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Panda Ball Python Morph: Traits, History, & Care (with Pictures)

panda ball python morph

As you might guess, the Panda Ball Python is predominantly black and white. They have a combination of genetic traits that make this happen. The genetic probability means that the exact coloration and depth of color will vary from snake to snake.

Ball Pythons are generally recommended for first-time snake owners because they will almost always choose flight over fight. They are reluctant to hiss or bite, giving you the chance to learn proper handling and care along with them. If you are interested in owning one of these snakes, you have come to the right place.divider-snake

Quick Facts About the Panda Ball Python

Species Name: Python regius
Common Name: Ball Python
Care Level: Low
Lifespan: 20-30 years
Adult Size: 3-5 feet
Diet: Thawed rodents every 2 weeks
Minimum Tank Size: Minimum of 60 gallons
Temperature & Humidity: Maintained between 80-85°F and humidity levels between 50-60%

Do Panda Ball Pythons Make Good Pets?

If you are considering a snake for a pet, you should consider the Panda Ball Python. These snakes are not only striking in their morphology, but they are also quite docile and low-maintenance. The Panda Ball Python eats quite rarely, and you can train them to take on handling quite well.

Appearance

Genetics comes heavily into play when you consider the appearance of these snakes. To get a Panda Ball Python, you need to have a specific of snakes before it.

The Panda Ball Python comes from a combination of the co-dominant Black pastel trait mixed with the more recessive Piebald trait. You might also hear the Panda Ball Python called the “Super Black Pastel Piebald.” It combines an intense black with striking white in a variable pattern across the snake’s whole body.

You can get a Panda Ball Python by pairing Black Pastel Piebalds. About every one in four of these pairings will give you a Panda Python.

The best option with the highest genetic probability to get a Panda Ball Python is to pair two Panda Ball Pythons together. Then, you will get a Panda almost 100% of the time.

Another option is to combine a Black Pastel Piebald with a Black Pastel snake with 100% heterozygous Piebald pairing. One in eight of these pairings will result in a Panda.

The most ineffective pairing is when you pair two Black Pastel with 100% heterozygous Piebalds. In these pairings, the genetic probability of getting a Panda is one in 16.

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How to Take Care of Panda Ball Pythons

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup

Before you even get your snake, you need to have their habitat set up. Reptiles are generally quite sensitive to their habitats and need it ready upon arrival for a quick transition into the new space.

Tank

Your Python’s tank is the most critical part of their existence as a pet. They don’t have the option to go anywhere else to find a more suitable climate, so you must make it as perfect as possible.

When you have a snake as large and long as a Panda Ball Python, you need a minimum 60-gallon plastic or glass tank. It is critical for this tank to be longer than it is tall.

Inside the tank, you should give the snakes plenty of places to nest during the daylight hours. These could be areas like logs or other hiding places.

You should also have an area filled with water, like a large water dish. Pythons are known for being good swimmers, so you don’t have to worry about them drowning. You should help them out by making sure wherever you put the dish has multiple entries and exit points.

Lighting

Your snake needs their tank to have 12 hours of light each day and 12 hours of darkness. Turn the light off at night to cue them that they can be active.

Heating (Temperature & Humidity)

The temperature and humidity are essential aspects of your snake’s microclimate. They need the tank’s humidity to be kept somewhere between 55% to 60%. Maintain this by using misting the tank each day. You can also move their water dish close to their heat source to encourage higher evaporation rates.

Heat the tank using a heat lamp. Use a lamp with a 75W infrared bulb to give them the right temperature. During the day, the tank should be between 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. They will sleep or bask for most of this period. Their basking spot should be between 86 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

At night, the temperature of the tank should rest between 72 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Substrate

The substrate is the primary part of the tank that needs to get cleaned regularly. It is essential for the health of the snake. When you clean the substrate out and replace it, try to wipe over the rest of the tank quickly. Use a cloth and some water.

The best substrates for your Panda Ball Python mimic their natural environment. These could be sand, soil, wood shavings, or a mix of all three.

Tank Recommendations

Tank Type 60-gallon glass or plastic tank
Lighting 12 hours of light
Heating 75W infrared heat lamp
Best Substrate Soil, sand, or wood shavings
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Feeding Your Panda Ball Pythons

Feeding your Panda Ball Python is straightforward. They are purely carnivorous creatures and eat relatively infrequently. In the wild, they will eat about once a month, hunting at night to find their prey. They use thermal radiation to find their feed, using five labial pits on either side of their mouth.

These snakes tend to be quite picky with their food, which is partly why you should still feed them infrequently, even in captivity. They will almost always be willing to eat small rodents, though. However, if the rodent has been dead for too long, they won’t be able to find it.

You should feed them a rat or an adult mouse every 2-4 weeks. If you have a large snake, feed them closer to the 2-week mark. Either way, you should monitor their weight. Their prey should be about the same size as the middle circumference of the snake’s body.

If the snake has left anything or hasn’t found the prey, you should remove anything dead or uneaten after 2 days.

Diet Summary

Fruits 0% of the diet
Insects 0% of the diet
Meat 100% of diet: rats or adult mice
Supplements Required Vitamin D and calcium

divider-snakeKeeping Your Panda Ball Pythons Healthy

The Panda Ball Python, along with most other Ball Pythons, are healthy reptiles. Unfortunately, any health issues that arise tend to be from bad husbandry, and there is often little that you can do about them.

Common Health Issues

  • Mouth rot
  • Anorexia
  • Respiratory disease
  • Tick parasitism

Anorexia might happen if you don’t provide fresh enough rodents. If you notice your snake refusing to eat, try to do something different with their diet. Respiratory disease is often caused by bacterial growth in the cage and means you need to clean it out more frequently.

Tick parasitism is relatively easy to take care of and is more common in male snakes than females. You should properly remove the ticks and then take them to the vet for a quick checkup.

Lifespan

A Panda Ball Python that has been properly cared for will live quite a long time in captivity. They can live between 20 and 30 years of age. Some of them might even live to 40 years old.

So, recognize that you are committing to having this pet for many years to come. Don’t treat them like a passing fancy.

Breeding

Breeding a Panda Ball Python morph is often quite tricky unless you have a proven genetic record for the snakes that you use. You can also invest in two Panda Ball Pythons to practically guarantee that their offspring will be the Panda morph too.

You should never put Pythons together unless you are breeding them. Even in the wild, a single male and female might burrow together out of short-term necessity, but that will be the full extent of their cohabitation.divider-snake

Are Panda Ball Pythons Friendly? Our Handling Advice

Panda Ball Pythons are known for being docile, as are all Ball Pythons. Even so, don’t expect them to be friendly toward you right away. Instead, you need to work with them steadily so they know what to expect when being handled.

Work with them once a day, handling them gently and carefully. You will know when they begin to get used to it, because they won’t try to curl tightly away from you. As they get used to being handled, they will enjoy wrapping themselves around various parts of your body.

Don’t worry, though, these Pythons aren’t strong enough to harm you. You can quickly unwrap them when the handling session is over.

Don’t force yourself on them initially or make them feel like their only option is to bite. While they aren’t venomous, this will still be an unpleasant situation for you both.

Shedding & Brumation: What to Expect

Ball Pythons don’t often brumate, but they might start to eat less during the winter season.

Similar to other reptiles, Ball Pythons shed their skin. You can use shedding as a sign of a healthy Ball Python. They should shed about every 4 to 6 weeks.

You will notice when they are about to shed because their scales will loosen up, and they get a covering over their eyes. Due to this, they might seem more aggressive right before and after they shed, since they can’t see that well. You can tell when this happens because their eyes might look opaque or blueish.

How Much Do Panda Ball Pythons Cost?

The Panda Pied is extremely difficult to breed and requires particular genetics in the parent snakes. Since the parent snakes are relatively challenging to find and breed, the Panda is even rarer.

Panda Ball Pythons range from about $1,500 to $16,000. Their price depends somewhat on the breeder but mostly on the way that their coloration and pattern have turned out.

Care Guide Summary

Pros
  • Docile nature
  • Eats infrequently
  • Unique color morph
Cons
  • Must be housed separately
  • The morph is challenging to breed

divider-snakeConclusion

A Panda Ball Python is a unique option if you are looking into Ball Pythons as your next pet. Breeders and collectors often collect these morphs because they are such a significant investment. However, they still have the docile personality of the Ball Python, making them a good option for those starting with the commitment to have snakes as pets.


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