If you are looking to become a first-time snake owner, the Clown ball python snake will make a good fit. It is scientifically referred to as the Python egregious. This python has its native home in West and Central Africa.
The Clown ball python is known for its lovely markings and colors, pleasant temperament, and novice care levels. This makes them perfect as pet snakes.
If you are thinking of getting a clown ball python, this article is for you. Keep reading to learn more about their behavior and care to tell whether this is the snake for you.
Clown ball python appearance
This snake has a dark dorsal stripe that runs from its neck to its tail. The rest of its skin takes a golden-yellow hue. On rare occasions, the clown ball python will have small, dark, lateral markings.
As the ball python gets older, its colors will continue to darken resulting in a tan stripe on a pale yellow background.
This combination of colors is a result of the clown gene, which is recessive. This means it can only be present in some of the offspring if both of the parents carry it.
The ball python is short and muscular. They can grow to lengths of 3.5 to 5.5 feet when adults and weigh between 3 and 5 pounds.
Clown ball python temperament
The Clown ball python has a mild and easy-going temperament. This docility makes them perfect as a first snake. You should also note that despite their non-aggressive nature, there are triggers that could cause a change in their mood.
Some of the reasons they could get show aggression include:
- When they are eating,
- When they can smell food such as meat, or any rodents on you,
- During the shedding season, and
- When they are protecting their eggs.
Clown ball python habitat
For your Clown ball python to thrive as it stays with you, you need to ensure its habitat is properly set up. This will reduce the animal’s stress levels. Here are some of the habitat specifications to consider:
The size of the enclosure will depend on the size of the snake. If it is too small, the snake will be uncomfortable. The ideal size of the terrarium is two-thirds the length of the python’s body. The maximum length should be one and a half times the snake’s length. On average, a 45 to 50 -gallon tank will do.
The Clown ball python does not have particular lighting preferences. You only have to ensure that you do not keep the terrarium exposed to sunlight, such as near a window. The heat from the sun can cause your pet to die from overheating.
Snakes love alternating between cold and hot regions and your Clown ball python is no different. This will need you to maintain different temperatures on two ends of the enclosure.
On the lower side, we recommend having the temperature between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmer side should maintain a temperature between 90 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This is where the snake will bask.
If the temperature is too low or high, your pet might refuse to feed, causing health conditions. Use a thermostat to ensure the temperatures are well suited.
You will also need to control the humidity in the Clown ball python’s habitat. An optimal level of 60% to 75% ensures your python’s coat remains healthy. This also makes sure they do not have a hard time shedding their skin. Low humidity will also result in health conditions.
Humidity can be maintained by occasionally misting the enclosure and laying out a proper substrate. Aspen shavings, sphagnum moss, and cypress mulch make good substrates as they retain moisture.
You should also place hiding spaces in the cage. Place on the warmer side and another on the cold side. These can be bought at a pet store.
Feeding a Clown ball python
Most pythons bred in captivity feed on small rodents like rats and mice. These are all you will need to feed the animal. Since they are carnivores, they get all their nutrients from the rodents and you do not need to supplement the diet.
The rodents can be fed to the Clown ball python alive or frozen then thawed. We would advise you to feed your pet with pre-killed rodents. This protects them from any injury they might sustain from the rodent such as scratches and bites.
When feeding your Clown ball python, ensure the rodent is fully thawed and at room temperature. This way, your pet can sense the heat signature off of the rodent.
It is also important to note that during feeding, you should wear handling gloves and use a pair of feeding tongs to introduce the rodent to the terrarium. This will help the python to dissociate your hand from the prey, protecting you from unnecessary injury. you could additionally have a completely separate feeding enclosure.
A juvenile Clown ball python needs to eat once every week and an adult can eat once every 10 to 14 days. The rodent should not be larger than the widest part of the snake to ensure proper digestion.
You should know that your snake may eat less when shedding and during the winter season so this is no cause for alarm.
Health conditions that affect the Clown ball python
Clown ball pythons are generally healthy and insusceptible to disease- another reason why they make great first-time snakes. If you are not careful, however, your snake can suffer skin conditions like dermatitis and get infested with parasites like ticks and mites.
Poor humidity in the terrarium can cause scale rot and respiratory infections, characterized by wheezing and foaming at the mouth.
Anytime you notice your snake acting out of the ordinary, take them to a vet that has a specialty dealing with exotic pets.
If you maintain your Clown ball python’s cage hygiene and stick to proper feeding habits, they can live for between 20 and 30 years. With proper care, they can even exceed the average lifespan.
If you want to know more about other snakes, you can begin here: Rainbow boa morphs