythons will also become stressed if kept with other Ball pythons, so this species should always be kept alone.
What size vivarium will I need for my Royal python?
Ball pythons are medium-sized snakes, with males growing to around 120cm (4ft) and females around 150cm (5ft) in length, and are quite heavy-bodied compared with other popular examples of similar lengths. They spend a lot of their time hiding away in caves and holes but will enjoy coming out to explore during the night, so a good-sized enclosure with plenty of enrichment is vital.
The minimum size for an adult Royal python enclosure should be around 120 x 60 x 60cm (4 x 2 x 2ft), with a perfect example being the VivExotic Repti-Home (AAL) Vivarium Medium Oak, not only does this give them the length they require, but a good bit of height too for climbing branches and other enrichment. To make things easier, why not view our range of Royal python starter kits.
How should I heat my Royal python vivarium?
As with any snake, Ball pythons require a temperature gradient from one side of their enclosure to the other, with the ideal hot-spot temperature being 30-32°C (86-89°F) and the cool end in the mid-twenties. This is most easily achieved using a heat bulb hooked up to a dimming thermostat, it is also important to ensure this is covered by a heat guard to protect your snake if they climb up too high.
In most homes, Royal pythons will not require any additional heating during the night, but if your home drops below around 15°C (59°F), the addition of a non-light emitting heat source such as a ceramic heat emitter may be required (this must be used in conjunction with a compatible thermostat such as a Pulse Thermostat).
An accurate thermometer is also a necessity here, to ensure the temperatures are as they should be and to identify any issues with this before it is too late, something like the Swell Digital Thermal Hygrometer is a perfect choice.