The Pied Ball Python is one of the most beautiful snakes. Its white and black coloration makes it very special. Pied balls become very tame when handled and can make great pets for people who have time to handle snakes.
A Pied Ball Python is an extremely unique and rare snake. This is a type of ball python and is included in the subspecies known as Boers. They are generally about 4 feet long and weigh about 5 lbs, although the size and weight can vary based on genetics.
So let’s take a look about how to take care of them.
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Tank size and enclosure
Pied Ball Pythons love to bask in the warmth, but they need to be able to move into their hide areas if they feel threatened. Choose a tank that is large enough for the snake you’ll be keeping – this can mean buying a large arboreal enclosure instead of a smaller terrarium or screen cage. The tank size for a Pied Ball Python is 20 gallon minimum. You must keep these pythons in a minimum of a 20 gallon aquarium or equivalent as they can grow very large. Pied Ball Pythons need plenty of height at one end so they can climb up when necessary, as well as some privacy.
Heating and lighting
Pied Ball python heating and lighting needs are different than most reptiles. Heating is required, but not too much light. Pied Ball Pythons require a warm temperature of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit to feel comfortable. A heating and lighting system for the enclosure is essential. Try to mimic natural conditions as best you can, although it does not have to be exact. Use a basking area with a warm temperature and put your snake’s sleeping hide in the cooler part of the enclosure, where he can retreat and get out of the heat if he wants to.
Make sure to provide your snake with a good basking lamp.
Pied Ball pythons are solitary, nocturnal snakes, who only need to be fed once a week. Start feeding your Pied Ball Python at birth and continue feeding them live prey until they are approximately one-third their adult size. After that point, switch to feeding pre-killed, frozen rodents. Ball pythons are carnivorous and enjoy eating mice, rats, and chicks.
Feeding is an important part of proper Pied Ball Python care. Feeding time is a great time to handle your snake and encourage him or her to come out of hiding. It also provides the opportunity to observe your snake’s activity level and determine food preferences.
Behaviour and temperament
Pied Ball pythons are among the more docile species of snake, but you still need to be careful when handling them. While being handled, a ball python’s first instinct will always be to try to find a place of safety so that it can hide from danger. And should you move too quickly towards it or confuse it with other movements around it, they may lash out defensively without meaning to. Ball pythons are most active at night or in the early morning hours. They do not bite, instead using their tongue.
Breeding ball pythons poses no problems, but the breeding process is a lengthy one. Ball pythons are easy to breed, if you have a female and a male. A single pair can produce between 5-20 eggs in late spring or summer. The incubation period will take about two months. Females will brood their eggs. When they do that, they won’t eat at all. They maintain a temperature of 86-88℉.
In the wild they lay eggs in februari. The breeding season takes place from november to january. In captivity they breed all year-round.
When male and female breed, they will lock together in copulation. When the female lays her eggs, they will incubate for two months.
During this time, females are known to brood their eggs. They will not eat during this time and will tightly wrap themselves around their clutches to maintain high incubation temperatures of 86-88℉.
Each clutch can have anywhere between three to 14 eggs, with the most common being five to nine. Many breeders will breed the Pied Ball Pythons in september up to february. Eggs will be laid from february to august. Some breeders decrease the temperature of the enclosure by 10-12℉ for several weeks before introducing the snakes to eachother.