Native to West Africa, Ball Pythons are highly popular among snake keepers due to their relatively docile nature and manageable size. The Blue Eyed Leucistic Ball Python is a morph of the regular Ball Python, and it stands out from the crowd with its stunning appearance. This morph is bred specifically for its white coloration and striking blue eyes, making it a highly coveted designer snake.
Appearance and Characteristics
The python has a stunning blue coloration, with a white or cream base and pale blue markings or patterns. The patterns can vary from snake to snake, giving each individual a distinctive appearance. These patterns can be in the form of spots, stripes, or a combination of both.
The body of the Blue Eyed Leucistic Ball Python is slender, with a smooth texture and scales that are shiny and iridescent. It has a long, slender neck and a rounded head with a pointed snout. The python has a docile and calm temperament, making it a popular choice as a pet snake.
The average size of an adult Blue Eyed Leucistic Ball Python is around 4 to 5 feet in length, although some individuals may grow slightly larger. They have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years when properly cared for.
The blue coloration of the eyes is the most striking feature of this python. The eyes are a bright, vivid blue that stands out against the white or cream-colored body of the snake. The blue color is caused by a lack of pigmentation in the iris, resulting in a translucent appearance. This unique coloration is what sets the Blue Eyed Leucistic Ball Python apart from other ball python morphs.
The Blue Eyed Leucistic Ball Python is a result of selective breeding for specific genetic traits. It is a recessive morph, meaning that both parents must carry the gene for this trait in order for their offspring to display the blue-eyed leucistic phenotype.
This morph is a combination of two other genetic traits: the Blue Eyed Ball Python, which carries the blue eye gene, and the Leucistic Ball Python, which carries the gene for a lack of pigmentation. When these two traits are combined, it results in the striking blue-eyed leucistic phenotype.
Selective breeding has allowed for the development of different variations within the Blue Eyed Leucistic Ball Python morph, with some individuals displaying more vibrant blue eyes or unique patterns and markings.
In order to produce Blue Eyed Leucistic Ball Pythons, both parent snakes must carry the leucistic gene. Leucism is a recessive trait, meaning that both parents must pass on a copy of the gene for their offspring to display the trait. If only one parent carries the gene, the offspring will not display the leucistic phenotype.
When two snakes carrying the leucistic gene mate, they have a 25% chance of producing a Blue Eyed Leucistic Ball Python. This is because each parent can pass on either a normal gene or a leucistic gene to their offspring. The possible combinations are as follows:
- 25% chance of two normal genes (no leucistic offspring)
- 50% chance of one normal gene and one leucistic gene (no leucistic offspring)
- 25% chance of two leucistic genes (leucistic offspring)
Caring for a Blue Eyed Leucistic Ball Python
Temperature and Humidity
One of the most important aspects of housing a blue eyed leucistic ball python is maintaining the proper temperature and humidity levels. The ideal temperature range for these snakes is between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit on the warm side and 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit on the cool side. A heat source, such as an under-tank heater or a ceramic heat emitter, can be used to achieve these temperatures.
In addition to temperature, proper humidity levels are crucial for the health of a blue eyed leucistic ball python. The humidity in their enclosure should be kept between 50-60%, which can be achieved by misting the enclosure regularly and providing a large water dish for the snake to soak in.
Inside the enclosure, several hiding spots should be provided, as well as branches and foliage to simulate their natural environment. A substrate such as cypress mulch or coconut husk can also be used to create a more natural and comfortable environment for the snake.
Feeding and Water
Water should always be available in the enclosure, either through a large water dish or by misting the enclosure to create droplets on the walls and foliage for the snake to drink from. Fresh water should be provided regularly to ensure the snake stays hydrated.
Caring for a blue eyed leucistic ball python requires attention to detail and a commitment to creating the ideal habitat. By maintaining the proper temperature and humidity levels, providing a secure and comfortable enclosure, and feeding a nutritious diet, you can ensure that your snake remains healthy and happy for many years to come.
Feeding and Nutrition
The size of the prey should be appropriate for the snake’s size. As a general rule of thumb, the prey should be no larger than the widest part of the snake’s body. Feeding prey that is too large could result in regurgitation or other digestive issues.
A varied diet is beneficial for the snake’s overall health. Apart from mice and rats, you can also offer other small mammals such as rabbits or guinea pigs. It’s essential to ensure that the prey is properly sourced and free from any potential parasites or diseases.
When offering the prey, it’s recommended to use feeding tongs to prevent the snake from accidentally biting your hand. Place the prey in a separate container within the snake’s enclosure to prevent substrate ingestion. After the snake has finished eating, remove any uneaten prey to maintain cleanliness in the enclosure.
|1. Offer pre-killed or frozen thawed rodents.
|2. Feed prey appropriate for the snake’s size.
|3. Do not overfeed or underfeed the snake.
|4. Provide a varied diet.
|5. Use feeding tongs to prevent accidental bites.
|6. Monitor weight and body condition regularly.
The Ideal Habitat for a Blue Eyed Leucistic Ball Python
The Temperature and Humidity
In addition to temperature, humidity is also crucial for the well-being of a blue eyed leucistic ball python. The humidity level should be maintained between 50-60%. To achieve this, you can use a reptile-specific humidifier or mist the enclosure regularly to keep the humidity at the appropriate level.
Substrate, or the material covering the bottom of the enclosure, is important for maintaining proper humidity and allowing the snake to exhibit natural behaviors. Suitable substrates for a blue eyed leucistic ball python include cypress mulch, coconut husk, or reptile carpet.
While pythons do not require UVB lighting like some other reptiles, it is still beneficial to provide a light cycle for your snake. Using a fluorescent bulb that emits a low level of UVB can help regulate the snake’s circadian rhythm and promote natural behaviors.
Creating the ideal habitat for your blue eyed leucistic ball python is an important part of responsible reptile ownership. By providing the proper temperature, humidity, enclosure setup, and lighting, you will help ensure that your snake thrives and remains healthy in its captive environment.
Handling and Temperament
Tips for Handling
Here are some tips to ensure safe and stress-free handling:
- Always wash your hands before and after handling the snake to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Handle the snake gently but firmly, supporting its body at all times. Avoid squeezing or putting pressure on the snake.
- Avoid sudden movements or loud noises that could startle the snake, as this might cause them to bite or become defensive.
- Never handle the snake when it is shedding or showing signs of stress, such as hissing or coiling into a defensive posture.
- Always supervise children when they are handling the snake and teach them how to handle it properly.
If you notice any sudden changes in your snake’s behavior, such as increased aggression or refusal to eat, it may be a sign of stress or illness. In such cases, it is recommended to consult a reptile veterinarian for further guidance and assistance.
Overall, with proper handling and care, the Blue Eyed Leucistic Ball Python can make a wonderful pet for reptile enthusiasts of all levels of experience.
Health and Common Issues
1. Respiratory Infections:
Ball pythons are susceptible to respiratory infections, especially if they are kept in improper conditions or if their habitat is not maintained properly. Symptoms of a respiratory infection include wheezing, difficulty breathing, or an audible clicking sound. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately.
2. Scale Rot:
Scale rot is a common condition that affects snakes, including ball pythons. It is caused by excessive moisture or high humidity levels in the snake’s habitat, leading to bacterial or fungal infections on their scales. Regular monitoring of the humidity levels and ensuring a clean and dry environment for your snake can help prevent scale rot.
All snakes, including ball pythons, can be affected by parasites, such as mites. These tiny pests can cause irritation, stress, and health problems for your snake. Regularly checking and treating your snake for parasites is essential to keep them healthy. Consult a veterinarian for the right parasite prevention and treatment methods for your snake.
Being aware of these common health issues and taking appropriate measures can help ensure that your blue eyed leucistic ball python, or any ball python for that matter, stays healthy and thrives in captivity. Regular veterinary check-ups, proper husbandry, and a well-balanced diet are key to maintaining the overall well-being of your snake.