Ball Python Size Explained: How Big Are They Compared To Others?

Last Updated on March 10, 2024 by Amin Tawar

Found throughout the grasslands of Central and West Africa, ball pythons (Python regius) have the distinction of being known as the easiest species of python to own as a pet. They’re nonvenomous and pretty small, at least as far as pythons are concerned. Their strange name comes from the fact that they tend to roll into a ball when they’re stressed.

Ball Python Length and Width

Ball Python Size
Ball Python Size Explained: How Big Are They Compared To Others?

Ball pythons are the smallest of the African pythons. This means that they reach a maximum length of about 182 cm or 6 feet as an adult. And that’s just the females. Males are even smaller. 6 feet may not seem small to us humans but they’re quite small by the standards of pythons.

Ball pythons are pretty stocky. A lot of their body weight comes from their width rather than their length. Ball pythons generally range from 1.2 inches to 2.75 inches (3 – 7 cm) in width, with males being slimmer and lighter than females. The females need the added weight for reproductive functions.

HeightFeetCentimeters
Males3 – 3.591 – 107
Females4 – 6122 – 182

Ball Python Weight

Ball pythons are pretty bulky snakes but they don’t weigh a lot. Females are definitely heavier than males and also have much more muscle. They tend to gain weight more and have a more rounded and fuller body shape as compared to the slim males. 

An average male ball python weighs about 2 or 2.5 lbs. The average female ball python, on the other hand, weighs around 6 lbs.

WeightPoundsGrams
Males 1.98 – 2.64900 – 1200
Females4.40 – 6.512000 – 3000

Ball Python Clutch Size

The clutch size of a ball python can include anywhere between 3 and 11 eggs. Some females do produce more eggs and they’ve been known to have clutches of 16 eggs at a time. The average clutch size is about 7 eggs.

The amount of time it takes a ball python to hatch after an egg is laid is about 50 – 60 days. The baby snakes hatch their eggs themselves and come out. There’s no question of parental care after this stage. It’s up to the baby snake to fend for itself, which is why a lot of the hatchlings don’t make it to adulthood.

Ball Python Hatchling Size

Whether male or female, the size of the hatchling remains uniform. A ball python hatchling is usually no more than 10 to 17 inches in length. They weigh in at just about 50 – 80 grams. After the one month mark, the growth rates for the males and females begin to vary widely.

Ball Python Juvenile Size

A juvenile ball python, at about six months of age, can be anywhere between 20 and 30 cm. The males are typically slightly smaller and vary between 20 and 25 cm while the female ball pythons range from 25 to 30 cm. The average weight of a juvenile ball python is about 300 grams, although some males can weigh as little as 275 grams and some females can weigh as much as 360 grams.

Ball Python Full Size

Female and male ball pythons grow at different rates. In fact, if you map the rate at which they grow, the results could be quite surprising. Female ball pythons grow 1.5 times faster than the average male but males reach maturity earlier.

There are various stages in the growth of the ball python. After the juvenile stage and before reaching adulthood at around 4 years, male ball pythons grow at about 8 inches per year. Females, on the other hand, grow much faster at 12 to 16 inches per year. 

As stated before, ball pythons don’t grow too big. They average about 5 feet in length though there are some females who can reach 6 feet. However, they rarely, if ever, cross the 6 feet mark. It’s part of the reason that they’re so popular as pets for snake enthusiasts – their manageable size.

Ball Python Size Comparison to Human

Ball Python Size Comparison to Human
Ball Python Size Explained: How Big Are They Compared To Others?

If you lay an average sized man and a ball python down side by side, the latter is almost certain to be shorter. The longest that a ball python can reach is 6 feet with most measuring in at closer to 5 feet. The average man, on the other hand, is considered to be about 5 feet 9 inches. 

Since we usually imagine pythons to be monstrously long and big, this is quite a small size. Their girth is also not very wide, which makes them easier to handle than a lot of other snakes.

Ball Python Vs Burmese Python Comparison

Ball Python Vs Burmese Python Comparison
Ball Python Size Explained: How Big Are They Compared To Others?

People often seem to get confused between the ball python and the Burmese python, even though the two aren’t at all similar really. For one, the Burmese python is much more dangerous. It’s been said to take down even alligators. Very different from the much more benign ball pythons.

The ball pythons are dark brown in color with tan markings or blotches while the Burmese pythons are tan in color with darker blotches. Apart from that, their most obvious difference is size. Burmese pythons can be as long as 16 feet in length and weigh as much as 200 lbs.

Ball pythons obviously are much smaller, only averaging 5 feet in length and about 3 lbs in weight.

AnimalAverage LengthAverage Weight
Ball PythonAdult male  91 – 107 cm (36 – 42 inches)Aduly female 122 – 182 cm (48 – 72 inches)Adult male 1.561 kg (3 lb 7.1 oz)Adult female 1.635 kg (3 lb 9.7 oz)
Burmese PythonAdult male 2.8 – 3.05 m (9 ft 2 inches – 10 feet)Adult female 3.47 – 5 m (11 feet 5 inches – 16 feet)Adult male 12 – 18.5 kg (26 – 41 lb)Adult female 29 – 75 kg (64 – 165 lb)

Ball Python Vs Blood Python Comparison

Ball Python Vs Blood Python Comparison
Ball Python Size Explained: How Big Are They Compared To Others?

A much more equal comparison would be between the ball python and the blood python, which fall more or less in the same category as far as size is concerned. Blood pythons too often reach only 6 feet in length, though there have been records of some that were 8 feet long. 

The weight is a different issue. Blood pythons tend to be much thicker width-wise than the ball python. Thus, while a ball python only weighs about 3 – 5 lbs, blood pythons can easily reach 20 lbs. 

AnimalAverage LengthAverage Weight
Ball PythonAdult male  91 – 107 cm (36 – 42 inches)Aduly female 122 – 182 cm (48 – 72 inches)Adult male 1.561 kg (3 lb 7.1 oz)Adult female 1.635 kg (3 lb 9.7 oz)
Blood PythonAdult male 91 – 152 cm (36 – 60 inches)Adult female 120 – 180 cm (48 – 72 inches)Adult male 9.071 kg (20 lb)Adult female 13.607 kg (30 lb)

Conclusion

And that is all you need to know about the size of a Ball Python. I hope this article was helpful enough and that you got something valuable from it.

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