Banana ball pythons were already known for their striking colors, but are becoming even more popular for their stellar temperament and easy care. Great for both beginners and experts alike, the banana ball python has no difficult care requirements or special dietary habits.
They take well to handling and are relatively active, making them a pleasure to behold both inside and out of their enclosure.
|Common Name:||Banana Ball Python|
|Scientific Name:||Python regius|
|Natural Habitat:||West Africa|
|Adult Size:||2 – 5 Feet|
|Lifespan:||20 – 30 Years|
|Experience Level:||All (Beginner – Expert)|
|Enclosure Size:||30 – 60 Gallons|
Banana ball pythons are an incredibly docile and beautiful variation of the regular ball python.
They’re suitable for owners of any experience level and have straightforward care requirements. They require temperatures between 75 – 95 degrees Fahrenheit across their tank and humidity levels between 50 – 60%.
They can live anywhere from 20 – 30 years and grow up to 5 feet.
Owners can regularly handle this snake without fear, since the banana ball python enjoys (or at least tolerates) moderate amounts of interaction.
The only difficulty they present is for breeders, who may have trouble enticing females to mate and brood.
Ball pythons are typically healthy, but the banana python and other morph varieties are at a higher risk of genetic-related issues.
As its name suggests, the banana ball python has bright yellow patches against a tan base color. They may have “freckles” scattered across their body.
A female banana ball python can grow up to 3 – 5 feet. Male banana ball pythons typically grow to 2 – 3 feet.
Super banana ball pythons aren’t any larger than regular ball pythons. Rather, a super ball python is simply a python who inherited the banana mutation gene from both parents instead of just one parent.
Coloring is the easiest way to figure out if you have a regular or super banana ball python.
Super banana ball pythons tend to have a more dull, ‘washed out’ appearance. Their base is closer to gray or brown than tan, and their patches are closer to tan than a true yellow.
Besides mistaking your python for a super, banana ball pythons are also easy to mistake for a coral glow ball python.
Their color patterns are similar, but a coral glow python will have a dark lavender base (not tan) with orange patches (not yellow). The patches may fade to a yellow color along the outside edges with age, giving the impression that the patches are glowing and thus lending this snake its name.
However, the middle of the patches should always be orange, a clear marker of a glow python instead of a banana python.
Banana Ball Python Varieties
There are roughly 20 morph varieties currently available for banana ball pythons. This is due in equal parts to their laidback temperament and beautiful coloring.
Some of the more popular varieties and their color patterns include:
- Banana Pied Ball Python
- Cinnamon Banana Ball Python
- Banana Pastel Ball Python
- Banana Spider Ball Python
- Banana Mojave Ball Python
- Banana Clown Ball Python
- Banana Enchi Ball Python
- Banana Albino Ball Python
- Axanthic Banana Ball Python
- Chocolate Banana Ball Python
The price of each morph differs on the specific pattern and other factors. Even so, all of these varieties will be more expensive than a regular banana ball python.
If you’re looking for a banana ball python for sale, consider your budget and which morphs fall into that range.
Banana ball pythons can cost anywhere from $100 – $500, depending on their size, morph variety, coloration, and the breeder or seller.
The most sought-after morphs can cost anywhere from $700 – $1,000 as a result of their popularity and scarcity. Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Pythons are one such morph.
Fun Fact: The first banana ball python clutch appeared in 2003 and sold for $25,000!
You should also examine the python to make sure it’s healthy. Ask the breeder or seller about any history of genetic or behavioral problems.
Morphs are more prone to such problems than their non-mutated counterparts, so it’s essential to go through a reputable breeder or seller.
For example, a banana ball python is more likely to have wobble than a regular ball python. But an albino banana ball python is even more likely to suffer from this condition than a banana python.
It’s always best to purchase in person, if at all possible. This way you can examine the snake (look for bright eyes and a solid stomach) and hold them to gauge their temperament.
Expert Tip: Ask to see a live feeding or a video of the snake feeding prior to purchasing. Feeding behaviors are often indicative of a snake’s overall health.
Behavior & Temperament
Banana ball pythons are very docile and therefore suitable for all types of reptile owners, whether you’re a beginner or veteran.
Though too much handling can stress them out, they generally do well with regular interaction periods a few times each week.
They tend to spook easily however, so it’s best not to house or handle them in high-traffic areas of your home.
Ball pythons are generally more active at night, but may come out during the day to bask, soak, or eat.
They are non-venomous constrictors and prefer to suffocate their prey instead of biting it.
If your python happens to bite you or the prey (or you instead of the prey), don’t panic. Instead, wait for your banana ball python to release on its own.
But if your banana python becomes scared, they’re more likely to curl up in a tight ball with their head in the center. They may also hiss at you.
This is their signature defensive move. If you see your snake do this, it means they’re stressed or scared.
Banana ball pythons and morph varieties can live from 20 – 30 years, making them a long-term commitment when compared to most other pets.
Banana ball pythons need an enclosure that’s at least 30 gallons. However, an enclosure of 40 – 60 gallons is preferred, especially for females.
They do well in tanks, terrariums, and rack systems.
Ball pythons are solitary snakes and should be housed individually. Never have more than one banana ball python in an enclosure unless you’re mating them.
You should place at least three hides in their enclosure, though they’d appreciate more because of their skittish nature.
Place one hide on the “hot” side and one hide on the “cool” side.
Place a third, enclosed hide in the middle but closer to the “hot” side. This is a humidity hide and will help with sheds.
Always make sure your python has access to clean water. The water dish should be large enough for your python to curl up and soak in, if desired.
The substrate should be suitable for burrowing and hold humidity well. At least 3 – 5 inches of substrate is preferred.
Orchid bark and cypress mulch are both popular substrate options. Avoid substrate that includes cedar or other oily woods.
It’s also best to avoid sand substrate, since it can easily lead to impaction during feeding times or during burrowing.
Replace the water daily and clean the water bowl weekly.
Spot clean the enclosure daily and do a deep clean at least once per month, but preferably twice.
Cleanings are an opportune time to gauge the health of your snake. You’ll be able to notice if the urine or feces is abnormal or if they’ve stopped urinating and/or defecating.
Temperature & Lighting
Banana ball pythons prefer a temperature gradient of 85 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
It should be 85 degrees Fahrenheit on the “hot” side of the tank and 75 degrees Fahrenheit on the “cool” side.
A basking spot of 85 – 92 degrees Fahrenheit is also appreciated.
Day heat bulbs and a basing bulb can easily accomplish this, along with the help of an under-tank heater (UT heater).
You can either purchase night heat bulbs to maintain the temperature gradient or simply turn off the tank lights. However, make sure the enclosure never drops below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you want to add night bulbs, make sure they’re colored blue or purple. There’s evidence that snakes and other reptiles can see the color red.
This disrupts the circadian cycle you’re trying to establish and may also cause vision problems later on.
So, for this purpose we recommend to use ceramic heat emitters.
Your snake shouldn’t have any direct access to the heat elements.
Bulbs should be at least six inches away and preferably outside the enclosure. Similarly, UT heaters should be placed externally and have a reptile carpet or another barrier over the glass on the inside.
These precautions will ensure your banana ball python isn’t accidentally burned. More often than not, snakes won’t notice the rising temperatures until it’s too late and they’re already hurt.
Your python’s enclosure will need to have high humidity levels, around 50 – 60%.
This may be difficult to maintain depending on your enclosure.
If the water dish and your home’s humidity levels aren’t sufficient, consider adding misting systems or a humidifier.
Make sure the water sources (water dish, misting nozzle, etc.) are placed closer to the “hot” side of the tank. Cool temperatures and high humidity can lead to respiratory infections.
This also applies to the humidity hide. It should be closer to the “hot” side.
Check the hide regularly to make sure it’s sufficiently humid but also that no mold or slime has developed. Replace the sphagnum moss or humidity medium regularly.
Since ball pythons are carnivores, you’ll need to feed your banana python rats or mice, either live or dead.
Live prey may entice your snake to eat more, but they can also harm your python. Conversely, dead prey is less appealing but poses less risks.
Most owners choose to feed their snakes pre-killed, thawed, and warmed rodents.
Hatchlings and juveniles generally need to be fed every 5 – 7 days, while adult ball pythons eat every 7 – 10 days.
Expert Tip: The prey should never be larger than the widest part of your snake’s body.
Never feed your snake using your bare hands. Always use feeding tongs or another instrument to prevent accidental bites.
Don’t handle your python for 12 hours after feeding.
Your python should have a noticeable bulge after eating, but it should go down within the next 12 hours.
Potential Health Issues
The most common cause of illness in banana ball pythons is poor husbandry. If you don’t keep a clean enclosure or properly care for your snake, they may be susceptible to the following health problems:
- Respiratory Infections
- Skin Infections/ Mites
- Mouth Rot
- Anorexia/ Weight Problems
If you purchased a morph variety, such as a cinnamon banana ball python, you should also look out for these genetic-related problems:
Contact your vet immediately if your snake is having trouble breathing or eating, is rubbing their head or body often, or has a white substance around their mouth or nostrils.
Strict enclosure maintenance and preventative care like regular vet visits can help make sure your banana ball python is happy and healthy.
It’s more difficult to breed ball pythons, and banana ball pythons are no exception.
Typically, breeding is triggered by a drop in temperature and food scarcity. These conditions mimic the mating season they’d undergo in the wild.
After the mating is successful, raise the temperatures to 86 – 88 degrees Fahrenheit and at least 60% humidity. This entices the female to sit on her eggs, known as brooding.
Banana ball pythons produce clutches of up to 11 eggs, which will stick to each other a few days before hatching.
After hatching, all the snakes should be separated. Despite their young age, hatchlings are still solitary and won’t react well to being kept with their brothers and sisters.
Hatchlings will shed approximately two weeks later, after which time they will begin accepting food.
Between its gorgeous color pattern and its near-perfect temperament, it’s easy to see why the banana ball python and similar varieties are so popular.
They’re great for both beginners and experts. Banana ball pythons are easy to care for and take well to handling.
Combined with the fact that they readily eat, this snake is sure to remain a staple in the industry for years to come.