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Ball Pythons (continued)

(Python Regius)

Ball Python Snake

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Keeping it warm

Proper temperature range is essential to keeping your snake healthy. The ambient air temperature throughout the enclosure must be maintained between 80-85F (27-29 C)-during the day, with a basking area kept at 90F (32.5 C). At night, the ambient air temperature on the coolest side may be allowed to drop down no lower than 73-75F ( 23-24 C) only if a basking area of at least 80F (27 C) remains available. Special reptile heating pads that are manufactured to maintain a temperature about 20 degrees higher than the air temperature may be used inside the enclosure. There are adhesive pads that can be stuck to the underside of a glass enclosure. Heating pads made for people, available at all drug stores, are also available; these have built-in hi-med-lo switches and can be used under a glass enclosure. You can also use incandescent light bulbs in porcelain and metal reflector hoods to provide the additional heat required for the basking area. All lights must be screened off to prevent the snake from burning itself. All pythons, especially Ball pythons, are very susceptible to thermal burns. For this same reason do not use a hot rock. New on the market are ceramic heating elements. They radiate heat downwards, do not emit light, and are reported to be long lasting. Plugged into a thermostat will enable you to adjust the temperature inside the tank as the ambient room temperature changes with the seasons.

Buy at least two thermometers - one to use in the overall area 1" (2.5 cm) above the enclosure floor, and the other 1" (2.5 cm) above the floor in the basking area. Don't try to guess the temperature - you will either end up with a snake who will be too cold to eat and digest its food or one ill or dead from overheating.


No special lighting is needed. Balls are nocturnal snakes, spending their days in the wild securely hidden away from possible predators. To make it easier to see your Ball during the day, you can use a full-spectrum light or low wattage incandescent bulb in the enclosure during the day. Make sure the snake cannot get into direct contact with the light bulbs as Balls are very prone to getting seriously burned. Respect your Ball's needs, however, and be sure to provide a hide box, and expect them to use it!

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