What Is a Pastel Ball Python?

Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee

The pastel ball python is a member of the species Python regius, a type of snake commonly kept as pets. This snake is similar in color and pattern to the regular ball python, but its spots are typically paler and more numerous. It will usually have more of a leopard-like pattern, with small dark spots present within the pale splotches. Like other Python regius variations, the pastel ball python typically reaches a length of about 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 1.8), and will usually weight between 3.3 and 5.5 pounds (1500 to 2500 grams). These snakes are considered relatively easy to care for as pets, and can live in captivity as long as 25 years, if not longer.

Most types of pythons can be shy, so it's generally considered advisable to offer these snakes a place where they can hide comfortably inside their cages. Some breeders recommend using a box with one open side, or an overturned planter with the bottom cut out. The pastel ball python will often attack its prey from this location, and it's considered normal for these snakes to remain secreted in their hiding spots for days at a time.

Baby pastel ball pythons are usually 8 to 11 inches (20.3 to 27.9 centimeters) in length, and can usually feed on small mice or infant rats. By the time they reach their mature size, these snakes will usually be big enough to feed on full-sized rats. Most breeders and enthusiasts recommend the feeding of frozen rats, however, since live rats can attack the snake and cause it serious injury.

These snakes are not as active as some reptiles, but they still generally need a fairly large cage. Most enthusiasts are advised to acquire a cage that is about 36 inches wide, 18 inches deep and 18 inches tall (91.4 x 45.7 x 45.7 centimeters). The pastel ball python will usually need an environment heated to between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (24.4 to 27.7 Celsius) during the day, with a nighttime temperature ranging from 68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 23.8 Celsius). Like most other reptiles, the pastel ball python needs to warm itself to keep its internal body temperature within acceptable ranges, so a basking place heated between 88 and 92 degrees Fahrenheit (31.1 to 33.3 Celsius) is usually needed.

Discussion Comments


Snakes are interesting because they are so much different than your normal pets. Mammals may be cuddlier, but reptiles have personalities in the same way that dogs and cats have personalities. Another good thing about snakes is they are low maintenance. You never have to walk the snake.

That's not to say that snake owners don't need to be responsible. You do have to care for them, but not in the same way you have to look after a dog.


The reason many people can't understand why snakes make good pets is because they are afraid of them. Of course, this is ridiculous because you have a better chance of being injured by a dog than you do a snake. Even pet dogs that are supposed to be a part of the family sometimes injure children or their owners.

Sure there are some cases where pet snakes have killed someone, but these cases are rare, very rare. You hear more about these stories because people find them more interesting than dog attacks. This is because dog attacks happen more often, and are no longer considered news.


What is the attraction of snakes as pets? I really don't get why you would want a snake in place of a cat or dog. A fish may not be particularly exciting, but they do swim about and they are supposed to be good for lowering blood pressure and helping you relax. Seriously, why are snakes getting to be so popular as pets?

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