Have you ever heard of the Mojave ball python? I did some digging to find some of the coolest things I could find out about our exotic friend. After reading and looking up some pictures of the Mojave ball python, I realized I hadn’t even scratched the surface.
When I began to take a closer look into the ball python world, I became quite taken with the Mojave Ball Python. Its beautiful scales, with their “Mojave Pattern,
For instance, did you know that a Mojave can birth a snake that is all white? I bet you did not. Did you also know that there are many different types of Mojaves–all very different in colouring from the original Mojave?
Did you know that you can mate the Mojave with several different types of snakes to get your white scaled ball python spoken of earlier? No, you did not! These morphs are just the tip of the iceberg of these magnificent and strange creatures.
Did you know that they also anciently used to have legs? Did you also know that there is a difference between a female and a male? (I honestly thought there wasn’t a difference.)
1. The Mojave Name’s Origin
To start out, I’m going to share with you the meaning of the name Mojave. Like in the phrase “Mojave desert,” Mojave means “beside the water,” which is Native American in origin.
Did the Mojave ball python come from the Native American lands? Well… I have no idea, that wasn’t clear. But, something to think about is that Ball pythons like hot, spacious, climates. Maybe there’s something to those hot Native American areas that we don’t know about.
Mojave means “beside the water”.
Another idea to consider would be the Mojave ball python’s “Mojave Pattern” this snake carries on its scales. If you think about the unique patterns Native Americans are accustomed to, you might find a similarity between the pattern of the Mojave ball python, and the Native American Mojave pattern. It’s a theory, but it’s something to think about.
If you’re curious, just type in “Mojave Pattern” in images and you’ll get a lot of tapestries and snake patterns that pop up. It’s kind of fun to look at. A lot of the tapestries and Mojave python’s patterns are similar in style.
2. The Mojave is a Morph
The Mojave ball python is a morph, and it can create morphs. A morph is a snake of the same species as another snake, but it looks different. A morphism in snakes is often called ‘heterozygous’ to those who are more familiar with morphism. It used to be a very rare and unique occurrence.
A morphism in the wilds of nature is still very rare, but breeders and scientists have figured out how to recreate morphism to their advantage. Here, you can find an article we wrote that includes everything you need to know about different snake morphs. The Mojave is just one type of morphed python out there. There are other snakes that can have morphs as well that are just as cool and crazy as the Mojave.
A Mojave morph is a ball python in that it is small, and it curls up into a little ball when it’s scared. It does not have the same pattern as the ball python. This is what makes it a morph.
Mojaves can produce many different types of morphs as well. One of the most beautiful (in my opinion) and the most famous is the BEL python. The BEL python is an all white snake.
You can make a BEL python by combining the genetics of a Lesser B. python and a Mojave, a Russo B. python and a Mojave, a Phantom B. python and a Mojave, or any of the other three previously mentioned snakes with each other.
3. Mojaves Are Pricey
Creating morphs is a popular type of breeding and can make some colourful and unique snakes to sell. These snakes can run up to as much as $2000 if they are bred the right way.
Their relatives can be sold for a lesser or even higher price than that. Ball pythons are a popular pet. You’d find yourself lucky to come across one that cost less than $300.
To give you an idea of the Mojave pricing, a regular ball python from PetSmart costs about $60-$70. That’s a huge difference from the Mojave ball python! I could buy several ball pythons if I were to save up for a bit, but the Mojave is a snake I could only purchase in my dreams.
Even though the regular ball python and the Mojave are the same species, it’s probably different because the Mojave’s coloring, and it has greater breeding potential.
5. How Big Does The Mojave Get?
You might wonder whether or not a morphed Mojave (or a regular Mojave) could be a different size than a regular ball python. The truth is, most ball pythons are in the same range of sizes. The only thing that makes a Mojave different from that of a ball python is its colour and nothing else.
Adult female ball pythons are about 3-5 feet in length, and the males are about 2-3 feet in length. In this species, the females are generally bigger than the males. Both sexes get to about 5lbs in weight. They don’t go much larger than that.
Remember, ball pythons are not very big. They are the smallest of all the pythons. Baby ball pythons start out at about 10 inches long when they are born and weigh about 65-90 grams which isn’t too big for a python.
6. There are Many Different Types of Mojaves
There are 26 different types of Ball Python morphs. Here is a description and list of several of the Mojave morphs.
Banana– These pythons have a lighter tan colouring to their scales. While a regular Mojave is darker and richer in colour, this one’s colouring is greatly subdued.
Special– The pattern of a Mojave is very distinct. In the special Mojave, the colour is even more subdued than the Banana and are almost invisible. If you were to look quickly you’d possibly mistake this one for a Super.
Firefly– The Firefly gives more attention in its scales to the yellow highlights than its dark brown shadowing. The colouring is gentle, but the pattern is not as even as the other Mojaves.
Super– This version of the Mojave is all white and has dark eyes. It resembles a BEL (Blue Eyed Leucistic) python, but it is not the same. This snake is more of a grey/white than a pure white.
Cinnamon– This Mojave has more red in its scales. The pattern is more spacious and has more of a chocolate tone. It is about as rich in color as a regular Mojave.
Albino Mojave- The Albino Mojave has the famous “Mojave pattern” as well as the albino coloring of a python. Albino pythons are not all white like you might imagine. We are used to albino animals being all white. The albino Mojave is unique because it is an orangish yellow, next to a white. This coloring combined with the Mojave’s signature pattern makes for a pretty awesome looking snake.
The Mojave can be used to create hundreds of different kinds of ball python morphs. The list given above is only a taste of the list. I picked the ones with the most coloring variety to help you get a feel for how versatile Mojave breeding can be.
7. Mojaves are Nocturnal
BEing a type of Ball python means that the Mojave is a nocturnal reptile. Mojaves sleep during the day and then come out at night to hunt for their prey. They are most awake at this time and do most of their hunting at night.
They can see better during the daytime, but that doesn’t make much of a difference for them because they are pretty much blind. Their heat-sensing vision is what gives them an advantage during the night and helps them see.
8. Mojaves use Heat-Sensing Vision(Also Known as Infrared Sensing)
It sounds so legit when I say that the Mojave uses heat-sensing vision… and it kind of is. The only time I’ve ever heard of heat-sensing vision being used is for military purposes. The Mojave uses its skills as a natural part of its anatomy.
Heat sensing vision is used by many different types of snakes. Mojaves may be small, but it is a type of python, so it’s larger than regular snakes. This makes its heat-sensing a stronger and bigger than other snakes.
Mojave pythons have little holes on their mouth called “pit organs” which allow them so feel/sense the heat of whatever is around them.
Their heat-sensing abilities make them awesome night-hunters. They use their sensing to recognize their prey. They can “see” the infrared heat signatures of an animal and they can tell how big it is.
9. Mojaves Used to Have Legs
At the lower end of their body, ball pythons have two little nubs which are called spurs. Many believe this is a sign that they used to have legs and have evolved since then to slither on the ground.
Others believe that these spurs are evidence that the python will one day evolve and grow some limbs. They even have hip bones which could support their little spurs which could become full limbs. I don’t know about you, but I think it would be pretty weird and a bit frightening to see a snake that suddenly has legs and was walking around.
Spurs are also used during mating to stimulate and position the female. Males usually have larger spurs than females do, but they both have them.
(They don’t have these spurs on the head-end their body, only at the back-end.)
10. They Can’t Swallow You Whole!
One of the most comforting things about the ball python is that it cannot swallow you whole. There are frightening stories about people being found in the bellies of regular pythons, but the ball python cannot swallow you whole, he’s too little.
Also, most snakes won’t swallow something that is more than they can get their mouth and jaw around. (D
11. They are Non-Venomous
You might expect such a dazzling creature to have an equally venomous bite to match its venomous coloring. They do not. They are non-venomous and are a popular pet.
Instead of using venom, a Mojave constricts/squeezes its prey. For a long time, people thought that this was a way for constrictors to cut off air supply. What constricting actually does is cut off the blood circulation to the head. It is an intense and quick method for the Mojave to kill its prey and eat it.
12. They have Great Defense Mechanisms
As a form of protection, the Mojave uses its generic ball python move of curling up into a tight ball. This ball python move is used when the Mojave feels threatened or nervous. He/she may do this if it is in a new living situation, or out in the wild if you try to approach it.
Another defense mechanism a Mojave uses is its heat-sensing, and its vibrational hearing. We have already gone over the Mojaves heat-sensing capabilities when it is catching its prey. But, a Mojave can also sense when a predator is nearby. This gives them time to hide or attack.
They are able to sense through ground vibrations. By lowering their lungs and head to the ground, any kind of movement will shake their jaw and alert them that there is danger nearby.
One of the most obvious defense mechanisms you may be familiar with would be their teeth. Mojaves will try and lash out at you if they feel threatened.
13. Mojaves Have Unique Tail Shapes
It is extremely hard to tell whether a Mojave is a female snake or a male (most snakes are like this). With the help of examining the tail shape, you may be able to figure out whether your Mojave is a male or a female.
Both the male and the female do not have the same shape of
These differences are very small and may not always be easy to tell. (If you are really wondering, just take your Mojave to a vet or ask a local breeder if you have one.)
14. Mojaves Don’t Have Fangs
Because the Mojave is non-venomous, it does not need fangs. It does, however, have a nice row of teeth made for devouring its prey. These teeth are a part of an eating system which help them move their prey faster into their bellies.
Being non-venomous means they cannot poison you, but they can still bite you and cause a lot of damage. Be careful when approaching any kind of Mojave/Ball Python because they have ways in which they can attack you and defend themselves. They can still hurt you.
15. Mojaves Are Not Usually Aggressive
Mojaves are a docile type of ball python and are not very aggressive. If you agitate it, that is a whole different ball game. So long as you are kind to the Mojave, the Mojave will be kind to you.
As said before, Mojaves are a popular type of snake to breed. However, they are not just popular because of their color. Imagine trying to breed a beautiful snake that is also venomous and aggressive. It’s not going to go over well, nor is it a hot commodity these days to own or breed venomous or aggressive snakes.
Mojaves are beautiful, gentle, and docile. This makes them the perfect breeding snake, and it makes for a great pet as well. You’re going to be pretty safe around these guys.
How big do regular pythons get? Regular pythons get to be about 350 lbs. and near 30 feet in length.
How big is the largest python ever recorded? The largest python ever recorded was as long as 33 feet. The heaviest weighed at about 500 lbs.
Which Mojave is the most colorful? You’ve already heard about the BEL python being the whitest, but the most colorful Mojave is probably the desert cinnamon or just the regular Mojave.