The spider ball python is a beautiful snake. In addition to being gorgeous in and of themselves, they serve as the starting point for many rarer and more intricate mutations found in the industry.
The “spider” ball python morph, though, is currently one of the most divisive topics in the profession of raising snakes.
Due to their thin black lines and white speckles, spider ball pythons are simple to recognize. The only thing that all variants have in common is decreased stripes and spots.
Tragically, neurological problems are also caused by the same gene that results in spider designs. These problems result in head spinning and a decline in balance. “Spider wobble” or “wobble syndrome” are the terms used to describe them.
Here are some things you should know before purchasing your first spider ball python.
Spider ball python About and history
One kind of ball python morph is the spider kind. Due to their silky coloration and cobwebby scaling texture, they were initially produced in 1999 and soon gained popularity.
They are widely sought after by both amateur and expert snake keepers due to their instantly identifiable spider patterning. Based on their breeding, these pythons might have distinct spider patterns or absolutely no patterning at all.
They are still extensively bred and cherished by fans all over the world.
Because spider morph is a dominant feature, just one copy of the gene from each parent is necessary for the pattern to be displayed in the offspring. There will always be a spider characteristic. Because of this, spider ball pythons have a huge range of colors and patterns.
However, as was previously indicated, there is significant debate around this morph.
The “spider wobble,” a neurological disorder, affects one-third of this gene.
Such snakes have problems with balancing and poor coordination and often rotate their necks in a manner called corkscrewing. Wobble syndrome may make it tough or difficult for a snake to execute its usual natural tasks like climbing and eating.
Due to probable health and welfare difficulties, several herpetologists have asked for a restriction on this morph. Yet, most breeders continue to sell these variants, which are still in demand.
Spider ball python Appearance
Ball pythons with the spider mutation display aberrant designs that are distinct from those of the wild-type, normally-appearing pythons.
Spider ball pythons, on the other hand, virtually display the same colors that regular ball pythons do, in contrast to several other mutations that change a snake’s hue.
Contrary to typical ball pythons, which have enormous brown to gold patches split by thick black or dark brown patterns, spider ball pythons have considerably bigger brown or golden patterning components, while black lines between them are very narrow.
The ventral sides of spider ball pythons frequently lack markings. The bottom regions of the edges of the majority of spider ball pythons are likewise marked with vivid yellow and white patterns. They also have distinctive head patterns, which have more intricacy, and light design components than conventional ball pythons do.
Spider ball python Size
The females of all ball python species are larger than the males when they reach maturity. Male spider ball pythons may reach lengths of 3 to 4 feet (90 to 120 cm), while females can reach lengths of up to 4 and a half feet (137 cm). When eggs are hatched, they are about 10 inches long and really adorable!
Spider ball python Lifespan
Ball pythons in the wild have a lifespan of around ten years.
Although it is more normal for them to survive between 20 and 30 years, they can survive as long as 50 years in captivity, since they are not exposed to odd weather events or being pursued as food.
If you’re considering getting one, be ready to take good care of it for a very long period. The devotion is significant!
Spider ball python Care Guide
Do not anticipate your python to instantly begin exploring its environment when you first take it home. For four days, keep your snake alone in its aquarium, so it may get used to its new environment.
When a python is anxious or afraid, it may curl into a fist to shield its head and neck. They might hiss or encircle anything firmly.
After that, you may begin subtly engaging before moving on to handling. Your snake could be at ease outside of its enclosure, as you may discover.
Similar to wild-type Ball Pythons, spider Ball Pythons are timid. Yet, those who have a wobble might be more vulnerable to anxiety and irritability. It’s critical to understand your morph’s temper.
Read this care guide to learn more details about your spider ball python habitat and more!
It’s important to get your spider ball python’s habitat properly, just like with other exotic pets. The ideal climatic conditions must be provided by your ball python cage while also preventing escape.
Spider ball pythons are kept in rack systems by a lot of serious producers. Each snake in this enclosure is maintained on its own in a little plastic container. These glide in and out for filling and cleaning because they slot into the racking-like shelving.
On a more basic level, some pet owners choose to utilize huge plastic storage containers like Really Handy Boxes when they have a solo spider ball python.
They are simple to clean and maintain hygienic since they don’t absorb moisture.
Additionally, they are solid and powerful, and many include locking lids to prevent escape.
Since all but the biggest spider ball pythons are expected to exceed them eventually, Exo Terras are actually only suited for young spider ball pythons. Nevertheless, they are one of the preferred alternatives for organically designing a setting and having a beautiful appearance.
These reptile enclosures, which are among the most attractive ever, look great in any setting. Additionally, front-opening doors facilitate cleanup and feeding.
The usage of glass aquariums for ball pythons is controversial among experts. Others assert that spider ball pythons may feel discomfort in an all-glass aquarium, while some contend that they can give excessive airflow. If you want to go down this route, make sure to give your spider ball Python lots of hides.
Because spider ball pythons are natural getaway composers, much like other snakes, you need to think about how to protect the top of the tank. If you want a tight-fitting lid, you may either create one yourself or, for ease of use, or think about buying a meshes vivarium cover in the appropriate size.
Some sort of substrate will be required for the habitat’s base. There are several choices, and each keeper has a personal favorite.
Newspaper is the most affordable choice, and many expert breeders use it.
Yet, utilizing newspapers has a number of drawbacks.
Orchid bark, coconut fiber (coir), and cypress mulch are further common choices.
In any scenario, give your snake some considerable depth—at least an inch for spider hatchlings and possibly even more for grownups. A snake should ideally be able to completely hide beneath the surface, thus striving for a base depth of approximately the snake’s body fat level.
Additionally, be ready to check and clean substrates on a constant schedule, taking out any unclean spots and filling up as required.
Ball pythons in the natural will spend most of their life in burrows, hidden away. Your snake will consequently feel more at ease in its cage if they have a hiding place.
When a spider ball python is freaked out and unable to find a place to hide, it may refuse food or bite at your hands. Hence, it’s essential to provide your snake with a minimum of one covering.
Some caretakers choose to use a cardboard box since it is easy, affordable, and readily available, changing it as needed. Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be particularly aesthetically attractive and will need to be replaced frequently, much like with newspapers.
Plastic hides, which are simply black plastic boxes with holes for your snake to enter them, are now purchasable. These may not be the most appealing options, but they are certainly the most useful. They are available in many different sizes, making them perfect for even the largest spider ball python.
A range of hardwood skins, resembling bark curves, are also accessible. These are the most beautiful and ideal for a more realistic cage arrangement. The drawback of their heaviness is that they might be difficult to clean.
Compared to several other kinds of pet reptiles, ball pythons appear to flourish in somewhat higher humidity environments.
Throughout the majority of the year, the humidity in the animal area should be between 60 and 70 percent. Although all snakes have constant access to a bowl of water, ball python enclosures are dried completely. This “natural” humidity level appears to function without any significant sloughing problems.
If a snake has trouble molting, you can give it a “moss boss” by stuffing moist moss into a cover. This keeps the moisture isolated while yet allowing your spider ball python to reach places with more humidity if necessary.
Snakes in the wild control their own body temperature by alternating between hotter and colder regions. Before heading out to hunt, they could sunbathe in warmer locations.
A “thermal gradient” can also be produced in a captive environment.
Although the preferred temperatures vary depending on the species, as a basic guideline, the warm side should be about 88 to 96 degrees F (31 to 35.5 C), and the cool part should be around 78 to 80 degrees F (25.5 to 26.6 C).
Consider raising the temperature if your snake is usually cramped in the cage’s hotter spot. If they are also clearly sneaking around the coldest portion, the reverse is true.
Diet : Food and water
In the wild, ball pythons mostly pursue mice and birds. In general, females kill more rodents whereas men, who are better climbers, tend to hunt more birds. Since they are real carnivores, pythons do not consume vegetation.
They are ambush animals, which means they wait for prey to pass by while remaining still. They attack quickly, then quickly wrap around their target, smother it with their strong coils, and devour it whole.
Due to their lack of hunting activity, ball pythons often feed rarely.
While most grownups only need to feed once every 2 weeks, developing adolescents require one meal every week.
A spider ball python’s diet the same as that of every other ball python.
Give pre-killed mice or rats to the snake. Depending on their size, you must decide what to feed them. Prey shouldn’t be bigger than your snake’s thickest point.
Spider ball pythons with significant wobble syndrome may have difficulty hitting prey precisely. Tongs should be used to grasp the mice or rats steadily in mild situations. Try pushing the prey nearer or gently rubbing it up to your snake’s face if it still ignores it. In extreme circumstances, adolescents might not even be willing to eat.
Keep a basin of fresh water nearby at all times for your python.
Spider ball python Typical behavior
The most active times of day for spider ball pythons are sunrise, sunset, and night. They are calm, sociable snakes.
They only team up to procreate from September to December, and chose to live alone. Females stay with the eggs after mating to maintain them, but after the young develop, they will go to live independently.
Also, if they perceive a threat, ball pythons will screech and open their jaws to give a caution.
If disturbed any longer, they will ball themselves up until left unattended. They got their moniker because of their protective response.
They are especially well-liked by novice snake keepers because of their peaceful disposition and lack of hostility.
The majority of ball pythons are manageable and rapidly get used to being outside.
Yet, the moderate stress of being held might indeed cause the “wobbling” of certain spider ball pythons to briefly deteriorate. Depending on the circumstances, a spider may or may not retaliate when handled.
Spider ball python Price
A spider ball python morph’s price fluctuates according to its genetic background.
Since the spider design is a dominant characteristic, it may be combined with several different morphs.
Typically, a simple spider morph costs $250 to $400. However, specialized morph mixes like leopard spiders or bumblebee axanthics may fetch over $5,000.
They are highly sought. They are particularly bred by several breeders, and there are numerous available morph combinations. Both online and at reptile exhibits, you may buy these snakes.
It’s crucial to view this snake before purchasing one. Assessing the degree of their wobbling is very useful for spider ball pythons.
Although it’s sad that this mutation tends to lead to certain health issues in ball pythons, this isn’t wholly surprising: Numerous additional genetic mutations also have negative health effects.
These snakes are produced and maintained as pets, making them quite well-liked among reptile keepers. If handled carefully, they may make ideal pets because they are inquisitive and gentle snakes. Keep in mind that this pet snake takes a long-term commitment, because its lifetime can reach 50 years.
Spider morphs are often calm and placid, just like the majority of ball pythons. When properly socialized, they respond nicely to handling and are less hesitant as they age. The prime times for spider ball python activity are dawn, dusk, and nighttime.
Spider ball pythons tend to survive as long as regular ball pythons, despite the fact that wobble syndrome can be severe in certain cases. Additionally, they experience common ball python health issues such as retained shed, respiratory problems, and pests.
Boas lose weight and might get pneumonia, stomatitis, or plugged nares (nostrils). The condition can quickly escalate to neurological system symptoms such as confusion, neck and head twisting, keeping the head in unusual or unnatural postures, turning onto one’s back, or gazing.
A neurological issue or extremely chronic stress in your snake, though, might be indicated by persistent or extreme head wobbling, often to the extent of being upside down. If you have a python that belongs to the spider morph, be very careful when moving its head around.
The first method involves soaking your Ball python for 30 minutes in water that is slightly above room temperature and approximately an inch deep. The second thing you may do to assist is to wet a paper towel with heated water, squeeze out the extra water, and then put it in a bathtub. After then, give your Ball python 30 to 60 minutes to roam.