Ball Python Facts

Doll%2C+previously+mentioned+beloved+pet+%28my+sweetheart%29.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Ball Python Facts

Doll, previously mentioned beloved pet (my sweetheart).

Doll, previously mentioned beloved pet (my sweetheart).

Doll, previously mentioned beloved pet (my sweetheart).

Doll, previously mentioned beloved pet (my sweetheart).

Rayanna Gaines, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






I have 2 female ball pythons and a male. One female is a lithium spider ball python; her name is Doll. I got her when she was 4-years-old at a reptile convention called “Repticon” at the state fair park; she was definitely not cheap due to being a female of breeding age. The other female is a normal ball python; I got her at Petsmart (½ off) when she was a hatchling. I got my boy Hank when he was 1 year old from a reptile breeder in Michigan called BHB Reptiles.

 

How Do They Reproduce?

Unlike mammals, all ball pythons lay eggs instead of giving live birth. Boas, however, give live birth meaning that they don’t go through the external egg-laying process. Instead, the eggs grow inside mother’s body, they are directly connected with a yolk sac and enveloped within a clear-colored, tenuous membrane. They remain in this state for a few months, steadily growing and making progress. When birth is impending and the youngsters are about to exit their mother’s body, these defensive membranes promptly break. For ball python eggs take 2 months, approximately 55-60 days, to hatch after being laid.

 

Morphs (patterns,colors)

The term Morph means the phenotype/how the snake looks. There are many different types/variations of morphs including spider, normal, clown, albino, pastel, piebald, vanilla, calico, axanthic, bumblebee, butter, banana, and cinnamon. There can also be combos of the day morphs such as in calico spider ball pythons, banana spider ball pythons, and banana piebald ball pythons.

 

The Shedding Process, Eating, and Size

Ball pythons eat at least 1 rat or mouse every week. Owners can feed them more often than that or a larger amount in order to increase the snakes weight faster. They can also go for months without eating. This is normal, but the owner should make sure that they do not have too much of a significant loss of weight. Ball Pythons should eat a rat or mouse that is as round as the fullest part of them. When preparing to shed, some ball pythons refuse food and sometimes shedding doesn’t affect their eating habits at all. Ball Pythons tend to shed about every 4-6 weeks. Shedding when talking about snakes is not the type of shedding that your dog does snakes shed their “skin” (scales) and even shed their eyelids. When shedding ball pythons go nearly completely blind, they enter a phase often referred to as “blue” or “pearl” meaning that their eyes take on a bluish white tint. Their eyes changing colors is caused by fluid building up allowing their “skin” to loosen in preparation to shed, it takes about a week for them to begin shedding after going into the blue stage. Whether the shed is full, partial, or chunky depends on the humidity of the enclosure.

 

Aggression

Unlike in other animals, female and male bp’s are equally mean and snippy. Aggression tends to vary from snake to snake usually when they feel threatened they curl up into a ball hence the name “Ball” Python.

 

Genetics

Moving on to one of the things I find most fascinating about Ball Pythons…their genes!! Snake genetics is remarkably similar to human genetics a snake needs two copies of a recessive gene in order for it to show up in the animal. Also, like in human genetics snakes only need one copy of a dominant gene for it to show up. If you should ever find yourself in the market for a snake and you find one that is labeled as a Het, it means that the snake is recessive for that gene.

 

Habitat in Captivity  

When in captivity ball pythons should either be housed in a snake rack system or in a normal “fish” style tank. If you ever find yourself in need of finding an appropriate home for a ball python, you should keep in mind that they are ground snakes and like to have many small places to hide. When you first see the rack system in comparison to your animal, you might think that it is too small and that they would want more room, it’s actually close to the opposite. Ball pythons love small spaces and if you handle them enough, a rack system is perfect for them because they require around 50-60% humidity and an 80 degree “cold” spot with a 90 degree “hot” spot.  With improper care, ball pythons could develop very serious diseases including mites, respiratory infection, and scale rot.

Since snakes are usually a common fear, I wanted to try and educate people on how complex and interesting they are.

 

About the Writer
Rayanna Gaines, Staff Writer

Rayanna Gaines is a sophomore in high school and a first-year member on The Posted Paw. Her hobbies include: reading, listening to music, making art, wasting...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
Navigate Right