Best first python?

I have been watching more reptile youtubers, and found a few constrictor youtubers (like Jason’s Exotic reptiles) and I’m really starting to like the constrictors. I want something small, something relatively easy for someone who has experience with Balls and Colubrids. I like Hog islands, but are there better options?

I am definitely researching all the different localities, but I’d also like to get first hand opinions from breeders and keepers who already have them.

What do you love about your “small” pythons? What do you hate? what do you wish you had known before you got it?


Hog island are boas, and if you are interested in boas as well as pythons most of your boas are not huge and easy to keep. Bci’s, bcc, dumerils ground boas all are hardy and not huge somewhere medium sized in most cases. Carpet pythons are gorgeous and bredils and ij don’t get big and most are very tame, there can be some exceptions with carpets though. Short tailed pythons are also a great choice, easy to keep maybe a little more sensitive to humidity then ball pythons. Always eat and usually are tame, they don’t always get long but are heavy bodied so look pretty large still in the medium range though. These would be the best choices for larger animals that are very straight forward to keep. Good luck let us know!


Thanks for the feedback, you’ve been fantastic with all my questions lately!

Clearly I need to do more research. Boas vs Pythons is something i’m not super duper clear on yet, so off i go down the rabbit hole. I will research the boas you mentioned. there’s an expo coming up in July that i’m going to go to and talk to the breeders with tables there.

And one last thought - it’s going to be a good long while before i get a bigger snake. My primary focus is upgrading my current animal enclosures, before i bring in another species. While i’m doing that though, i will be researching hard. :slight_smile:


I have Central American boas and they are puppy dogs. They easily fit in 4x2x2 enclosures. Imho, I think boas is general make wonderful pets because of their easy going laid back nature. Sand boas and rosy boas are great too, though smaller than what you are wanting. However, as with any snake, there are exceptions to the laid back nature.

I also have a young male Borneo ST python and so far he eats great and is gentle. I really like the looks of the blood pythons but they were a bit out of my price range. My Borneo was 200.00 shipped, CBB. I wanted a ST so I jumped at the chance.

So imho you can’t go wrong with any type of boa, though there are rare exceptions……

Good luck with whatever you decide on and let us know what it is and pictures are “de”mandatory ! lol :blush::snake:


It’s great that you are doing research first and not just jumping into a purchase of a snake without being prepared! So many people don’t do that and end up with a snake that they don’t want/can’t take of. This is the perfect place to get experienced opinions on just about any snake you want to talk about. These people will not steer you wrong! :+1::ok_hand::snake:


No problem! While there are a lot of differences between pythons and boas, pet wise they can be pretty similar depending on species. One of the biggest differences being boas are live bearers and pythons lay eggs, so that’s something to consider if breeding them is in your future! Mostly though the main difference is where they live in the world. Pythons are (old world snakes) meaning they live throughout Asia and Africa and boas are (new world) which means the north, central, and South Americas. Good plan to always do research beforehand, just make sure you get it through reputable sources.


If you want a python, I really love blood pythons and short-tail pythons. To me, they’re the next size up from ball pythons. They’re rumored to be temperamental, but that hasn’t been my experience. I would go with a male, as they stay quite a bit smaller.

If you want a boa, you can’t go wrong with a common boa constrictor - but if you do want something a tad smaller, dumeril’s boas are fantastic <3 Totally underrated species! If you want something much smaller, try out an antaresia. Much smaller, but can also be a tad spicy. Though our children’s python is quite nice!


Our borneo short tail male is quite big… heavy, chunky and over 4ft I think it was last check.
Also is very temperamental imo. The oh can read him but I swear he doesn’t like me. One min he’s fine the next he’s trying to constrict my arm and hissing at me :joy:

I wouldn’t recommend as a first snake for anyone.

Royal pythons ideal,
But with what op has said unsure if wanting python or boa. Our red tail boa we got recently is amazing. But any snake can be lush with a lot of handling.


Thank you everyone for the input. I love reading the feedback and opinions on the different species. My friend had a blood that was defensive at first, but she tamed him down pretty nicely. I’m thinking that i’ll want something bigger than a BP, but not big bodied? I dunno, I need to get hands on different types to see what I like the feel of. Whether something longer I can handle by myself, or something shorter, but thick bodied.

I hadn’t considered dumerils boas, but i’m gonna go research them right now.


Oh I definitely wouldn’t recommend it as a first snake either, I think the post was looking for the next step up after gaining ball python and colubrid experience :slight_smile: I’ve had a few bloods and a Sumatran short tail, and all of our’s have been vocal but easy to work with luckily.


Also depends if you want a snake that is out and about in their enclosure or that it doesnt matter. IMO BPs are not the best beginner snake. They are known to go on food strikes constantly. They hide almost all the time. As far as pythons go, carpets are good display pets and good eaters, can be good to hold once past baby phase. Most boas are out and about, and known to be great eaters, pretty docile. If you are willing to look into colubrids, kingsnakes can be very outgoing and great eaters. This is based on my personal experience.


I TOTALLY AGREE with you on the ball pythons. If the teeniest thing is off with the husbandry, there could be problems. They do hide a lot and do go off feed seemingly for no reason. Imho bps do not make good beginner snakes. I find it extremely frustrating when a snake does not eat. However bps are generally quite docile……. :wink:


I’ll echo the suggestion of a short tailed python of some sort. And yes, that is my go-to recommendation for virtually anyone who is not a total beginner, because I adore my blood girl and I’m totally biased. :joy:

If you’re not totally married to the python family, something like a sand boa or rosy boa might be a good option to look into. Very manageable size, generally docile, good eaters, and very hardy and easy to care for.

A smaller locality boa constrictor might also be a nice option.


Funny you mention colubrids and balls, i have both :sweat_smile: ive got hognoses and kings. My first snake when i restarted was a ball, and ive had a few be difficult (have 6 now).

I did start narrowing down my list a bit to boas or pythons that are diurnal. I love my bps, buuuut theyre never out unless i bring them out or its close to feeding day.


Caron, you already know my journey with a picky eater. but for those who havent read that thread, i actually kind of enjoy having the bps and working thru their finicky eating practices.

Ill do a bit more research on bloods, since theyve been recommended a couple times.

Ive considered sand boas, but they just dont spark my interest. Ill have to look into a rosy boa. Ive not considered them.


If you want small and interesting, look into children/spotted pythons and solomon island tree/ground boas. They are on my list to get soon enough.


Im actually looking to upgrade size. I wajt to get something a bit bigger than a king, but not asnbig as say a retic.


Both sand and Rosie’s are nice pets, but won’t be out in the open very often. I like the Solomon ground boa suggestion, I have been interested in those for a while myself. If you want something bigger then a king and don’t mind colubrids you could always go bull or pine snake. My northern pines were big and pretty thick and both super docile, I suppose that could be hit or miss but I have had a pair of northerns and several bull snakes, even a couple wild caught adults when I was a kid and they all settled down into tame snakes for me.


Also fantastic suggestions. I would absolutely love to get a bull… a snow bull in particular. Local guy (well, sorta, hes a state over in jersey) frequents the expo closest to me, and the first time i met him he had this stunning snow bullsnake on his table. He wanted 600 i think for it, but id already spent what i planned on spending that day. Next time i saw him 2 months later he’d sold it. I was so sad. Annnd now im down the rabbit hole of pines and bulls.


I have a young rosy boa boy and he is so so velvety and sweet. Unfortunately he usually turns up his nose at ft so he is the only one of my snakes that have to have live. But I don’t think you would be satisfied with a rosy because you seem to want a bit larger snake than that.

So it’s odd that you mentioned the snow bull snake because I was at the Midwest Expo a couple of Sundays ago and there was a seller there holding a snow/albino? bull snake. I had to ask what it was and let me tell you it was gorgeous! I think it was a young one but it was just gliding through that guy’s hands. I knew better than to stop………!lol! So definitely check out the bull snakes. That kind might be the perfect fit for what you’re looking for…… :thinking:

And yes we have gone down the picky BP eater road! I have a 2 year old girl who has refused food for about 3 months now. She’s a good weight. All she wants to do is hang out so I am letting her do just that. One of these days she will eat like a pig again.