Over the years, several Ball Python morphs have been developed. The Monsoon morph first appeared in 2013 and was bred by Dave Green. It first appeared after he mated two of his snakes together. However, it took him until 2015 to prove that it was a new morph. He continues to breed the morph today and sells some of the snakes that he produces.
Since this morph is relatively new, it is still quite rare. This makes these snakes relatively expensive. Most of them are only found in certain locations and from certain breeders. You often have to have this morph shipped to you, which can be more difficult than picking it up from your local breeder.
Quick Facts About the Monsoon Ball Python
|Mice or small rats
|Minimum Tank Size:
|Temperature & Humidity:
|Around 80 degrees Fahrenheit
Do Monsoon Ball Pythons Make Good Pets?
As far as their temperaments go, different Ball Python morphs don’t have different personalities. Their colorations have only changed, not their temperaments.
Overall, Ball Pythons are simple snakes. They are docile and easily tamed. After their initial taming period, they are quite easy to handle. They are often suggested for children because they are one of the most laidback snake species.
They get their name for their tendency to roll themselves into a tight ball when threatened. This behavior makes them easier to handle than other snakes, as they may just decide to curl up instead of bite when they feel overwhelmed.
Captive snakes are often easier to handle than wild-caught snakes. Snakes that were found in the wild tend to be stressed and not as adaptable. They also often have more parasites, which negatively affects their health and can make them more easily stressed.
The monsoon morph doesn’t affect the snake’s color, it affects their pattern. Therefore, the snake can have any number of other colorations.
The morph is named “monsoon” because it looks like raindrops on a window. The snake will have hundreds of intricate speckles covering its body, which makes it not look much like the typical Ball Python at all.
“Normal” monsoon Ball Pythons will have tan speckles with a deep brown background color. However, this will change if they also inherit a different gene that affects color.
How to Take Care of a Monsoon Ball Python
Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup
These snakes are not that active and will spend most of their time in one position. Therefore, they usually do just fine in a 30-gallon container as adults. Juveniles can often fit in a 20-gallon tank. It is essential that the tank comes with a secure lid, though, as they tend to be escape artists. They will push up the lid if given a chance.
You should provide your python with plenty of strong branches. It is shy and docile, so it prefers to have safe places to hide. These should be just large enough for it to fit.
You can use a heating lamp to help the tank reach the correct temperature. However, these snakes do not need any particular lighting. If you do use lighting, ensure that you turn it off at night to keep the snake’s sleep cycle correct.
Heating (Temperature & Humidity)
The tank should have a temperature gradient so the snake can control its own temperature. The cool side of the tank should be between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit, while the basking spot should be between 88-92 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, it is fine for the temperature to fall to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Often, an under-the-tank heating pad is the best option. You can also use a heat bulb or ceramic heating element. Be sure to check the temperature often with the use of multiple thermometers. You should not use a hot rock, as the snake can burn itself on these.
You should provide your snake with a dish large enough to soak in, especially during shedding season.
There are many suitable substrate options for this snake. You can use shredded bark, newspaper, or even Astroturf. The latter is the easiest option because you can easily spot-clean it. It is also reusable after a good cleaning.
|30-gallon glass tank
|Heating pad or lamp
|Astroturf, newspaper, or shredded bark
Feeding Your Monsoon Ball Python
A Ball Python should eat exclusively small rodents, such as mice and rats. It will need to be fed once every week or two as an adult. Younger snakes may need to be fed every 5 days. You should feed them meals that are the appropriate size and easy for them to eat. You will need to increase the size as they get older.
Pre-killed prey should be used because live mice can injure a snake.
|0% of diet
|0% of diet
|100% of diet — small/medium-sized rodents
Keeping Your Monsoon Ball Python Healthy
Common Health Issues
We recommend buying a captive-bred python. Wild-caught snakes often have more parasites, which can negatively affect their health.
It is normal for your snake to stop eating for a month or two. Many may fast for a few months, especially during the winter. Pay attention to the body weight and condition of the snake. As long as those are maintained in the long run, the snake is likely fine. Fluctuations are common when the snake is introduced to a new tank.
Many of the usual snake diseases are also common in the Ball Python. But as long as the tank conditions are kept correct, the snake will usually stay healthy.
When well cared for, these snakes can live up to 30 years. They are a huge commitment, so be sure that you have the time to care for them before purchasing one.
Pythons breed easily in captivity. This is one reason that so many morphs have become available. However, breeding two snakes together does require knowledge of python behavior and genetics. If an incorrect pairing happens, it can cause neurological problems.
Ball Pythons reach sexual maturity at around 16 to 31 months. Males typically reach maturity faster than females. Some breeders recommend cycling the snake’s habitat, while others state that this is unnecessary.
The actual mating involves the snakes “locking” together and lying very still for anywhere from 4 hours to 2 days. After the snakes separate, the male can be moved back to his enclosure. Pythons will often change colors after mating and then have a pre-lay shed. After this, the female will lay her eggs.
Are Ball Pythons Friendly? Our Handling Advice
They absolutely can be because they are docile and tamable. In fact, they are among the friendliest snakes that you can purchase, which is why they are often highly recommended for new snake owners.
You should always pick a python up with two hands and supports its whole body weight. You should not pick the snake up by its tail, as this can cause injury and scare the snake.
Never handle your snake after it has eaten. They are supposed to lie still during digestion. Otherwise, they may vomit up their meal. Leave them alone for 24-48 hours after they eat.
Shedding & Brumation: What to Expect
Like all reptiles, a healthy Ball Python will shed its skin as it grows larger. Preferably, the skin should come off all in one piece. This will occur every 4-6 weeks or so. You will notice when a snake is preparing to shed, as its scales will loosen and its eyes may turn blue or opaque.
Most healthy snakes will not need any help shedding. If the humidity is high enough and a soaking area available, these snakes will have no problems.
How Much Do Monsoon Ball Pythons Cost?
These snakes can be extremely expensive. You can expect to spend about $12,000 for a single monsoon Ball Python. Even known carriers of the gene will cost you at least $4,000. This isn’t taking into account any other unusual genetics that the snake has, such as unique colorations.
Care Guide Summary
Ball Pythons are often considered inexpensive starter snakes. However, the monsoon Ball Python is quite expensive. These snakes can sell for thousands of dollars, even if they’re normal-looking carriers. For this reason, we only recommend these snakes for expert snake owners. They still act like Ball Pythons, but we don’t suggest that a new owner should spend thousands on a snake that they don’t have any experience taking care of.
Aside from their beautiful coloring, these snakes act like any other Ball Python.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay