Ball pythons are the top favorites of many reptile enthusiasts because they are easy to keep and have gentle demeanors. Ball pythons also have many of the world’s coolest morphs, coming in about any color or pattern that you can imagine—like the fire ball.
If you caught a glimpse of the fire ball python morph, you’re probably determined to learn all you can about it. So, let’s go over the details of this popular morph.
Quick Facts About Fire Ball Python Morphs
|Species Name:||Python regius|
|Common Name:||Fire Ball Python|
|Adult Size:||3–5 feet|
|Minimum Tank Size:||30–50 gallons|
|Temperature:||75–92 degrees Fahrenheit|
Do Fire Ball Python Morphs Make Good Pets?
Ball pythons are native to central and western parts of Africa, where they dwell in humid, toasty temperatures. But these snakes have made their way into homes all over the world, charming snake lovers with their calm nature and incredible breeding potential.
The fire ball python is a specific morph that makes excellent additions to any reptile collection. They are generally slow moving and don’t mind being handled. Since they’re laidback and unlikely to bite, they work well for first-timers or younger owners.
The fire ball python is a codominant morph that is intricately patterned, typically banded with satiny gold and black. But in some snakes, you can find diluted or bold coloring, depending on the genetics and the pairing.
Each pattern is specific to the snake, but they all have black eyes. There are many different forms of the fire ball. If a fire mates with any other ball python, they make fire offspring. Two fires make super fire ball pythons. Super forms of the fire ball python are called the black-eyed leucistic, which is ultra-light and sometimes blotchy in color
How to Take Care of a Fire Ball Python Morph
Since fire ball pythons are cold-blooded creatures that require a life much different from your own, you need to gather the appropriate supplies beforehand. These snakes need heating pads, basking lamps, and proper substrate to thrive.
Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup
Adult fire ball pythons should live in entirely glass enclosures that are at least 30 gallons. For larger fires, you should increase the size of the tank by 10 gallons.
Your ball python might not be the most active snake, but they still enjoy having space to move around. These snakes work well in enclosures with long branches so they can climb at will.
The more space you can provide, the more at home your snake will feel.
Ball pythons love having places to climb, hide, and bask. Make sure to fill the tank full of hides, branches, and foliage (if you can).
Your fire ball python will need light cycles that mimic daytime and nighttime in nature. Although these snakes don’t require UVB light like some reptiles do, they benefit from low-level UVB light. You should leave the light on for 12 hours per day.
Heating (Temperature & Humidity)
Since snakes are cold-blooded, they require adequate warmth. They need a basking spot where they can absorb a large amount of heat. It should stay within the 88- to 92-degree Fahrenheit region. The rest of the cage can stay between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Humidity levels should stay between 50% and 60%. Your fire absolutely needs these levels at all times so they can shed properly and prevent scale drying. Since they live in such hot temperatures, adding mist is crucial to keep things moist.
Ball pythons require a substrate that retains moisture to keep their skin supple. In warm environments with dry materials, it can irritate and dry out scales.
|Tank Type||30-gallon glass tank|
|Lighting||Low-level UVB light|
|Heating||Heating pad, basking lamp|
|Best Substrate||Reptile bark, coconut husk, cypress mulch|
Feeding Your Fire Ball Python Morph
Fire ball pythons have a straightforward, inexpensive diet. They are one of the cheapest pets to feed, especially as juveniles. These snakes need rodents—from pinkies to full-grown rats—depending on their life stage.
Young ball pythons should start eating pinkies initially, increasing to fuzzies as they grow. Mature fire balls should eat mice or rats according to their size.
Juveniles should eat two times per week, and you should split up the feedings on equal days. Adults need one meal every 1 to 2 weeks. You can feed them according to what works for their appetite.
|Fruits||0% of diet|
|Insects||0% of diet|
|Meat||100% of diet: small/medium-sized rodents|
Keeping Your Fire Ball Python Morph Healthy
Fire ball pythons are relatively low-maintenance pets, so you shouldn’t run into many health issues as long as you provide them with proper care. However, that doesn’t mean your snake won’t face any issues. Reptiles can develop numerous health problems.
It is of utmost importance to locate an exotic vet near you before committing to a purchase. Without proper professional care, your snake’s lifespan might not be that long, which is avoidable in many cases.
Common Health Issues
Like many snakes, fires only show clinical signs when their sickness is already quite advanced. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, immediate vet attention is necessary.
A ball python that is completely healthy with no existing complications can live up to 30 years. These snakes require a big commitment, as opposed to dogs or cats that live roughly 15 years.
However, many snake hobbyists do regularly sell or trade their snakes for other morphs or species. Since reptiles don’t form emotional bonds with people, rehoming to proper owners is entirely possible.
Ball pythons have tremendously long reproductive spans, lasting up to 30 years in some cases. The breeding season is generally from September to November.
Fire ball pythons lay clutches with six eggs on average, which stick together for protection. Incubators need to stay at 89 degrees Fahrenheit for successful hatching. Eggs will hatch between 50 and 55 days.
Are Fire Ball Python Morphs Friendly? Our Handling Advice
Fire ball pythons are incredibly docile creatures that are easy to handle. It would be best if you never made fast movements. Your snake can spook easily and this can lead to fear biting.
However, if you calmly handle this snake, they will curiously explore you and the surrounding areas. Always make sure you have your snake in a space they cannot escape. If there are any tiny areas or objects they could weasel into, beware.
These snakes can slip away or latch onto something pretty quickly. Monitor any out-of-the-enclosure experiences closely. Also, due to the risk of Salmonella, always make sure to wash your hands once you finish.
Shedding & Brumation: What to Expect
Fire ball pythons shed their skin every 4–6 weeks. During the process, you might notice a white layer of film on their body. This is dead skin lifting from the newly emerging scales.
Ball pythons should shed in one or two pieces. It shouldn’t come off small flakes over time. If you think your ball python is having issues shedding due to improper humidity levels, you can soak them in water for 2 hours to help moisturize the skin.
Ball pythons do not enter brumation periods, meaning they do not require periods of hibernation like some reptiles do. However, during the winter months, their eating habits might slow down.
How Much Do Fire Ball Python Morphs Cost?
Since fire ball pythons are such a common morph, you will find that they are pretty affordable. Adults will be more valuable than juveniles, so they are at the higher end of the price spectrum.
On average, a fire ball python costs between $50 and $300, depending on breeder rates, the area you live in, and the snake’s life stage. In comparison to some other morphs, this is a modest price.
But on top of that, you need to consider any supplies that you need.
|Substrate:||$20–$25 per month|
|Mice/Rats:||$1–$3 per rodent (frozen)|
Of course, you can always cut costs by buying a snake with all-included supplies. You can also reuse an old enclosure or raise your own live feed.
Care Guide Summary
If you think that a fire ball python is your next reptile pet, check for options around you. Fire balls are plentiful, so you can find one by browsing online or visiting local pet shops. You might even find one from an owner ready to part with their pet.
Always make sure to keep proper humidity levels, temperature settings, and feeding schedules to keep your reptile healthy. Exotic vets are your best friends, so go to them about any troubles that your snake might have.
Featured Image Credit by: Ery Azmeer, Shutterstock