At birth, ball pythons range from 25 to 43 centimeters in length and grow to 1 to 1.5 meters as adults. There are some reports of ball pythons found in the wild at 1.83 meters in length. Their heads are larger than their relatively slender necks and they are considered heavy-bodied. The typical ball python has large brown markings with lighter medium-brown spots interspersed between the darker spots. They may also have yellow stripes from the nostrils through the eyes. The belly is generally ivory white. Adult female ball pythons are larger than adult males. This sexual dimorphism is not present in neonates, but is apparent in adults. Adult females also have longer jaws than their male counterparts. The resultant increase in swallowing capacity may improve their hunting ability.
Range length: 1 to 1.83 m.
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry ; polymorphic
Sexual Dimorphism: female larger
- Aubret, F., X. Bonnet, M. Harris, S. Maumelat. 2005. Sex Differences in Body Size and Ectoparasite Load in the Ball Python, Python regius.. Journal of Herpetology, 39/2: 312-215.
- Barker, D., T. Barker. 2006. "The Ball Python Care Sheet" (On-line). Accessed February 18, 2010 at http://www.vpi.com/publications/the_ball_python_care_sheet.