The ball python is one of the most common pet snakes in the world because it is often sociable, easily accessible, and easy to care for.
With the proper care, these snakes flourish in captivity, and their friendly demeanor makes them an excellent choice for a beginner snake owner. Ball Pythons now come in a broad range of color and pattern morphs, owing to some committed breeders.
If you’re thinking about buying a ball python, you might be curious about how long they live. Since reptiles often live far longer than the typical dog or cat, you probably already know that you need be ready to care for your ball python for the whole of its life.
Ball pythons typically survive 20 to 30 years in captivity. However, a zoo housed a 48-year-old ball python, which is the oldest known example.
You must give your ball python the right care in order to keep it happy and healthy for the duration of its lives. Continue reading to find out more about ball pythons and how to keep them healthy and long-lived.
How Long Do Ball Pythons Live?
In captivity, ball pythons have an average lifespan of 20 to 30 years. Due to the fact that ball pythons are mostly studied in captivity, it is unknown how long they survive in the wild. It seems natural that we are more aware of their captivity longevity given how common pet snakes are!
The oldest ball python, which is thought to be 63 years old as of 2021, is a resident of a zoo in St. Louis. Amazingly, she hadn’t interacted with a male ball python in 15 years until she was 62 and produced eggs. The Philadelphia Zoo was home to the oldest ball python with verified birth certificates until he was 47 years old.
It is fair to infer that ball pythons thrive as pets or in zoos given their prolonged lifetime while in captivity. In these circumstances, their capacity to far beyond a predicted lifespan of 20 years is evident.
How Long Do Ball Pythons Live As Pets?
People who enjoy keeping snakes and other reptiles as pets often choose ball pythons (Python regius) as their pet. Since ball pythons are relatively tough animals and can thrive with the least amount of facilities and care, they are a fantastic choice for anyone adopting a snake for the first time.
Additionally, compared to wild ball pythons, captive ball pythons are known to live longer and be in better condition when maintained as pets or in zoos.
When reared and matured in captivity, this reptile may live for 20 to 30 years. Therefore, those considering getting a ball python as a pet should be ready to care for the creature for many years.
Only with the right care and strict adherence to the feeding schedule can a ball python attain its full lifespan in captivity. Due of their sensitivity to temperature and humidity, ball pythons are very dependent on these conditions for their health and general well-being.
Ball pythons like warm temperatures as its natural habitat is thought to be in Central and Western Africa. Pythons are also cold-blooded creatures.
Since they are unable to generate their own heat, they are dependent on external heating devices, such as heaters when kept as pets or the sun while living in the wild.
As a result, if the temperature of the cage in which your prized juvenile or adult ball python is housed is not correctly controlled, the reptile will undoubtedly suffer a great deal and pass away at a young age.
Additionally, there are some diseases that afflict ball pythons; as a result, if these health problems are effectively avoided, pet owners will undoubtedly be able to enjoy these quite amicable creatures’ companionship for longer periods of time!
The length of this type of reptile or snake contributes to its popularity as a pet. An typical ball python is only 4-5 ft (1.2-1.5 m) long, making it very easy for pet owners to handle the snake.
Additionally, adult ball pythons are reputed to be quiet and kind. Therefore, the fact that these creatures would allow their preferred humans to handle them without hissing or becoming tense is also something that has inspired a huge number of individuals to adopt a snake of the species!
The fact that these snakes do not require complicated or costly cages is another trait that adds to the long list of qualities that make them ideal household pets.
The species’ adult snakes like tiny cages over big ones. Large cages frequently stress animals and may harm their physical and emotional well-being.
Female Ball Python Lifespan
Ball pythons are sexually dimorphic, which means that as adults, females are bigger than males. However, the two don’t demonstrate substantial variations in longevity. As you can see above, a female estimate python produced eggs at the age of 62, while a male ball python lived to the longest known age in captivity.
Understanding a ball python’s life cycle is crucial whether you’re thinking about keeping one as a pet or just want to learn more about them. Now let’s get into more depth about it.
Do Ball Pythons Die Easily?
Ball pythons are relatively resilient snakes that may survive a variety of harsh circumstances and remain healthy. Ball pythons will likely survive the discomfort even if their cage or enclosure isn’t maintained properly for a few weeks.
However, pet owners frequently express worry in their animals when housekeeping hasn’t been done at a regular pace.
Furthermore, these reptiles only consume food at specific periods of the year. There are numerous adult and young ball pythons who almost totally refuse to take any food when the winter season rolls around.
However, in order to help snakes learn that food is always available when they are ready for it, doctors and animal lovers frequently advise owners to feed their pets even during the winter months.
Because of this, the snakes can recover from their “hunger-strike” phase more rapidly and the pet owner has less worries!
It is also clear that since ball pythons kept in captivity do not need to hunt for food, they are shielded from dangerous animal assaults. Because the rodents that these snakes use as prey frequently attack and damage them, it’s wonderful that you will provide food and water for your ball python during its whole life.
The Average Ball Python Life Cycle
The typical life cycle of a ball python includes hatching from an egg and losing skin as it ages. In this manner, you may always be aware of what to anticipate from your pet python!
Ball pythons are born from eggs that a female snake lays. A female ball python may lay anywhere from 5 to 10 eggs in one clutch, or clump of eggs. Unlike other species that deposit a lot of eggs and hope for the best, ball pythons typically lay fewer than a dozen big, healthy eggs.
Babies born as a result are often bigger and healthier. The eggs need an average of 50 to 60 days to incubate while being cared for and warmed by their mother. Snakes have a special teeth that, when the moment is right, they utilize to hack their way out of leathery soft egg shells.
Ball Pythons may move within a minute of hatching. They are autonomous and like the feeling of security that smaller cages provide. Although it is crucial to scale up your ball python’s enclosure as they become older, hatchlings prefer a smaller environment.
Female ball pythons develop more quickly than males, and juveniles are often two feet long. They lay eggs, which is primarily to blame. Additionally, young ball pythons range in age from two to six months.
Although pythons may eat larger prey as they get bigger, you should only feed your pet python food that is a set diameter since they swallow their food whole. Additionally, you should weigh the food because juvenile pythons shouldn’t eat any meal that exceeds 15% of their body weight.
Male pythons reach sexual maturity at roughly 8 months old, while they are still considered juveniles. Before they reach sexual maturity, female ball pythons often take significantly longer—usually more than two years.
When a ball python reaches its maximum size, it is generally regarded as an adult. Around the time of their third year of life, this happens. Male pythons cease growing between the ages of 2 and 4 feet, whereas females grow to be about 3-5 feet longer than males.
Long after they reach old age, female ball pythons can still give birth to young. Never overfeed your adult python if you decide to keep one as a pet because many pythons suffer with obesity in captivity.
Do you want to learn more about the lifespans of other snake species given how long ball pythons may live? Now let’s contrast several snake breeds!
Do Wild Ball Pythons Live Longer Than Captive Ones?
Since their natural environment doesn’t always supply the necessary levels of heat and food, these residents of Central and Western Africa are likely to live longer in captivity.
Ball pythons kept in cages receive all of their needs without having to ask, eliminating the struggle and stress of having to survive in the harsh conditions of the wild.
As there is no suitable cage or enclosure to keep these animals safe, a wild ball python can live for up to 10 years.
Predatory birds and animals pose another threat to these pythons in the wild. Since such opportunities are eliminated in captivity and avenues are opened for these creatures to only be truly loved and cared for by their human companions, this ensures that the typical ball python lives longer as a pet.
Comparing the Ball Python Lifespan to Other Snake Species
Are there any snakes that can live as long as ball pythons? Given that ball pythons may live up to, if not more than, 30 years in captivity, below are the average lifespans of many other snake species:
Ball pythons and Burmese pythons have a strong relationship. They have a maximum lifespan of 25 years in captivity, however it is unusual for them to survive longer.
Green tree pythons have vivid colors and blend very well with their surroundings. However, both in captivity and in the wild, they have a significantly lower life expectancy of 10-15 years.
Ball pythons and reticulated pythons have a lot of similarities. In captivity, they have an average lifespan of 18–23 years.
A common species of pet snakes are corn snakes. They live an average of 10 years in captivity and are tiny and simple to care for. It appears to depend on the health of the individual snake, however some have been known to survive for more than 20 years.
Another pet snake that is becoming more popular is the kingsnake. In comparison to their wild counterparts, they have a lengthy lifespan in captivity, lasting an average of 15 to 20 years.
As you can see, especially when discovered in captivity, a ball python is one of the longest living snakes on our list. It only serves to highlight how distinctive and exceptional this specific snake is!
Giving Your Python What It Needs to Live a Long Time
Ball pythons have the potential to live a very long time, which is one of the reasons they make such wonderful pets. It is your responsibility as the owner to provide them with the BEST opportunities to live up to expectations of longevity.
According to the Nature paper, animals in ideal captivity environments lived noticeably longer and in better health.
This all begins with providing your ball python with the greatest husbandry, or care and maintenance, possible.
A ball python that is healthy and content has a higher chance of surviving a long life than one that is stressed, sick, or infested with mites.
The keys to good health lay in suitable housing, a balanced diet, and enrichment
The popularity of ball pythons as pets is understandable; they may perhaps be the most popular pet reptile overall. As we discovered, you can expect your ball python to live with you for at least 20 to 30 years on average.
Make sure you are ready for a long-term commitment to your new pet before getting a ball python. The ball python is a large responsibility to own as is the case with any pet. Your snake deserves great care and in exchange, you will get to enjoy your ball python for many years!