Are you interested in breeding ball pythons?
Have you seen all of the different morphs of ball pythons and are wondering how they are possible?
One of the most fascinating and famous morphs around is the piebald ball python.
These rare snakes with unique coloring have a white base skin color and random splotches of color across the body.
If you have seen one, you might be wondering:
How To Make A Piebald Ball Python?
A piebald ball python is made when a male and female snake who both have the piebald gene mate. These mating snakes could not appear piebald, but carry the gene, and their offspring will appear piebald.
Keep reading to learn how to make a piebald ball python and everything you need to know about this fascinating morph.
Table of Contents
How To Make A Piebald Ball Python
Ball pythons come in a variety of colors and patterns.
These snakes are some of the most popular species of pet snakes in the United States, largely due to their easygoing attitude and docile nature.
One of the most popular morphs of the ball python is the piebald ball python.
Breeders and herpetologists create them by matching two ball pythons who carry the recessive piebald gene.
Piebald is a recessive trait two ball pythons can carry without even looking like a piebald.
You must have two recessive genes for a recessive trait to manifest in the offspring, as opposed to dominant genes.
With a dominant gene, they are stronger than the recessive ones, and when paired with a recessive gene, the dominant one will always win out.
So in the case of piebaldism, both parents must carry this piebald gene, or else there is no chance the offspring will show as piebald.
When the male and female ball pythons with the piebald gene are mated, they do not have to appear piebald for their offspring to show with the interesting morph.
To explain further, say you have a male and female ball python you know have the piebald gene, even if they don’t look like it.
These carriers mate and successfully produce offspring, and each egg has a 25% chance of showing the piebald trait with genetics.
As breeders create more designer type morphs the genetics get a bit more complicated, because you are adding genes from so many different base morphs.
There’s absolutely no way to predict if you will produce a piebald ball python or not, and if you do, you can’t know if the white will cover 10%, 50%, or 90% of the body.
It’s all random.
What Is A Piebald Ball Python?
Understanding how a piebald ball python comes is interesting, but what makes a piebald ball python special, and what exactly makes a ball python piebald?
The piebald ball pythons are distinguished from other members of the species because of their very interesting unpigmented (white) color, variable patterns, and random splotches of color throughout the body.
The pattern is often described as cloud-like, and sometimes the all-white patches can cover nearly all of the ball python’s body.
Most of the time, the snake’s head is completely untouched by the white, leaving it to show the underlying pattern of your ball python.
Picture it like someone has taken an eraser to parts of the snake’s body and erased portions of the normal colorations you would see.
Piebaldism is not only found in ball pythons but can occur in humans and other animals throughout the world.
Piebaldism is a condition where certain areas of the body lack a cell called melanocytes.
These melanocytes produce melanin, a pigment helping to give a color.
You will find it contributes to giving you the color of your eyes, and even your hair and skin colors.
When humans have piebaldism, you might notice patches of skin or hair without any pigment, but in snakes, this lack of melanocytes is in their scales.
For the most part, this piebald trait is very unpredictable in its display on animals.
If the parents of the piebald ball python do show as piebald too, you can’t count on the offspring showing the same patterns or unpigmented areas.
You may have also heard these creatures referred to as pied ball pythons.
The names are interchangeable when it comes to ball pythons, and you will find that as you are looking at different options, some are referred to as a pied.
Some examples of this are the Mojave pied sulfur or the ghi pastel pied.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking they are a different or separate morph, as this is just another name for a piebald.
Piebald ball python morphs were recorded as early as 1966, but the proper documentation for the morph has only started in the early 1980s.
The piebald morph has been incorporated to make many variations because they have been around for so long.
Can Pied Ball Pythons Survive In The Wild?
A bright body of white seems like a sure way to draw attention to themselves in the wild, right?
So can piebald ball pythons even make it out in the wild?
They are very distinctive and don’t exactly blend in with their surroundings, but they do survive in the wild, despite being a prime target for predators looking for their next meal.
Pieds live with other ball pythons, which have what is considered a normal coloration in grasslands and open dry forests.
The piebald ball pythons spend most of their time in burrows underground, like “normal” ball pythons, coming out in the evenings.
All ball pythons are most active at dawn and dusk, and can even be more nocturnal, choosing to hunt at this time as the weather is a bit cooler.
To survive, they must be very good at hiding, and because they are a more obvious target, pieds tend to stay hidden much more than other ball pythons, which have an easier time blending in with their surroundings.
So while it might be a bit more challenging for them, and they are at greater risk, they are fully capable of surviving out in the wild.
But again, these morphs are rare in the wild because of the difficulty of randomly mating two parents with the same recessive gene.
What Is A Morph?
A piebald ball python is just one of the many morphs of ball pythons seen around the world.
Those of you not familiar with a morph, this is a genetic mutation of the color of the snake.
When a snake is a morph, this means, in this case, the ball python has morphed to look different than expected.
The look of the ball python is different because of this genetic mutation, but it is still the same species.
These genetic mutations are not dangerous to the animal and will not cause a shortened lifespan for a ball python.
There are instances where a genetic mutation is harmful to the snake, like if it is born with two heads, but a simple color alteration is not going to cause any harm.
This only affects the color of the creature, while leaving everything else about the snake just like any other normal healthy snake.
Morphs, while they do occur naturally in the wild, are rare, mostly because it is difficult to naturally have two snakes with the same mutation meet and mate.
Creating new and interesting morphs has become a huge business for breeders.
They will strategically match and mate snakes to develop new morphs with unique and interesting colors and pattern combinations.
Morphs are highly desirable because they are rare and unique, but as time has gone on, some of the morphs have become more and more common.
Because of this, breeders are creating new combinations and developing new morphs to dazzle anyone who wants a unique pet.
Are There A Lot Of Ball Python Morphs?
Breeding morphs have become a popular business, and breeders are always trying to come up with the next big thing.
They are also a major moneymaker for breeders because some morphs are very rare.
There are at least 26 different ball python morphs, besides the standard ball python.
But it doesn’t stop at 26 different morphs, because each of those has so many combinations of subspecies created by mixing and matching different morphs and color variations with the morphs.
There are many variations in the piebald ball pythons, including the albino pied, enchi orange pastel piebald, black pastel pied, and banana piebald, just to name a few.
Some morphs have become very popular, while others are rare and will cost a lot of money if you want to purchase them.
Common morphs can cost around $50, while still others can cost you a few thousand, but it all depends on the morph and the subspecies.
The lavender albino ball python is the most expensive ball snake morph with a price tag of $40,000.
Piebald ball pythons have been known to be quite expensive, with the extremely rare Albino Pied Silver Streak Chimera/Paradox going on the market for $29,576.
Other piebalds have gone for thousands of dollars, but on average are a couple of hundred dollars.
If you are interested in purchasing a piebald ball python, your best bet is to purchase a young male, as the cost of the animal will increase with age.
Females are also going to have a higher price tag as they desired for breeding.
Making A Piebald Ball Python Your Pet
A piebald ball python into your home is a great option for anyone looking to own their first snake.
While they are rarer and more expensive than other ball pythons, they are docile and have a great temperament.
This attitude is common in ball pythons altogether, a major reason for their popularity.
They are also much more willing to accept regular handling and interaction with their owners than other snake species.
A ball python is a relatively easy snake to care for, not requiring a lot of attention and a super-specialized environment.
Ball pythons are among the friendliest of snakes, and because they don’t have fangs, they are great starter pets for kids.
It is very rare for these snakes to attack or strike, but it can happen, and sometimes they will bite, but overall they have a great attitude.
Like with any other animal, with proper care and treatment, your piebald ball python will be happy and healthy in your home.
Choosing The Right Breeder
If you are interested in purchasing a pied ball python or just any ball python, you will find there are many options.
Some breeders will have a passion for breeding these animals, but others are only looking to make some money.
It is important to find a reputable breeder with a good reputation when you are looking to purchase a piebald ball python.
Choosing a good breeder means your animal was well treated and cared for before coming to you, and the breeder kept the genetics of animals in mind when breeding.
If you don’t do your research, you might find the snake you buy could be weak, malnourished, and sick after suffering from neglect.
A reputable breeder will also provide you with a great selection and many options at a fair price if you are especially interested in owning a piebald ball python or some of the more exotic morphs.
A piebald ball python is one of the more fascinating and difficult morphs available, and they are also something you can’t exactly predict.
Try as you might to breed a piebald ball python, you can’t guarantee you will have one, once the eggs hatch.
We hope you now have a better understanding of piebald ball pythons and how they are made.
Also, check out this article on the WOMA Ball Python.