The Pied Ball Python is a beautiful and unique snake species. It is native to tropical regions of western Africa and is one of the most popular pet snakes in the world.
They are relatively easy to care for and can make gentle yet fascinating pets. But consider your long-term commitment before getting a Pied Ball Python!
Their common name comes from their distinct black, dark brown, and white markings. They are similar to a cow or pinto horse pattern. This gives them added charm compared to other ball python variants.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about these adorable snakes.
Table of Contents
What is a Pied Ball Python?
A Pied Ball Python is a species of constrictor snake native to the tropical regions of West Africa. It is also known as the Royal Python or the Piebald Ball Python.
They typically grows up to three feet long, although some may reach five feet in length. They are popular among snake owners because they are relatively easy to care for.
These snakes also remarkably have docile temperaments.
A Ball Python Morph
The Pied Ball Python is a morph, meaning it has been selectively bred to produce certain traits.
The most distinguishing trait of the Pied Ball Python is its dark brown or black and white patterning. This spotted pattern gives the snake an endearing look that sets it apart from other species.
Ball python morphs are unusual patterns, such as the:
- Ghost Ball Python morph
- Scaleless Ball Python morph
- Bright Yellow Belly Ball Python morph
- Lavender albino Ball Python morph
- Purple Passion Ball Python morph
- Sunset Ball Python morph
- Cinnamon Ball Python morph
- Bumblebee Ball Python morph
- Axanthic Ball Python morph
- Black pastel Ball Python morph
- Pinstripe ball python morph
- Blue Eyed Leucistic Ball morph
- Blast Ball Python morph
- Clown Ball Pythons morph
- Pastel Ball Python morph
- Fire Ball Python morph
- Vanilla Ball Python morph
Appearance & Color Patterns
The most notable trait of the Pied Ball Python is its striking black and white coloration. The patterning looks like a pinto horse or cow hide.
Hence, it has the common name “Pied” which means “spotted” in French.
Some snakes will even have yellow or orange markings on their backs, giving them an added touch of vibrancy.
Behavior & Temperament
Pied Ball Pythons are a very gentle species, making them great pets for beginner snake keepers.
Their calm demeanor allows them to be handled more often, provided they are comfortable with their surroundings.
These snakes also like burrowing and hiding in dark places. So, providing adequate places for your pet to hide is important.
Because they can be easily startled, it’s best to move slowly and cautiously when handling your Pied Ball Python.
Pied Ball Pythons require an enclosure that is at least three feet long and one foot tall with the proper type of substrate inside.
As predators, these pythons will need plenty of opportunities to hunt small animals such as mice or rats as well.
Humidity should remain between 50-65% with consistent temperatures no lower than 70°F and no higher than 85°F.
Here are some important things do remember when caring for a Pied Ball Python:
1. They Eat Live Prey
As predators, Pied Ball Pythons will need to eat live prey such as mice or rats. You can get food for them from a local pet store. If you can’t get live prey, your pet may eat freshly dead ones.
2. Provide a Hiding Place
These snakes like to burrow and hide in dark places, so make sure you provide adequate places for your pet to hide.
Their enclosure should have a few hiding spots, as well as plenty of branches and rocks for them to climb. They can’t stay in the open all the time.
Also, don’t put them in a small cage as they need space to move.
3. Don’t Handle Too Often
These snakes can get easily startled, so it’s best to not handle them too much.
They need time to adjust to their environment before they will feel comfortable being handled.
4. Change the Water Regularly
Pied Ball Pythons need plenty of fresh, clean water to stay hydrated. Make sure you change the water daily or every other day and clean the bowl.
Doing this will help keep your pet healthy and prevent any health complications.
5. Handle With Care
Because they can be easily startled, it’s best to move slowly and cautiously when handling your Pied Ball Python.
Be sure to support the snake’s body with two hands and never squeeze or hold it too tightly.
6. Maintain Appropriate Temperatures & Humidity
Make sure the temperatures remain no lower than 70°F and no higher than 85°F. Also, the humidity should stay between 50-65%.
7. Get Professional Vet Care
Regular vet check-ups are crucial for keeping your pet healthy. A licensed reptile veterinarian can help you care best for your pet.
They can make sure it’s getting the right nutrition, exercise, and environment to thrive.
A trusted vet can also help diagnose and treat any health issues that may arise.
Before You Get a Pet Pied Ball Python
Gentle reminder that these animals are live creatures with their own needs. They can also live anywhere from 10 to 20 years.
Make sure you are dedicated to caring for your pet before you decide to get one.
Before getting a Pied Ball Python, ask yourself:
1. Do I have the capacity to care for another life?
A pet is a huge responsibility and there are many things to consider when caring for an animal.
2. Do I have the time and resources necessary?
Caring for a Pied Ball Python will require time and money. Make sure you have both before bringing in your pet!
3. Do I have the right environment?
Pied Ball Pythons need an appropriate enclosure and temperature, as well as plenty of places to hide. Make sure you have the right setup before bringing in your pet.
4. Am I willing to get a vet check-up?
It’s important to take your pet for regular vet check-ups in order to keep them healthy and well cared for.
5. Am I ready and in this for the long haul, through ups and downs?
Pet ownership isn’t always easy, and there will be good days and bad. Make sure you are ready for the long haul before deciding to get a pet.
Caring for a Pied Ball Python is rewarding and can bring you much joy. So, make sure you are prepared before bringing one into your home.
The History of the Pied Ball Python
The Pied Ball Python is an interesting and unique breed of snake that has been around for centuries. Its origins can be traced back to Africa. That’s where these snakes were first discovered in the 19th century.
Since then, they have become popular with breeders all over the world. This popularity is mostly due to their beautiful, striking pattern and docile temperament.
The Pied Ball Python when in Captivity
When bred in captivity, the Pied Ball Python grows to an average size of 3-5 feet long. They typically have a lifespan of around 20 years. They can live up to 30 years with proper care.
This breed is also a good choice for beginners that may be interested in reptile keeping. After all, these snakes are generally very gentle and docile creatures.
Their beautiful pattern also makes them attractive and easy to find on the market.
The Pied Ball Python Today
Today, Pied Ball Pythons are some of the most sought after snakes in the world due to their unique markings and docile demeanor.
These snakes make great pets as they do not require much special care or attention from their owners. This is another reason why they are becoming so popular.
Furthermore, their relatively small size makes them easy to keep in captivity. They can fit in enclosures better compared to other species of snakes.
The Pied Ball Python Morphs vs Other Snakes
The Pied Ball Python is often compared to other snake species, such as the Royal Python or Burmese Python.
While these two snakes are indeed similar in size and coloration, Pied Ball Python morphs do have some distinct advantages.
For example, the docile nature of this breed makes them easier to handle and maintain than other breeds.
They also don’t require much special care. They can be housed in smaller enclosures than other species of snakes.
Where to Get a Pied Ball Python
Today, the Pied Ball Python is widely available on the pet market. You can find them at local pet stores or even online.
However, make sure you research beforehand to ensure that you are buying from a reputable breeder. The last thing you want is an unhealthy snake!
How to Spot a Reputable Breeder for these Ball Python Morphs
When shopping for your Pied Ball Python, be sure to look out for a few key things.
1) A Health Guarantee
Firstly, make sure the breeder offers a health guarantee on their snakes. This will help ensure that you get an animal that is healthy and well taken care of.
2) The Snake’s History
Secondly, look for evidence of feeding records. You can also ask for other documents showing the history of the snake.
3) Visit the Facility
Finally, if possible, try to visit the facility itself to see how the animals are kept. You can also ask any questions you may have about their husbandry practices.
Researching a Pet Pied Ball Python
If you’re considering getting a Pied Ball Python, make sure to do your research. This will help you ensure that the animal is healthy and well taken care of before you invest in it.
With proper care, these snakes can be great companions for many years to come!
Here’s what to do to find a healthy Pied Ball Python:
1) Ask Around
Speak with people who already own one of these snakes. You can also research online to find out more about their care.
2) Choose a Reputable Breeder
Make sure the breeder has a good reputation in the reptile community and offers a health guarantee.
3) Visit the Facility
If possible, visit the facility where your prospective pet is kept to make sure it’s clean and well looked after.
This will give you peace of mind when it comes to bringing your new friend home!
4) Get All the Information You Need
Make sure you have all the necessary information before taking home your Pied Ball Python. This includes the following:
- Feeding instructions
- Husbandry advice
- Health certificate
5) Be Ready
Finally, make sure you are well-prepared to take care of your Pied Ball Python. Have all the necessary supplies and equipment ready in advance.
This way, you can provide the best possible care for your new pet!
Frequently Asked Questions About Pied Ball Pythons
1. How big do Pied Ball Pythons get?
Pied Ball Pythons typically reach lengths of between 3-4 feet, with a few individuals reaching up to 5 feet in length.
2. What is the average lifespan of a Pied Ball Python?
The average lifespan for these snakes is around 20-25 years when they are well cared for and kept in an appropriate environment.
3. What kind of enclosure should I provide for my Pied Ball Python?
A glass aquarium or vivarium that provides plenty of space and ventilation is ideal for housing a Pied Ball Python. A 20 gallon tank or larger is recommended, depending on its size and age.
Make sure to include a substrate such as coconut fiber, reptile-safe wood chips, or newspaper.
4. What kind of temperature and humidity should I provide for my Pied Ball Python?
Pied Ball Pythons require a temperature range of 75-85°F (24-29°C). The enclosure should also be kept at a relative humidity of 50%-60%.
5. How often should I feed my Pied Ball Python?
These snakes typically eat once every 7-10 days, depending on their age and size. It is important to follow the advice of your veterinarian when it comes to feeding your pet.
6. Are Pied Ball Pythons dangerous?
No, these snakes are not known to be aggressive towards humans and are usually quite docile. However, it is important to handle them with care and caution. They can still bite if provoked or threatened.
7. What kind of diet should I provide for my Pied Ball Python?
These snakes generally feed on small mice or rats, depending on their size and age. Make sure to speak with your veterinarian about the best food option for your particular snake.
8. How often should I clean my Pied Ball Python’s enclosure?
It is recommended to spot-clean the enclosure once a week and do a full deep-clean every 2-4 weeks. It depends on the buildup of dirt and waste in the enclosure.
9. Are there any health issues specific to Pied Ball Pythons?
Yes, these snakes are prone to respiratory infections, which can be caused by improper humidity or a low temperature in the enclosure. It is important to monitor your snake’s health regularly.
10. What kind of substrate should I use for my Pied Ball Python?
It is recommended to use a substrate such as coconut fiber, reptile-safe wood chips, or newspaper for your Pied Ball Python’s enclosure.
Avoid using sand or gravel substrates as these can lead to health issues if ingested.
11. Do Pied Ball Pythons need UV lighting?
No, these snakes do not require exposure to UV light as they are nocturnal animals. They prefer darkness during the day.
12. Is it safe to handle my Pied Ball Python?
Yes, these snakes are generally docile and can be handled with care. Make sure to wash your hands before and after handling your pet.
13. How do I know if my Pied Ball Python is stressed out?
A stressed Pied Ball Python will curl up in a ball or hide frequently. It may also refuse to eat or shed its skin more often than usual. If you notice any of these signs, consult a veterinarian immediately.
14. What kind of enrichment should I provide for my Pied Ball Python?
Providing hiding spots and furniture such as logs and rocks can help keep your snake happy and stimulated.
You can also offer toys such as stuffed animals or balls for your snake to explore and interact with.
15. What should I do if my Pied Ball Python is having trouble shedding its skin?
If your snake is having trouble shedding its skin, it may be due to the humidity being too low. They might also be unable to access a rough surface to help it shed properly.
You can try increasing the humidity in the enclosure. You can also provide a substrate that has some texture to aid in shedding. If this does not work, consult your veterinarian.
16. Is it important to take my Pied Ball Python to the vet for regular checkups?
Yes, it is important to take your Pied Ball Python for regular checkups with a veterinarian that specializes in reptiles.
They will be able to monitor its health and diagnose any potential issues.
17. Are there any other tips I should know about caring for my Pied Ball Python?
It is important not to handle your snake after it has eaten or while it is basking in the heat. This can cause stress and disrupt its digestion.
Make sure you provide plenty of hiding spots as these snakes like to feel secure when they sleep.
Additionally, clean the enclosure regularly. Follow the advice of your veterinarian when it comes to diet and enrichment to ensure your snake is healthy and happy.
Finally, never force your snake to handle or interact with you. They should do this willingly when they are comfortable. If they prefer to be left alone, respect their wishes.
18. What do I do if I have any other questions?
If you have any additional questions about caring for your Pied Ball Python, it is best to contact a veterinarian that specializes in reptiles.
They will be able to provide advice and answer any queries you might have.
Additionally, there are many online forums and websites dedicated to reptile care where you can find answers to common questions.
To Wrap Up
A Pied Ball Python can make a wonderful and unique pet if you are prepared and willing to care for it properly. They require regular feeding, an appropriate environment, frequent vet check-ups, and lots of patience.
With the right care, your pet will thrive and bring many years of joy into your life!
If you think a Pied Ball Python is the right pet for you, research and prepare before bringing it home. The more knowledge and information you have, the better off your pet will be!
Good luck with your new pet!