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Systematic classification and distribution
Species: Python regius Shaw, 1802
The Royal Python (also known as the ball python for the characteristic shape it takes if disturbed or intimidated by hiding its head between the coils) is originally from West Africa. It is a species highly appreciated by amateur breeders.
The python babies measure from 25 to 40 cm; the length of the adults is normally between 90 and 130 cm. Growth time is, as always for snakes, strongly influenced by feeding. The royal python is one of the most shy and meek representatives of its family: normally it can be handled without any problem.
Royal python - Python regius Shaw, 1802 (photo http://strafellareptiles.com)
Habitat and terrarium
Habitat: woods, gardens, orchards, dry stone walls, stables.
Terrarium: the minimum dimensions of the terrarium for an adult specimen are 100x50x35 / 40.
The substrate can be made of coconut fiber, shavings, paper cloth or others.
In the terrarium there must be at least two dens, one in the hot zone and one in the cold zone where the snake can take refuge.
Temperature and humidity
Temperature: from 26 ° to 31 ° C in the daytime, with a drop of 2 or 3 degrees at night.
Humidity: 60-80%, it is important that the snake has a basin of water where it can drink or immerse itself completely.
If the humidity in the terrarium is correct, the snake will make a perfect pack, otherwise if the old skin remains attached to it, you can immerse it in warm water for at least 10 minutes and remove it manually.
- Baby: every 5 days with young mice.
- Subadults: every 7 days with adult mice.
- Adults: every 7/10 days with adult mice.
Lack of appetite: it can happen to run into a lame child, there are many ways to convince him to eat:
- move the mouse with tweezers around the snake's muzzle;
- pierce the mouse skull causing brain matter to escape (the smell will make the snake understand that it is a mouse);
- insert the mouse's head into the snake's mouth and see if he continues the work;
- remain the mouse in the terrarium for a whole day without going to disturb the snake;
- if none of these work, take it to an expert veterinarian for forced feeding.
Before introducing a new guest into the house, it is advisable to have a vet analyzed by a vet with a parasitological examination and occasionally check the snake's skin for mites, also check in the bowl of water. Mites present as small black dots visible to the naked eye. Strange attitude, loud breathing, sudden loss of appetite are certainly bad signs and must be reported as soon as possible to a competent veterinarian.
The royal python is among the ophidians on average reproducible in captivity. However, following these simple tips you can successfully reproduce.
Before any mating, check that the specimens are in excellent health, and that the female must be at least one meter long and weigh more than a kilogram and be about two and a half years old, while the male is at least one year old .
To induce mating it will be necessary to lower the temperatures to about 26 ° C during the day and about 22 ° C at night. We should also increase the humidity in the terrarium and reduce the daily light hours. Once this is done, you must leave them alone and do not feed them for about a month. after this period we put the female together with the male or vice versa, better to do it just after the moulting of the female, because in that case the female will release the pheromones that will excite the male. Mating can last minutes or several hours, royal pythons mate several times in one or two months.
After a month from mating we will start to raise the temperatures and then bring them back to normal, once this is done we will separate the specimens and we should avoid handling the female. For the male we will wait a week or two and then we can offer him a prey, in a short time he will recover his normal weight. The female will have lovulation which will last a short time 1/2 days from 1 to 4 weeks after the last mating. After about 20-30 days this will carry out the mute predeposition, it will begin to feed it every 10-12 days, instead after the mute predeposition it will no longer be fed until the deposition which will take place about a month later.
curated by Nicola Fontanella