Piebald Ball Python-Caring For Piebald Ball Python 2019 Guide With Pictures

The piebald python is a very rare type of snake, they express an unusual cloud-like pattern unseen in any other base-morph, they are unique and a lot of snake hobbyist strive to acquire because it’s rare and has a uniquely beautiful design. 

The snake is roughly four feet long depending on gender and around four to five pounds in weight. It is a white base colored snake with a jack-o-lantern pattern running down its body. It originates from West Africa and has a diet consisting of small African mammals.

Are you interested in these little beautiful creatures and want to acquire more knowledge on them? Or are you thinking of getting one for yourself as a pet? Either way, this article will help you Know all you need to Know about the piebald Ball Python. Now let’s get into detail.

Characteristics of the snake

These type of snakes are not aggressive at all, actually, they are generally very mellow, they will only get aggressive when they need to, not want to, they are quite a friendly breed of snake, making them perfect for you especially if you are thinking of buying one as a pet.

The piebald Ball Python will only attack and fight back when it’s necessary for its survival or for protecting its offspring. They love to hide in burrows made by other mammals just to be safe from heat and other threats and noises in the wild. 

These pythons hate the heat so it’s important to know what their general temperament is.

Studies say that Piebaldism can occur in all animals, including humans. This unusual pigmentation can be an inheritable trait or it can occur ontogenetically. 

The type of piebaldism that the ball pythons have is an inheritable trait. This hereditary trait can now be defined as a simple recessive trait, such as albinism. 

It’s a lot easier to sit here and go on about heterozygous as if everyone understands it, but for those of you who are not familiar with the genetic term heterozygous, it is a word describing the offspring produced when an animal such as a piebald is bred to a normal animal carrying dominant traits. 

Albino Animals: Understanding albinism In Animals.

If you have a pied ball python pet today, it must have been produced as a designer pet. However, the reality is that  Albinism in animals is a gene mutation which comes with a host of issues like poor eyesight

And, if it wasn’t for the albino pied ball which was the first proven recessive ball python mutation, there would have been no such beautiful docile pet pythons as pets in the home of pet snake enthusiasts. 

Thanks to the zealous python breeders, Albino pythons are not just melanistic domesticated pythons, with no dark pigments, but they are celebrated petted snake pythons, whom after being left with a life-altering gene mutation, they became a much loved and sought after pet snake. 

Pied ball Pythons have become this cute looking reptile pet with their bright yellow and white snake with pink/red-ish eyes and are key to some of the must-have designer mutations

So, Is albinism a dominant or recessive trait? A quick answer is yes! Albino animals range from ball python morphs to geckos who seem to have dominant genes that have been leveraged in breeding technology to produce even more colorful morphs.

What ball python genes are dominant?

 Here are ball python genes that are more dominant in morph:

  • Pinstripe ball pythons are known for their dominant genes which is in return used for breeding purposes within the species of ball python morphs.
  • Spider Ball Pythons, are also yet another ball python morph that has dominant ball python genes likened to that of the Pinstripe Ball Pythons.

Is there a super banana ball python?

Yes! There is a super banana ball python breed which is a by-product from the albino animal(banana ball python morph) which is already dominant or has a recessive trait caused by mutations in one of several genes.

And most of these types of gene mutations can be inherited in an autosomal recessive manner when a super banana ball python mother with banana genetics is bred with a ball python dad with banana genetics so the offspring comes out with combination genetic mutation from both its mother and father.

To successfully produce a super banana ball python morph, breeders combine two banana ball pythons together so they can produce an offspring with 25% super banana, 25% regular banana, and 25% normal.

What that means is that while there’s no cure, for albinism in animals. Instead, breeding of genetically mutated pythons in this species family, are not considered as albino animals with the so-called disorder as an advantage. 

But, if you are going to keep a pied ball python, make sure that you take steps to improve their vision and avoid too much direct sunlight exposure into their snake tank enclosure.

All of the offspring appear normal but carry the recessive trait. And that has its benefits( albino animals are cute to look at with their colorful white and yellow, or dark melanin

History of the piebald Ball Python in the wild

The piebald Ball Python was discovered as early as in 1966 in Ghana. Villagers saw and killed a very large specimen measuring about 118 centimeters, from there the breed was also seen in the 1980s in Ghana. 

The ability for the piebald Ball Python to survive in the wild is truly amazing,

From Ghana, these snakes were sold to collectors at prices ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. 

During the mid-1980s, the first baby piebald was imported by a dealer in Miami who sold it to a private collector and the explosion of herpetoculture in the United States during the early 1990s provided the demand for collectors in Ghana and Togo to mass-collect ball pythons and their eggs.

 These large scale collecting techniques resulted in the finding of several piebalds that eventually found their way to importers within the states. Researchers have found that there are over 18 known piebald Ball Pythons in the United States and Germany as well.

How to care for your snake

Piebald Ball pythons are a very popular choice for many people who are looking for a pet snake and like all snakes, ball pythons will require you to be fully committed to their care. 

With proper care, Python morph snakes can live up to 30 years. Sadly, some enthusiast python morphs pet owners have little to no idea how much it costs to take care of a ball Python. 

There are numerous ways to taking care of your pied ball python morph. And the best ways in which you can best take care of your Piebald Python for it to live a long and healthy life begins with making sure you have an idea of how much does it cost to take care of a ball python…

So, how much does it cost to take care of a ball python?

Here’s how much it costs to take care of a ball python morph:

Ball Python Morph Breed TypeBuying PriceCare Guide For Ball Python Morph Breed Type
Albino Ball Python $1,000 – $3,000
Axanthic Ball Python$250 -$750
Piebald Ball Python$50 -$450
Banana Ball Python: A Complete Ball Python Morphs Guide

Buying Price: To buy your first ball python morph, the average cost price that you can expect to pay for a young vibrant health ball python morph is around $50. 

But, I have got to point it out to you that these prices can dramatically go as cheap as $25 per ball python morph as long as you are willing to take the risk of buying your pet snake from low profile breeders and in other rare occasions, you may get lucky and find a pet owner who did not intentionally breed, but ended up being a mum or dad to a fertile ball python who lays eggs with hatchlings. 

Rare Ball Python Morph: For rarer morphs, expect to pay more than $50. For instance, young pied ball python morph which is also known as an albino ball python tend to sell between $150 and $200.

So, Are snakes expensive to keep?

Yes! snakes can be expensive to keep! Take keeping Boa snake pets, for example, Boa constrictors which are fast becoming more and more popular by reptilia enthusiasts for their lucid laid back and docile temperament which is not generally considered to be intentionally aggressive or a vicious pet. 

Such snake breeds still need a proper snake tank enclosure of recommended size where they enjoy life in captivity. 

And despite Their low rankings of affection compared to what dogs and cats are known for, their buying price can range from 100 dollars to 500 dollars very quickly and tend to be even more expensive the bigger you want them. 

Now, taking such a pet home as your first pet, then you should know that these snakes can be tricky to figure them out in how to care for them really well as some remain small and make great pets, yet others can outgrow their snake enclosure pretty quick which can be hard to care for those that are big and live for as long as up to 30 years in captivity.

Handling Ball Python Morphs

So, I get lots of nervous ball python enthusiasts who are wondering If pet snake owners Can handle ball pythons…

Can Pet Owners Handle Ball Pythons?

Yes! you can handle ball pythons as they are docile and tolerant pet snake species that enjoy the company of their owners and extended family. 

Pied ball python morphs are best handled on a full stomach! It means you have a better chance of not getting your fingers gnawed when they have just been fed and given a clean drink of water. 

This is why the majority of recommendations about handling ball pythons is that you wait until the snake eats its first meal before trying to handle it. 

As part of your early stages of caring for your new pet in her new home is to make sure it has been given time to adapt to her new environment, along with fresh drinking water, ideal substrate and appropriate snake tank temperatures. 

The majority of reported pet snake aggression is as a result of the pet feeling threatened and the owner just can’t leave it alone for a few days to adjust. … 

Though it may sound strange, snakes in their wild habitat undergo seasons where they go for weeks without eating deliberately. This may either be the snake is fasting, which ball pythons will sometimes do in the winter. And that is not the right time to be handling your python morph if you want to keep all your fingers intact!

Do ball pythons like being handled?

No! Ball pythons do not like being handled, they just choose to be indifferent and tolerant of being petted as long as you keep them calm and are-assured that they are not threatened.  

Majority of people who want to handle a ball python morph are curious about the smooth feel of the ball python’s skin which in many cases it may deceptively look slimy like that of an Amazon forest frog’s skin.

 And if you are going to pet a ball python morph, keep it gentle and away from the head as these snakes feel threatened when you pet them on their head.

The vast majority of ball pythons like to first make the move to smelling you or you will find them licking you as if they want to make a meal out of you!

Though there is evidence of humans and animals being eaten by pythons in the wild, your ball python may lick you only to familiarise herself with your body scent like geckos would do. 

Do snakes have feelings for their owners?

No! Snakes do not have feelings for their owners or anyone in their family in captivity. These domesticated pets only choose to be indifferent to whether you pet them or not, but they are not intellectually capable of forming a bond based on friendship or feelings of affection for their owners.

 They are known for tolerating to being petted but it should never be misconstrued as being friends, because ball python morphs may be domesticated as they appear, however they do not develop any form of a bond with mates. 

This is also backed by evidence in how pet snakes care for their young, as it is limited and brief if there is any at all. So, they feel no emotional affection for one another (or anything else). 

So, snakes can be quite content with their owner’s presence, and nervous in their absence, or around new people too.

The one takes away here is that snake pets lick their owners to collect their natural unique smells and that may become a familiar signature identity with which they sense their owners or keepers presence from a distance or as you touch. 

Are snakes cuddly? No! Contrary to beliefs that pet snakes develop emotional connection or bond with one or more family members is not true as snakes are not cuddly pets like dogs and cats. 

However, particular smells of their owners and warmth that attract pet snakes to curl up and rest on their owners for warmth can easily be mistaken for being a sign of snakes seeking the owner to show how affection they are.

So, Can snakes be friendly? No! Pet snakes can never be friendly nor do they become affectionate with their keepers. Instead of developing emotional connections like cats or dogs would do, (it requires the pet to have some level of intellect to form affection or attachment towards people). 

Reality is that Snake pets do not “cuddle”, they will come to their owners not that they feel like being cuddled, rather they come just for the sake of sponging heat off their owners.

By nature, snakes (wild or domesticated pet snakes) have naturally occurring innate tendency to sense snakes — and spiders, too — and to learn to fear them.

1. Firstly, you must know how to handle a Piebald ball python.

The wild or domesticated pet snakes do not naturally get used to being held by their owners. Especially when they are new to your home, it can be intimidating and can be compared to the wild. So, because of that, your ball python morph snake won’t appreciate you holding them almost all the time. 

So it is important to know when is the right time to hold your snake and when you shouldn’t hold it.

You must allow your snake to eat one meal in its new home before trying to handle it, young snakes should be held no more than once a week and adult snakes can be held around once a week. 

Avoid interacting with your Piebald ball python after it’s eaten, you must wait for at least two days after your snake eats to make sure it is comfortable.

2. Find the right cage for your python

Find a perfect cage that will provide your snake with the right amount of room to feel comfortable is key to long quality life of your ball python morph in captivity. 

The goal for any pet snake owner is to make sure you provide your ball python with as close to a natural living habitat as that of their wild ancestors. 

And finding a balance in the choice of your snake tank/cage enclosure is important as snake tanks that are too small or too large will have a negative of positive impact to your pet snake.

 Its little things like snake hides, snake substrates and feeding schedule that often cause stress to your snake and make it feel uncomfortable. 

So basically, the cage needs to be long enough that the snake can completely stretch out in it. Try mesh cage lids, they can work. 

However, it can be difficult maintaining acceptable humidity levels for ball python morphs in these cages. Younger snakes, you will need to find a smaller cage. 

And, if you feel like finding the best enclosure for your ball python morph, you are not alone…

What is the best enclosure for a ball python?

Here are some of the best enclosures for a ball python:

  1. Vivexotic Repti-Home Black 
  2. Viv Exotic Repti-Stax Vivarium Beech, 36-Inch, Medium
  3. Repti-Life 48x18x18 Inch Vivarium Flatpacked In Oak, 4ft
  4. Terapod Deep Vivarium, Black 48
  5. Terapod Slim Vivarium, Oak 48

All these best enclosures for your python are your ideal home when paired with most common substrates used for ball python enclosure like paper towels and newspapers. 

Substrates are your cornerstone to keeping your pet snake enclosure clean, and free from overuse of disinfecting tank cleaners or chemical-based cleaning solutions for the snake enclosure

While orchid bark and cypress mulch are great substrates in controlling the humidity inside the enclosure, be cautious as some snake breeds are not tolerant to certain types of snake tank substrates.

3. The cage needs to be cleaned thoroughly

Cleaning your snake’s cage all the time when it needs to is very essential and It’s generally recommended that you fully clean the cage and everything in it once a month. 

Cleaning the cage will help keep your snake healthy and prevent any health issues over time.

When cleaning, take your snake out of the cage and remove everything in the cage for cleaning. Any sticks, hiding boxes, or other decorations will need to be cleaned.

You can clean the cage with a water and bleach solution. Make sure the bleach content is only 5%. And then Wait for the cage to fully dry before putting it back together and reintroducing your ball python.

4. Keep the temperature gradient. 

We all know that snakes are cold-blooded so, you will need to maintain your ball python’s enclosure with a temperature gradient. The basking area should be 88 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit and the overall temperature of the cage should be 78 to 80 Fahrenheit. 

It is advised to use two thermometers to monitor both the cool and warm areas of the cage.

5. When feeding your snake, make sure you find the correct size of prey.

You must provide the right size of prey to your piebald ball python. Prey that is either too small or too large will present problems for your snake so always make sure that whenever you introduce prey into the cage that it’s the correct size.

Size and lifespan

The record age of a ball python in captivity is reported to be 47 years, but between 20 and 30 years is much more common. In the wild, ball pythons live for an average of about 10 years.

Piebald Ball pythons normally average between 3 to 3.5 feet in length for males and 4 feet in length for females. Larger females can sometimes reach between 5 and 6 feet in length, but this is extremely rare.

Temperament and handling

The overall temperature of the cage should be 78 to 80 Fahrenheit. It is advised to use two thermometers to monitor both the cool and warm areas of the cage. 

As said above, snakes are not used to be held so you must avoid holding them all the time, Know the right time to hold it. Firstly it is not advised to hold it just after a meal because it will feel uncomfortable, wait for a day or two to hold it.

Health problems

The following are the health issues your snake may have to deal with during its lifetime:

1: Respiratory infections

When your snake is stressed, it is likely to get respiratory infections. Banana pythons can become stressed for several different reasons, like not having enough clean water, too much handling, no box to hide in, a dirty cage, mites, etc and the most common cause of respiratory infections in banana pythons is keeping their environment too cold or at another improper temperature. 

2: shedding complications

Also known as dysecdysis, shedding problems are very common in all types of snakes, a normal snake sheds as it grows, as well as normal shedding of the old coat.  

Provide your snake with proper temperature, humidity, and areas to rub against, to help prevent shedding problems.

3: Infectious Diseases and Parasites

Mouth rot, or infectious stomatitis, is an occasional illness in ball pythons and can occur when debris or food gets stuck in the mouth, if the snake’s mouth has become injured, or if the snake strikes at the enclosure.

Diet and nutrition

You must stick to a schedule when feeding your ball python. The regularity will benefit your snake and will allow you to notice if your snake has any changes in its appetite. 

Below we have listed a basic feeding schedule to best care for your snake’s dietary needs:

  • For adult ball pythons, offer food once every one or two weeks.
  • For young ball pythons, offer food once or twice a week.
  • Appetites may change normally over the year. Colder months usually result in lowered appetites.

It is highly recommended to feed your snake pre-killed foods only such as mice, lizards, etc.

4 Fun Facts About The Ball Piebald Morph Snakes

1. Have Jack-O-Lanterns on their body!

This snakes are unique and have a super awesome design, this design consists of big orange blotches all down their backs with a few black splotches in the middle of the orange ones. 

This design, often, will turn out to make it look like these snakes have Jack-O-Lanterns lining down their backs.

2. Sell for anywhere from $300 to $500

These snakes are inexpensive to get unlike other ball pythons morphs, their prices range from $300 to $500 depending on age, gender and size.

3. Are life-long friends

The life span of the piebald Ball Python ranges from 20 to thirty years when in captivity where there are no threats but proper treatment and care, meaning if you decide to buy this snake as a pet, you’ll have your life-long friend.

4. Named after natural behavior

The Piebald BALL Python is named after its natural defensive behavior. If I hadn’t dropped a big enough hint, this “natural defensive behavior” is curling up into a ball. 

By curling up into a ball, the snake is less vulnerable to its predators and can better protect itself. In this position, it is ready to strike whenever necessary. 

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