The royal python and its morphs

Variety of colours in a terrarium

The royal python is not only one of the smaller python breeds, but it is also one of the most beautiful. As it is relatively easy to breed, it already exists in more than 200 colour patterns.

With an average length of 120-150 cm and weighing 1-3 kg, the “Python regius” is one of the smaller breeds of python. It is one of the most popular snakes in the pet trade, largely due to its typically docile temperament and adaptability to its owner.

Selecting one for a pet, however, is not an easy task. The archetypal royal python with a pale belly and light brown spots on its dark, scaly back is a magnificent sight. And yet there are a further 200 genetic mutations, all boasting different colours and patterns.

Breeding in captivity

Royal pythons also breed in captivity. It is therefore important to make sure that you purchase one that has been bred in captivity and not one from the wild. If you wish to breed your own, you must first ask a vet to identify the sex of your python as there are no obvious physical traits. Females tend to be larger than the males, however this is not a reliable differentiating feature, especially if there is no means of comparison or the animals are not yet fully grown.

Different colour patterns

As you would expect, a snake’s pattern depends primarily on its parents. In addition to natural colouring, there are also countless colour variants. These include different colour shades (for instance very light shades), different patterns (stripes, spots, lattice design), as well as the absence of any pattern on individual areas or on the whole body. The eye colour can also vary. Professional breeders continue to come up with new colour variants for which people are willing to pay a considerable amount of money. For most owners, however, colour is a matter of taste and people will simply choose the colour they like best.
Helping the royal python feel at home

More important than the look, however, is the correct treatment of this “royal” snake. The minimum size for a terrarium for one snake is 150 x 75 x 100 cm. Although snakes are not very active, they like to have plenty of space for hideouts. As these snakes spend most of their life hidden away, they require several tight hideouts at different temperatures. The animals must be able to heat themselves up to 30-32 degrees Celsius as required, and the temperature should then drop to 26 degrees Celsius at night. Heated mats may only be used outside the terrarium to avoid the risk of burning. Clayey sand can be used to shape appropriate hidey-holes. TUDELO. These should be designed in such a way that the owner can open them if need be. Other hideouts can be made by positioning roots to create a hollow area underneath, or by laying some moss under a plant in a corner of the terrarium. You can also buy ready-made boxes, which make a popular retreat for your snake. The bottom substrate and the hollows should be kept slightly damp.

The terrarium should also have a water bowl containing water. During the day, the snakes doze in their hideouts, often curled up in a ball, similar to the shape they adopt in stressful situations. Royal pythons are fed mice on an infrequent basis – approx. once every three weeks for an adult. Only the juveniles need feeding once every 1-2 weeks so that they can continue to grow. If they are fed too often, the animals become fat and their organs begin to fail. Occasional breaks from feeding are not unusual and also occur in the wild.

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