Royal Pythons

 

Geographical Region:

Western & Central Africa – Togo, Benin and Ghana.

 

Habitat:

Open forest, grasslands & savannah. They are often found in rodent burrows & occasionally even termite mounds!

 

Colour & Size:

Standard colour usually black background with beige or tan ‘saddles’ over the whole length. Many morphs are now available.

Males 3½ - 4ft with females growing to 4½ft.

 

Captive Environment:

We house our hatchling Royals in 5 litre RUB’s, this allows them to feel comfortable and secure resulting in a snake with a healthier appetite. Your new snake should be left alone and not handled for the first two weeks. This allows it to settle in to its new surroundings.  Make sure your Royal has had two feeds before minimal handling starts.  Handling your Royal too much before it has started feeding regularly in its new accommodation can cause a huge delay in establishing a normal feeding routine. 

Adult Royals need only a 36”x 15”x 15” vivarium.  Royals kept in vivs that are too large often refuse to feed! A larger vivarium can be attempted but will need to be filled with hides and decor to avoid large, open spaces that may make the snake feel vulnerable and, therefore, stressed.

Substrate such as Lignocel, orchid bark or Aspen can be used, depending on the snake. Provide a few options for hides and a large water-bowl for soaking in and allowing a rise in humidity.

 

Heating/lighting requirements:

We maintain all our Royals between 88°F and 92°F,  24 hours a day, with no night-time temperature drop recommended for at least the first year if it is a juvenile. This is achieved using a high powered heat mat on the ceiling of a wooden viv with a Mat Stat thermostat.  A low wattage light bulb or LED lights can be used during the day to provide light but turned off at night time.

It is no longer recommended to keep Royals in RUB’s on top of a standard heat mat because this does not provide a high enough or consistent temperature.  We suggest keeping smaller Royals in a suitable sized RUB inside the adult sized viv.  This way, the temperature can be controlled perfectly but allows the Royal to feel secure in its smaller space.

 

Photoperiod:

Autumn/winter - 10 hours light – 14 hours dark.

Spring/summer – 12 hours light – 12 hours dark

 

Feeding:

Please be aware that Royals can be fussy feeders!

All our Royals are sold as feeding.  We never sell them until we have seen them feed several times, even if they are of a grown-on size/age.

We will advise on suitable food for your Royal at the time of purchase.  Some of our Royals feed on mice & rats but some will only eat multi-malmmates and will possibly never switch to any other type of food.  Some snakes will only feed if the food is offered in a particular way and we will advise on this at the time of purchase, also.  

 

Sexing:

Males are shorter and thinner in appearance and a longer tapering tail.

Females are longer and thicker bodies with a shorter, more stumpy tail.

(sex is usually best determined by ‘probing’)

                      

Shedding:

Snakes periodically shed their skin.  When this happens their colouration tends to become dull (milky looking), they usually go off their food during this time and their eyesight is poor. Keep handling to a minimum during this time & provide a ‘humid-box’ of damp sphagnum moss to aid shedding.

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