Piebald Ball Pythons: A Complete Guide with Pictures and Facts

A piebald python is a rare snake that a lot of snake hobbyists strive to acquire because of it’s rare and unique design. It is not a very common snake and a lot of snake enthusiasts even simply long to see one because they are so rare.

The piebald ball python is a rare morph of a ball python. This 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.

If you continue to read more, I will explain to you exactly how you will need to take care of these snakes and why these snakes are so very cool.

Description

The piebald ball python is a special morph of the ball python species. This morph has a neutral, white colored base skin color with assorted, random splotches all across the body. These splotches across the special snake’s body look like or often resemble the characteristics of a jack-o-lantern. These jack-o-lantern spots, as you could guess, are bright orange with black spots inside the orange. 

This spotting pattern on animals isn’t very common, especially among snakes. The piebald pattern usually shows up more often on horses, pigs, cats, dogs, cattle, and even birds. It is very rare for it to show up on a snake. Piebald basically means colored spotting or splotching on a neutral or colorless base surface on an animal or such.

The piebald ball python is a snake that is roughly four feet in length: four to four and a half for the average female, and three to three and a half for the average male. These snakes are rather thick around the middle and weigh around four to five pounds when healthy.

Origin

The piebald ball python is originally from the same region as the normal ball python in west Africa. These snakes come from the African countries of Senegal, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra, Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and the Central African Republic from Sudan to Uganda.

The region of West Africa is a very biologically diverse location. This makes it an area of thousands of diverse species and habitats, especially different weather patterns.  The general weather in this region consists of annual temperatures of above about 65 degrees Fahrenheit and around 104  degrees Fahrenheit at warmest.This regoin of the continent doesn’t get much rain either so it’s most likely super dry.

Diet

The piebald ball python morph, aside from it looking different than a normal ball python, has generally the exact same care routine as any other ball python. They are essentially the same snake. The only difference between these two snakes is that their patterns and coloring are different than the other.

These snakes generally consume a diet of small animals in their region. These small mammals consist of African soft-furred rats, shrews, striped mice, and birds. These snakes are too small to eat anything bigger than these small animals.

The piebald ball python, like other ball pythons, is known as a constrictor type of predator. This means that these snakes coil themselves around their prey and keep squeezing them until the animal dies from lack of oxygen. After doing so, the piebald ball python will proceed to swallow it’s conquered prey whole in order to digest it over the next few days.¬†¬†Wondering about how to correctly feed your piebald ball python? We wrote an article all about how to feed them, including schedule and costs of feeding. Find it here.

Enclosure 

Having one of these very cool piebald ball pythons would be awesome, but you would need certain attributes and a specific tank set up in order to properly keep your new, cool snake alive and healthy. 

One of these specifications is the size and type of tank you would need. Your snakes enclusure will need to be a three foot by one and a half foot by one foot tank with a lid that will securely keep in your snake but also give enough ventilation in the tank for proper humidity levels. It is also preferred not to use a wire grate of sorts or any similar top for your terrarium because if the snake rubs against it is can lead to harming your snake.

Another thing to keep in mind for you piebald ball pythons enclosure is to keep the temperature and humidity levels where they belong. You will need to keep the basking side of your terrarium at a warm 88* Fahrenheit to 96* Fahrenheit and the ambient side at a cool 78* Fahrenheit to 80* Fahrenheit. You will need to keep the humidity levels of your tank at 50% to 60% in order for your snake to not get too dry and stay happy. Here, you can find an article we wrote all about ball python humidity, what’s best for your pet, and how to get it there.

You will need to line the terrarium with a solid layer of substrate, which you can find at any pet store pretty easily. The substrate plays as a soft layer of ground and collects the disposed of waste from your snake. You will need to change this substrate out and clean the tank with a bleach solution every other week at least. This is so that no one, especially the snake, gets sick from all of the gross feces and waste from the tank.

Along with this, you will need to acquire a hiding hole for your snake for each side of the tank. The hiding holes are great places for your snake to hide from exposure from the heat, cold, or event guests that you may have invited over. The hiding holes will need to be able to fit your entire snake in it as well. These will benefit your snake’s well-being because they won’t feel so exposed which will help them feel less anxious and vulnerable. Here, you can find a list we made about the best hiding houses for ball pythons.

The water dish will help you terrariums humidity levels stay or rise as necessary. You must, however, make sure that the water dish is big enough to hold you snake in it so that it can cool off and take a swim once in a while. This will help keep your snake hydrated and from its skin drying out as well.

Behavior

Piebald ball pythons are generally very mellow creatures in a sense that they aren’t aggressive unless they have to be. They are a very docile and quite friendly breed of snake which is wonderful, especially if you desire to have one as a pet. 

This calm-mannered breed of snake only fights back or attacks when it is necessary for it’s own or it’s offspring’s safety. If you are out hiking and you threaten or get way too close to one of these snakes, they will possibly attack or strike at you. This, however, is a rare occurance because of how well behaved and gentle this snake usually is. 

These snakes, to escape the heat and threats and noises of the outside world, will often hide in burrows made by other mammals and other hiding places located underground. They will especially do this when it is super hot out so that they don’t over heat and hibernate for a little while. Many people ask what the general temperament of ball pythons are. Here, you can find the answer to the question in an article we recently wrote.

Reproduction/ Breeding

Piebald ball pythons reach their sexual maturity as soon as age two, in which they can start to reproduce. When the piebald ball python reproduces, they generally have around one to eleven babies at a time. These snakes birth eggs which will need to be incubated and end up hatching around sixty days later. These eggs must be incubated at about 88* Fahrenheit and 90* Fahrenheit in order to properly develop and hatch. Here, you can find an article we recently wrote about how many eggs ball pythons tend to lay and how many of those eggs generally survive.

Predators 

This snake, though super cool and seemingly harmless, has dangers and predators in the wild like any other animal. These predators are bigger snakes, large frogs, carnivorous animals, birds, insects, and spiders. These animals can harm the ball python.

Shedding

These cool snakes will shed roughly every 4-6 weeks. You will be able to tell when this is about to happen because their eyes will fog up or look cloudy. Roughly 36 hours after the eyes get cloudy, they will clear up again and that is when the sane will shed. The shedding process will last roughly a week or two and then the snake will be back to normal. 

For this process, it helps to have a rough surface to rub up against like a log or tree branch. This helps the snake to scratch and pull the dead layer of skin off of it’s body. It helps to prevent complications with the shedding process as well. To learn more about how often ball pythons shed and what the signs look like, read this article we wrote, here!

Fun Facts:

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

As I mentioned before, these snakes are super cool because they have a super cool design down their backs. 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. Just think of owning this snake and having it around the Halloween season. That would be a total Halloween party hit for sure!

2. Sell for anywhere from $300 to $500

These snakes, especially compared to other Ball Python morphs, are rather inexpensive to get! The price of these snakes ranges from around $300 to $500 depending on gender, size, and age. The female snakes tend to be more expensive. Also, the older the snake is when you get it, the more expensive it is too. So, if you plan to buy one, the cheapest option would be to get a male hatchling.

3. Are life-long friends

This snake’s life span ranges from 20 to 30 years long. So, if you get your snake fro ma hatchling around college age or after you gradute, this snake can live with you all through your mid-life crisis and past that too! What a great pal thatwould be to have during this time! Plus, you won’t have to worry about having to buy a new snake every few years which will be cost effectivealong with having a stronger bond with your snake.

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. It has even been said that when these snakes curl up like this that you can literally roll them like a ball because they roll up so tight! How funny would that be? I, however, would not recommend this party trick because you wouldn’t want to upset or irritate your snake and cause a potential biting hazard.

5. Docile!

These snakes are very mild-mannered and calm which makes it a super easy snake to own in regards to behavior as well. The Piebald Ball Python is super sweet and quite loving actually. They don’t get upset easily at all. The only reason these snakes may act out is out of self-defense due to lack of proper handling or care. As long as you make sure you are holding your snake enough and properly and also keep their tanks at the prestine conditions necessary for this snake’s comfort and survival, then your snake will be as happy as can be.

6. Attention is necessary

The Piebald Ball Python is also a snake that LOVES attention. These snakes can be held EVERY SINGLE DAY and they will love every single second of it! Without enough attention, these snakes can actually get cranky due to the lack of proper care and not getting enough of the necessary attention. These snakes enjoy wrapping themselves around you and just hanging out with you. They especially love wrapping themselves around your arm or waist because it’s warm and easy to wrap around while staying secure and safe still. Plus, when they curl up around you, they aren’t hard to pull off of you either! Just make sure that you wash your hands after holding your Piebald Ball Python snake.

7. Grow A foot a year!

These snakes will grow roughly a foot per year after they have hatched. This growth rate lasts for a period of about three years until the snake reaches sexual maturity. After this three year time period, the Piebald Ball Python is fully grown and able to reproduce itself. The size of a full grown Piebald Ball Python, as I mentioned earlier, is around three to five feet in length.

8. Super great first pet

The Piebald Ball Python makes an awesome first pet for a few reasons. These snakes are good first pets due to their docile, mild-mannered behavior, their small but stocky size making them easy to handle, and they are very loving and enjoy large amounts of attention and being held. Beginner snake owners love giving their snake attention so this snake enjoying the attention makes it perfect! Plus, as long as this snake’s living standards are met, it isn’t aggressive at all so you won’t even have to worry about getting hurt unless you are blatantly not properly caring for your Jack-O-Lantern snake.

These snakes are super fun and easy to handle and, as I have mentioned, quite a crowd pleaser! They make great pals that enjoy all of the attention you would love to give them. Enjoy your fun Jack-O-Lantern snake if you decide to get one! They are super cool and super fun and I would highly recommend them.

Related Questions:

Are piebald ball pythons friendly? Ball pythons tend to be rather docile snakes, but they love attention and affection like being held once a day. They enjoy wrapping themselves around your arms or waist etc. as well.

Do piebald ball pythons make good beginner pets?A piebald ball python would make a great first snake pet. Aside from it being a very rare and expensive snake, ball pythons make great pets due to their calm-manner and longing for being held and interacted with.

Do piebald ball pythons have teeth?Piebald ball pythons do NOT have fangs, but they do have teeth. After this snake constricts its prey, the teeth help to move the dead animal back into the snake’s throat to be then digested. 

Recent Content