The Ball Python, Python regius, also known as the Royal Python, is a ground dwelling, non-venomous snake native to the savannahs and rain forests in western Africa. The snake is mainly found in the countries of Ghana, Togo and Benin. The name Ball derives from its tendency to curl up in a tight “ball” when stressed or frightened.
The Ball Python is mostly light brown-green and black in color, with a tan-yellow underbelly. However, they do come in many morphs, which are genetic mutations that alter the colors and patterns of the scales. Adults are from 3 to 6 feet long with the female being larger than the male. The average length for a female is 5 feet where the male averages about 3 feet. Ball pythons can live more than 20 to 40 years.
Pythons and Boas, including Ball pythons, have anal spurs, appearing on each side of the vent. These spurs are important for the mating process, aiding the snakes in clasping onto their mate. The spurs on males are generally longer than those on females.