Python Regius (king Python)
Origin: West Africa
Length: up to 1 to 1.2 meters
Age: up to 25 years
The body is thick, muscular and massive. The head is relatively large, flattened and pear-shaped and there is a clear transition to the narrower neck. The color is dark brown to black with yellow-brown spots. These spots usually contain smaller spots of the same color as the base color. Often there is a lighter edge around the stains.
Experience: novice snake keeper
Food: Live or dead prey. Main prey animals are mice and rats.
Feed adult: every other week
Feed young: Every 5 days
Water bowl: Yes
Change the water: twice a week
There is the choice of offering the prey alive or dead. It is advisable to offer dead food. This is more practical and prevents the food animal from injuring your snake. It is recommended to present the food animal with a pair of tongs and to feed your snake outside the enclosure. This ensures that your hand is not associated with food and prevents your snake from grabbing your hand while feeding. If you do go for live food, you must supervise the feeding. The prey can also injure the snake. If you keep several pythons together, feed them separately, because it can happen that the snakes injure each other during feeding. The ideal prey is about as wide as the widest part of the snake.
The king python needs a medium sized water bowl, not because they are in it, but because they drink a lot of water at once. Change the water when the water runs out or when the water has become dirty.
cleaning is done on average once a week and especially in the days after feeding, so the more you feed the more often you have to clean. So you will clean more often with young animals than with adult animals. The best advice is to remove stool as soon as you see it.
To feed the king python and clean the enclosure you will have to handle the snake. When handling your hose, use a hose hook or lift it with both hands. Do not hang your snake around your neck, this is because if the snake falls it will soon clamp itself around your neck. There are some important things to keep in mind when handling a python. First, make sure your snake understands that you are going to handle it and move gently when you handle it. Also make sure your hands are washed and don't smell like food. Finally, do not handle your snake when it is molting and do not handle it after the animal has just eaten or 3 days afterwards.
Minimum enclosure size for 1 snake: 80x40x50
Lying area: 0.5 m2
Day temperature: 26-32C
Night temperature: 23-26C
Hours of light: 12 hours
Humidity degree: 50% -60%
Ground cover: Newspapers, bark chips, beech chips, sand or humus
The king python is a real bottom dweller and will not see you climb that quickly. For this reason, unlike many other constrictor snakes, it does not require climbing facilities. They do appreciate a lot of hiding places. This can be done by using a flower pot, firewood or dried leaves.
Unlike many other snakes, the king python cannot regulate its temperature by moving higher or lower in the enclosure. For this reason, the python needs a warm and a cool place in the enclosure. The warm spot should be between 27-30c and the cool spot between 24-26c. This way a difference can be created by using a heat spot or a heat mat.
Hunting method: Strangulation snake.
Lifestyle: Testrial & night active
Quiet character. The more the animal gets used to human contact.
Points of attention
It is advisable to get the king python used to handling and to humans from an early age. If this is not done, they can acquire a defensive character.
Costs and Purchase
Legislation: The king python falls under CITES II, to own this snake you need CITES or transfer papers. You should get this with the purchase.
One-off costs: This includes the costs for the accommodation, lighting, heating, water bowl and decoration. All together this can cost a few hundred euros to a few thousand euros. The final amount depends on the quality and size of the products.
Fixed costs: Fixed costs include the costs for the feed, which is several tens of euros per year.
Unexpected costs: Costs have been incurred when your snake accidentally gets sick or your equipment breaks down.