How Big Do Ball Pythons Get and The Factors Behind Their Growth

Pet Care


September 3, 2021

Ball pythons are predominantly outdoor snakes that thrive in the lands of western Africa. It is a peaceful reptile that prefers to curl up into a ball when threatened. These snakes are reluctant to fight but they do have a combat response. When disturbed, they will attack and release, leaving lesions on the body.

At 47 years, the ball python retains the record for the longest-living snake, according to the Philadelphia Zoo. In confinement, these snakes have a typical lifetime of 20 to 30 years, making them a serious obligation rather than a frivolous investment.

Appearance of a Ball Python

Mature ball pythons have moderate to dark chocolate brown patterns, while youngsters have yellow-brown to dark brown color patterns. Most have a sequence of 15 to 25 huge, slender, curved blotches that run down each edge of the neck and chest.

Their eyeballs look completely black until you look more closely and notice the dark lens and pupil. The snake’s backbone is narrow, giving it a petite stature. Artificial selection has resulted in some stunning animals that bear only a passing resemblance to the natural or typical ball python in terms of body structure.

Living Conditions at Home

Among the most crucial components of breeding is ensuring that the habitat has not only the optimum temperature but also a heat flux. Removable heating pads can be attached to the bottom of the terrarium and provide warmth.

To avoid burns, all lamps and stainless heating systems must have screens. Since hot rocks can scorch the reptile, they must not be utilized. Since these snakes are grass inhabitants, the moisture in the container should not be very elevated, and a hygrometer should be installed in the enclosure to check it.

Since ball pythons are excellent at escaping, the containment must be break proof. Terrariums designed expressly for reptiles work very well, and so do securing devices.

How Big Do Ball Pythons Tend to Become?

The length of a fully developed ball python ranges from two to five feet. For some novice owners, their stature makes them an ideal pet. Before bringing them in the house, many people question how big do ball pythons get and whether they have adequate space to keep them in good health.

Caused by sexual dimorphism, males are always smaller than average females and reach the lesser half of the size spectrum when they enter adulthood. By the time they finish three years of their life, males are somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5 feet in length.

Due to their inherently accelerated growing rate, female ball pythons are substantially larger. Many females are four to five feet in length, with some reaching a length of 6.5 feet. They measure roughly five pounds on average; however, this varies depending on their height. Snakes that are heavier can weigh up to seven pounds.

Difference in Male and Female Growth

Youngsters are only 10 to 17 inches in length when they emerge. These hatchlings erupt into the world ready to eat their path to maturity, which may seem insignificant. For the very first six months, both genders develop at almost the same pace; afterwards, females start to develop 1.5 times more quickly.

Males are thinner and measure approximately two or three pounds, whilst females are significantly bigger and gain weight quickly. They have a fuller and more pronounced physique. Their capacity to develop children is strongly tied to their physical health.

Since these reptiles are lethargic and have a poor metabolism, they can easily gain weight. Habitat stimulation and feeding routines are critical in preventing obesity. If females are not closely supervised, they can rapidly acquire weight.

Growth Rate

You may keep track of your ball python’s pace of growth to see if it is growing at a suitable height and maintaining shape. Male and female ball pythons have differing biological growth rates. The typical female growth rate is faster than males.

During the initial four years, females develop at a rate of approximately one foot annually. Their development will normally decelerate after four years and completely stop around the age of five. On the contrary, males will expand eight inches per year from the age of three years and keep growing until they reach adulthood.

Factors Affecting the Growth Rate

Ball pythons can grow to be anywhere between two and five feet long. However this is dependent on a few essential factors.


Sex is one of the most important factors influencing the growth of this reptile. Males develop at a slightly slower pace and stop growing significantly sooner than females, even when provided the very same food. Females can grow to be double the proportion of males as adults.


Your ball python’s mature growth is also influenced by how well it is cared for. In order to boost food metabolism, an environment with nesting temperatures of 88°F to 92°F and a sufficient heat flux are required. This not only keeps their development rate consistent, but it also encourages movement and reduces obesity. The size of the confinement affects the husbandry.

Size of the Cage

It is extremely difficult to maintain the temperature and provide room for your reptile to explore without a properly sized container. For adolescents, a 20-gallon tank will be ideal, but grownups will probably require 40 gallons. A 50-gallon tank is required for some ball python variants.


It doesn’t matter whether you start with mice or rats; you will need to stick to a nutritious regimen. Offering rodents to your python at an early age will slow down its growth pace, but it will help your snake stay at an optimal weight. Introducing rat babies will enable it to develop swiftly at an early age.

Restricting Overeating

Obesity in confined ball pythons is a common issue, and it is sometimes misdiagnosed as rapid growth. Drooping or collapsing scales, exposed skin among scales, a spherical body type, and an epidermis that is very sensitive to feel are all indications that are simple to identify.

Feeding your snake the right quantity of food for their size is the best way to prevent obesity. Newborn snakes demand a small amount of food frequently, while mature pythons need more hefty meals less frequently.

The Bottom Line

The ball python is one of the most beautiful snakes that you can keep as a pet. As a result, a growing number of ball python enthusiasts are looking for unique and different-colored snakes. When it comes to obtaining a snake’s background, technicalities are crucial.

It is critical to keep track of a ball python’s growth and size. Ensuring that your snake is putting on weight and living in a comfortable surrounding is essential for a healthy, happy pet.