The ball python or royal python (Python regius) does not currently have recognized subspecies but can be found from one region to another in a variety of colors and patterns. Breeders have also produced other varieties (morphs), but most of them are not found naturally in the wild. It is also called the ball python, due to the defensive position it adopts when it is scared, wrapping itself around its head to protect it from attacks.
How Much Do Ball Pythons Cost?
The ball python cost will be influenced by some factors such as the color, the age of the snake, and the rarity of the breed. You should plan on spending anywhere between $70 and $250 for a baby ball python, while for a spider or pastel python you will have to pay anywhere between $120 and $450. Also, for a bumblebee python, you should plan on spending more than $650. There are hundreds of colors and morphs of ball pythons available on the market to choose from. In the table below you will find the average prices for different types of ball pythons.
|Axanthic Ball Python||$300 to $950|
|Albino Ball Python||$200 to $500|
|Banana Ball Python||$200 to $700|
|Ball Python Morphs||$250 to $550|
|Butter Ball Python||$200 to $400|
|Bumblebee Ball Python||$120 to $240|
|Chocolate Ball Python||$120 to $240|
|Candino Ball Python||$350 to $550|
|Coral Glow Ball Python||$350 to $600|
|Cinnamon Ball Python||$100 to $300|
|Ghost Ball Python||$100 to $175|
|GHI Ball Python||$2,900 to $4,200|
|KIiller Clown Ball Python||$1,600 to $2,100|
|Ivory Ball Python||$200 to $400|
|Lesser Ball Python||$100 to $175|
|Leopard Ball Python||$100 to $350|
|Leucistic Ball Python||$350 to $500|
|Mystic Ball Python||$150 to $300|
|Mojave Ball Python||$100 to $150|
|Pewter Ball Python||$150 to $550|
|Pastel Ball Python||$120 to $275|
|Phantom Ball Python||$120 to $240|
|Pinstripe Ball Python||$100 to $175|
|Queen Bee Ball Python||$350 to $650|
|Spinner Ball Python||$150 to $400|
|Spider Ball Python||$100 to $175|
|Spotnose Ball Python||$150 to $220|
|Super Blast Ball Python||$220 to $400|
|Sunset Ball Python||$1,300 to $2,600|
|Vanilla Ball Python||$220 to $450|
|Yellow Belly Ball Python||$175 to $350|
According to the Ball Pythons online forum, the most expensive python is the Blue and Black Eyed Lucys, which is sold for around $22,000.
On the other hand, for a ball python found at a local pet store, you will have to pay anywhere between $35 and $85. The cost of ball python at local reptile breeders or shows is, in general, anywhere between $55 and $185.
What are the extra costs?
It is recommended to have a tank that can fit at least 20 gallons for your snake, but the larger it is the better for your pet. The majority of the experts recommend a 40-gallon tank. Plan on spending anywhere between $110 and $250 for a good tank, or even more if you want a customized one.
Also, you may need a tank stand if you don’t have a desk or a table to fix it on. This can cost anywhere between $30 and more than $110, depending on the stand you desire.
The snake will need a hiding area in the tank for it to rest in. You can opt for old tissue boxes or you can purchase a specially designed hiding box that costs anywhere between $15 and $25.
Bedding is also very important for your snake. You can spend nothing if you use newspapers as substrate, or you can spend $7 to $15 for a bag of Aspen shavings.
You will also have to budget for an under-tank heater as the snake will need a heat source. Expect to pay $25 to $55 for such a heater. Also, you can purchase a dome or a heat lamp, which costs anywhere between $15 and $40 each. In order to keep the humidity and the temperature levels under control, you will need a hydrometer and a thermometer as well. Each of these costs around $10. The humidity level should be anywhere between 40% and 60% and the temperature between 78 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
For a water bowl, you should budget around $12.
Also, you have to consider the costs of the food. For instance, you will have to pay anywhere between $2 and $5 for a large mouse, depending on how often your snake eats. The cost would get lower if you purchase it in bulk and frozen. To get an idea, young snakes eat once per week, while adult snakes eat twice per week.
Taking into consideration all the supplies, you should plan on spending anywhere between $360 and $600, depending on the items you buy. Some other costs you should consider are vet expenses.
Important things to consider
If you are thinking of a ball python as a pet, it is important to know that these snakes have a long lifespan. They live on average 20-30 years.
Due to its relatively small size and docile nature, the Ball Python is one of the best snake species for beginners and intermediates. Its care is not as demanding as that of other breeds of snakes. Most owners will have little trouble ensuring a suitable environment in captivity.
Feeding the python with pre-lifeless food is always the best choice, as live prey can pose a risk of injury, even to giant snakes. When offering/removing uneaten prey, always use a snake hook to create a barrier between you and the python.
Ball pythons are quite docile and like to be manipulated to a certain extent (a little), at most a few minutes a day. If you have just brought your ball python home, give it at least a week to adjust to its new environment before handling it.
If you go on vacation, leave two pots of water in the python’s aquarium – one bigger than the other – to make sure the snake stays hydrated while you’re gone. Ball pythons are excellent swimmers and can sink into their water vessels from time to time. However, prolonged soaking may indicate a mite infestation or an uncomfortable room temperature.
Be careful when buying a python from the reptile shop, especially if it is the first snake you buy. Stores often sell wild pythons, which are not used to being touched by humans and can have parasites. Added to this is the fact that these wild pythons do not recognize dead mice as food and can become anorexic.
Ball python feeding chart
How can I save money?
You would be able to save some money with the costs with your snake if you choose to use newspapers and old clothing for bedding instead of buying shedding material.
Check on websites like Craigslist if there are any pet owners who want to get rid of their snake. This way you may be able to get both the snake and the supplies at almost no costs. However, before getting the snake this way, make sure that you know the reason for which the last owner wants to get rid of his pet. You really don’t want to get a sick or aggressive snake.