The Ball Python, Python regius, is the smallest of the African pythons and is probably the most popular python in the pet trade. The natural color pattern is typically black or dark brown with light brown or gold sides and dorsal blotches and the belly is a white or cream that may include scattered black markings. Hobbyists have developed innumerable morphs(genetic mutations) with altered colors and patterns, the variety of which is only matched by the Corn Snake.
The name ball python refers to the animal's tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened. In captivity they are considered good pets, for their relatively small size and placid nature make them easy to handle. Captive bred adults rarely bite.