Royal pythons, or as they are more commonly known ball pythons, are relatively small constrictor snakes from sub-Saharan Africa.
Ball pythons are also very popular pets in the pet reptile trade due to their small size (under 6ft long), relatively docile nature, small space requirement, and the fact that they breed quite readily in captivity.
Like all snakes that come from a warm climate they do have certain temperature and other requirements that must be met by the pet owner for the continued health of the their pythons. Their needs are however well known and one can find plenty of ball python care sheets on the Internet.
Even in the wild different ball pythons have different color patters. In captivity there are hundreds, if not thousands of different color morphs.
Ordinary wild colored ball pythons can be moderately priced in the pet trade, while individuals with a relatively rare color pattern can fetch a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars depending on how rare the morph is and what is its exact genetic make up.
Like with guppies, the inheritance on the ball python color variations is well known in the hobby.
Serious breeders at reptile shows usually do provide information beyond the name of the color morph, and you should get some information about the genetic makeup of your pet, which mostly only matters if you ever plan to breed it and you wish to know in advance how the offspring will look like.
There are on line calculators to determine what the genotype and phenotype of the offspring will be if you cross a female of a certain genotype with male with some other genotype.
If you keep a ball python as a pet you can, and according to most expert you should, handle your snake with some frequency. Ball pythons can learn to feel quite comfortable when being held by a human, especially if they are handled on a regular basis from a young age.
The nature of their comfort can be quite different from what one expects after having experience with only mammalian pets. Your cat or dog or rabbit or guinea pig might have the same reaction to being petted as a human would. A snake does not. Your ball python might like being held because your hand is a nice comfortable and more importantly warm place.
Ball Python – Royal Python Information Sheet.
Royal Python Ranch.
Ball Python Care Sheet on reptilesmagazine.com.
Ball Python Handling – How Often Can I Handle My Ball Python?
Genetics and Breeding
A Crash Course in Ball Python/Reptile Genetics on reptilesmagazine.com.
A Lesson in Basic Genetics.
Ball Python Genetics on RoyalConstrictorDesigns.com.
Practical Principles for Ball Python Breeders – East Coast Reptile Breeders.
Ball Pythons Morphs Pictures Gallery.
Genetic Wizard – World of Ball Pythons.