West Africa. Sierra Leone, Togo, Senegal.
Savannas, sparsely wooded plains, grasslands, termite mounds and mammal burrows.
Smallest of the African pythons, it grows up to 6 feet and weighs up to 7 pounds.
Up to 50 years.
- In males the anal spurs (vestigial legs) on each side of the cloaca are larger than in females. They are used to stimulate the female during mating.
- The female lay up to 12 eggs.
- The eggs stick together, reducing the exposed surface area to prevent them from drying out. The female deposits them in a mammal burrow or other underground retreat and coils around the eggs to protect and incubate them.
- Young snakes hatch out in around 2 months.
- The ball python is a diurnal and semi-arboreal.
- It prefers a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a basking site up to 90 degrees.
- The ball python coils into a tight ball when threatened. It protects its head by tucking it in the center of the coils.
- The ball python estimates during the dry season in mammal burrows.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- The ball python is a stocky python, boldly patterned with ovoid yellow blotches on a brown or bluish-brown background.
- Small rectangular openings on the scales of the lips are heat sensitive pits enabling the snake to find warm-blooded prey hiding in concealed sites.
- Wild caught ball pythons do not adjust well to captivity.
Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia, Vol. 6, Reptiles
Living Snakes of the World, John M. Mehrtens, New York 1987