I bet you’ve wondered if the lifespan of both male and female ball pythons are the same. There is no tangible difference between a male and female ball python other than that you already know.
Aside from the obvious difference in body size and weight, other differences are minor. We all know that female ball pythons grow longer and larger in body size than the males.
We are also familiar that female ball pythons tend to be aggressive at a certain season of their lives. In terms of purchasing cost, female ball pythons are costlier than males.
However, what about lifespan? Do the male and female ball pythons live for the same number of years, or does it differ?
This and many more, you’ll find answers to in this article.
Why Do You Need To Know The Lifespan Of A Female Ball Python?
Like I always said, how well you know your snake will determine how good a breeder you are or will be. Knowing your female ball python’s lifespan is as important as knowing the factors that can shorten her lifespan.
The female ball pythons are the ones that will undergo rigorous processes of ovulation and breeding year in year out. Their body systems at these points need extra attention and care for them to sail through successfully.
A female ball python who isn’t well taken care of may have difficulties laying healthy eggs. An unhealthy female ball python may as well have difficulties laying out the eggs that she conceived.
This in turn, may shorten its lifespan because the snake may die in the process. As a breeder who intends to breed ball pythons either as a hobby or for profit, you must know how long female ball pythons can live.
This will guide you to decide how many times throughout its lifetime you should breed it. Although there’s no report on the impact of breeding on the lifespan of female ball pythons, naturally, a breeding female that is not well taken care of will not live as long as the ones with proper care.
Hence, your knowledge of their longevity in captivity is important for optimum husbandry.
Female Ball Python Lifespan
Ball pythons, whether males or females, have the same lifespan. They live for the same number of years both in the wild and in captivity. In the wild, ball pythons have a lifespan of 10 years. While in captivity, they have a lifespan of 20 – 30 years.
In most rare cases, they can live to 40 or 50 years in captivity. However, this is only with good care. The disparity in their lifespan both in the wild and in captivity is because of the absence of predators.
But even in captivity and with the much attention given to them by their breeders, some captive ball pythons still die while still young. This only tells us that other factors related to their husbandry and habitat shorten their lifespan.
These factors will be looked at in detail in the next section. Keep reading.
Male Vs Female Ball Python Lifespan
You might think that because of egg-laying, that female ball pythons will have a shorter lifespan than the males. However, there’s no logical or scientific proof of that.
For that reason, there isn’t any difference in the lifespan of male and female ball pythons. Whether your female or male ball python will live longer than the other is a matter of how good a breeder you are.
It is also a matter of how well you can provide an optimum environment for them. A male or female ball python that is not well taken care of will die before even getting to adulthood. Gender plays no role in how long they live.
But there are several other things that the male and female ball pythons differ. Check it out in our next article here.
What Affects The Lifespan Of Female Ball Pythons
In captivity, what factors that affect female ball python’s lifespan is no different from what affects male ball pythons. These factors that affect female ball python lifespan in captivity include poor health, diet, wrong cage set up, poor husbandry, and many others.
All these factors play important roles in their longevity and lifespan. Thus, you must understand how these factors can shorten your female ball python’s lifespan. A good knowledge of these factors will help you to prevent possible threats to your pet’s life.
Wrong Cage Set-Up
Everything that borders around the cage set up includes proper heating, lighting, and accessories. The best way to set up their habitat is to ensure that it simulates the wild.
Any error in setting up their habitat will lead to stress. Ball pythons are nocturnal animals. In the wild, they hide more than they explore. Hence, their habitat needs to be darkened with a very little lighting to give them a sense of security.
When they feel relaxed, they’ll not be stressed. Providing accessories such as hides, logs, or branches for climbing, and fake plastic plants will give them security.
In terms of heating, since they are endothermic they require an ambient temperature of 78° F – 80° F. On the warm side, the temperature should not go beyond the range of 86° F – 90° F. While on the cool side it should be maintained within the range of 76° – 78° F.
Anything other than this will cause health issues to them. Too hot enclosure will make the snake want to run away. On the other hand, a too wet enclosure will encourage the breeding of parasites.
The fact that your snake doesn’t require everyday feeding and handling doesn’t mean you should neglect it. Even when you’re not feeding or handling your snake, checking up on them regularly is advised.
You do this to be sure that the temperatures in their cage are up to standard. For a healthy female ball python, the temperature should be kept at appropriate levels.
Ball pythons feed exclusively on a diet of rodents and other small mammals. In captivity, the feeder prey can be given pre-killed or frozen-thawed. But the feeder prey should never be given live to avoid the dangers of injuring the snake.
Not feeding your pet snake the right size or nutritious prey can result in malnourishment. Understandably, ball pythons will often refuse to eat for genuine reasons which are normal.
However, if your ball python refuses to eat for a longer time when she is not breeding, then you should look into its health. Because oftentimes stress and illness can make ball pythons refuse to eat.
Feeding your snake cold prey or not providing enough heat to enable it digests its food will cause serious health issues to your snake. In as much as you should always ensure that your snake eats regularly, power feeding the snake can cause obesity.
To ball pythons, obesity is as dangerous as underweight.
A good keeper with optimum husbandry ensures that the enclosure is clean at all times. He ensures that the snake has enough clean and freshwater to drink. Regular and proper handling of the snake is also part of good husbandry.
Good husbandry also includes feeding your snake regularly and on time. It includes inspecting or observing your snake for possible illness. If all these aren’t put in place, then your snake may become sick without you knowing.
At any point that your cage accessories and heating aren’t giving you what you want, you can change them to more reliable brands.
Finally, if there’s any fault in any of the factors discussed above, the effect will be that the snake will become sick. Before you can establish that your snake is sick, you’ve to first rule out the aforementioned factors.
Not feeding your snake the right prey size regularly will lead to loss of weight. Too much feeding (power feeding) will cause obesity. Inappropriate cage temperatures will cause indigestion.
Wrong humidity levels cause diseases such as retained shed, respiratory infection, parasites, or bacteria. Not enough enrichments will make the snake feel insecure and stressed.
The effects of these factors on the lifespan of your female ball python is endless. When it comes to reptiles and snakes generally, there is no minor sickness. Most illnesses considered minor often are symptoms of a bigger problem.
As much as you can, try to eliminate these life-shortening factors.
Moreover, if it is impossible to eliminate them, at least early detection and prevention or cure will go a long way to ensure they live long.
Caring for reptiles isn’t an easy task. But with the right information and the application of this information, the adventure becomes an exciting and rewarding one.
Fully understanding your ball python will help you better take care of them. As a suggestion, we would recommend you to get a good ball python book. Not to become an expert on ball python care but will help you avoid the common mistake in new pet snake owners.
Last update on 2020-09-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Ball pythons can live for a longer time if provided the right environment to thrive. They can go as long as 30 years in captivity. But in cases where their health is at risk or their immune system is compromised, a long lifespan shouldn’t be expected.
If the snake spends a greater part of its life fighting diseases, then it shouldn’t take you by surprise if the snake dies before full maturity. With all these in mind, ensure that your snake is always in good health before breeding.