Ghost Ball Pythons have a unique look, yet they are shy and easy to care for just like other Ball Python morphs. They make a great pet for those looking for a unique snake that isn’t too difficult to handle.
If you are considering getting a Ghost Ball Python, keep reading. In this article, we give you key facts about the snake’s appearance, breeding, care, and more. Read on to see if a Ghost Ball Python is the right pet for you.
Quick Facts About Ghost Ball Python Morph
|Species Name:||Python regius|
|Common Name:||Ball Python|
|Adult Size:||10-12 inches|
|Minimum Tank Size:||40-gallon tank|
|Temperature & Humidity:||Basking temperature: 88-96 degrees Fahrenheit
Ambient temperature: 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit
Do Ghost Ball Python Morphs Make Good Pets?
Ball Pythons are the most popular pet Python around the globe. Although the snakes are a bit shy, they are generally small, friendly, easy to care for, and beautiful to look at.
Ghost Ball Pythons make especially great pets because of their unique appearance. They have the same temperament of other Ball Pythons, but they have much less black pigmentation, causing them to look much more striking and unique.
Ghost Ball Pythons have a recessive gene called ghost, which can also be called hypo or hypomelanistic. This recessive mutation reduces black pigmentation on the snake’s scales. There are various types of ghost pythons, but most look very similar.
Ghost Ball Pythons almost always look like they’re shedding, even when they are not. They can be various shades of yellow, green, brown, and gray. Whenever these snakes shed, they often shed like albinos, meaning they have a faded head and faded dark colors.
How to Take Care of Ghost Ball Python Morphs
Ghost Ball Pythons are not any more difficult to take care of than any other Python. Ball Pythons as a whole are pretty easy to take care of, although they have some specific tank conditions and needs.
Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup
Ball Pythons need a certain amount of humidity, temperature, lighting, and more. This means that you need to be careful when setting up the tank conditions and set up.
To begin, make sure to get a tank that is about 40 gallons or larger. Baby snakes won’t need this size of a tank, but you might as well get the larger size for when your baby snake grows. You have the choice between a glass or plastic enclosure.
Glass looks better, but it does not hold as much humidity. Meanwhile, plastic holds more humidity, but it doesn’t look as attractive. Choose between a plastic and glass enclosure based on the humidity in your area.
Spot clean the snake’s enclosure every night, and deep clean it once a month. Whenever you deep clean the tank, make sure do use a reptile safe cleaner.
Because Ball Pythons are nocturnal, they don’t require UVB lighting in captivity. More so, Ball Pythons do not necessarily need supplemental lighting. As long as you use a 12/12 hour lighting cycle, the snake will be healthy and happy.
Heating (Temperature & Humidity)
Ball Pythons are tropical snakes, which means they require certain temperature and humidity. During the day, the temperature should be between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, the temperature should drop to 72 degrees during the night.
You also want to have a basking spot inside the enclosure. This basking spot should be between 88 and 96 degrees Fahrenheit. The ambient temperature should range between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
As for the humidity, it should not drop below 50% for babies. Even when the snake ages, it is not good for the humidity to drop below that point. Try to shoot for humidity between 55% and 60%.
Substrate is pretty easy for this sort of snake. You can use something like paper towels or newspapers. You can also use cypress mulch or orchid bark because they maintain humidity. Do not use substrate that contains cedar, peat bedding, shavings, or sand.
|Tank Type:||40-gallon glass or plastic vivarium|
|Heating:||Heating pad/tape on bottom of enclosure|
|Best Substrate:||Paper towels, newspaper, or cypress mulch|
Feeding Your Ghost Ball Python Morph
In captivity, Ghost Ball Pythons primarily only need rodents. Make sure that the rodent you select is small enough for the snake to swallow. Frozen pinky mice are a great place to start. You only need to feed your adult Python between once every one to two weeks.
|Meat||100% of diet – small/medium sized rodents|
Keeping Your Ghost Ball Python Morph Healthy
So long as you provide an adequate housing environment and diet for your Ball Python, it should be healthy. Making sure to clean the enclosure and remove any food that is not eaten will further keep your Ball Python healthy and free from infections.
If you notice that your Ball Python is not eating or acting strangely, you should take it to see an exotic vet. Make sure you have a vet on hand that specializes in reptiles.
Common Health Issues
The most common health issue of Ball Pythons are neurological disorders. These disorders are from irresponsible breeding. It’s important to select a breeder that only breeds healthy snakes to prevent neurological disorders.
These snakes can also experience scale rot and respiratory infections if their enclosure is too moist. Excess moisture is a breeding ground for such issues. Keeping humidity between 55% and 60% avoids most issues.
If you properly take care of your Ball Python, it can live for a minimum of 35 years. The oldest Ball Python kept in captivity lasted over 42 years. The key for a healthy snake that lives a long time is proper habitat conditions, habitat size, and a healthy diet.
Ball Pythons are decently easy to breed in captivity. In order to breed Ghost Ball Pythons specifically, you’ll need knowledge about Ball Python genetics to ensure you get the morph you want.
You also need to monitor the conditions to get both snakes to mate. In the wild, breeding happens during early November. Even if you put two healthy snakes together, they may not lock. For this reason, breeding Ball Pythons takes a lot of patience, though it doesn’t require extensive expertise.
The most difficult part of breeding Ghost Ball Pythons is to select mating pairs that result in Ghost offspring.
Are Ghost Ball Python Morphs Friendly? Our Handling Advice
Ball Pythons are considered very shy snakes. For this reason, the snakes like to hide a lot, and they are often a bit scared of humans. After awhile, the snake will associate you with food, and they won’t see you as a threat anymore.
If you want to handle your snake, it’s important to be patient. Begin by introducing your hand to show that it is not a threat. From there, do not force handling if your snake shows obvious signs of stress.
Shedding & Brumation: What to Expect
Like any other snake, Ghost Ball Pythons shed. Some signs that your Ball Python is about to shed include loss of appetite, hiding in water bowl, dull skin, and milky colored eyes.
Whenever you think your snake is about to shed, you may want to increase the humidity in their enclosure slightly to make shedding a bit easier. Additionally, make sure to keep the tank clean and remove any dead skin as it flakes off.
As for brumation, Ghost Ball Pythons do not technically brumate. However, these snakes may stop eating if the inside of their tank replicates winter. This is not abnormal and should not cause you any concern.
How Much Do Ghost Ball Python Morphs Cost?
The exact price of a Ghost Ball Python morph will depend on where you live. That being said, most Ghost Ball Pythons range between $200 and $300 online. Although these snakes are not super expensive, it can be difficult to buy one because there are many waitlists for this snake morph.
Keep in mind that you will also have to pay for the snake’s enclosure, food, and more whenever you first purchase the snake.
Care Guide Summary
Ghost Ball Pythons are a really unique and fun snake to have as a pet. Its shy nature means it is less suitable for handling, but it isn’t aggressive and will warm up to your presence eventually.
When owning one of these snakes, it is important to perfect its living conditions and diet. So long as you offer it the right living condition, your Ghost Ball Python will live a happy and healthy life.
Featured Image Credit: beachbumxotics, Pixabay
Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who has contributed to a wide range of blogs that cover tools, pets, guitars, fitness, and computer programming. When he’s not writing, Ed is usually performing DIY projects around the house or working in the garden. He’s also a musician and spends a lot of time helping people fix their guitars and composing music for independent films.