Care For Your Spider Ball Python: Tips For First-Time Owners

Imagine a creature with a unique and striking appearance, boasting a cobwebby pattern that sets it apart from other pythons. This is the spider ball python, a morph that has captured the attention of many reptile enthusiasts.

However, owning a spider ball python requires a certain level of understanding and care, especially if you’re a first-time owner. While these snakes can make wonderful pets, they come with their own set of challenges, including the risk of a neurological condition known as spider wobble.

But don’t let that deter you. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can provide your spider ball python with a safe and comfortable environment, a healthy diet, and the best possible care to minimize the effects of spider wobble. In this article, we’ll provide you with tips and advice to help you care for your spider ball python and ensure that it thrives under your care.

Key Takeaways

  • Spider ball pythons have a unique cobwebby scale pattern and smooth coloration, and are a type of ball python morph first bred in 1999.
  • One third of spider ball pythons develop a neurological condition called ‘spider wobble’, which can cause head twisting and loss of coordination, affecting natural behaviors. It is important to minimize handling and keep them in a low-stress environment to prevent worsening.
  • Spider ball pythons are easy to care for and have a docile temperament, but require a 60-gallon enclosure with a basking lamp for 12 hours a day, a hot spot of 88-92°F, cool side of 77-82°F, and humidity of 50-60%.
  • Spider ball pythons should be seen before buying to judge the severity of their wobble, and healthy individuals should have glossy scales, clear eyes, be curious about their surroundings, have a good appetite, and a slightly triangular body with well-developed muscles.

Spider Ball Python Overview

If you’re a first-time owner of a spider ball python, it’s important to know that this unique morph has a cobwebby scale pattern and smooth coloration. It was first bred in 1999 as a dominant trait with a variety of colors and markings. However, one third of these snakes can develop a neurological condition called ‘spider wobble,’ which affects their natural behaviors.

This condition can be minimized by keeping them in a low-stress environment and minimizing handling. Spider ball pythons are solitary creatures and only pair up to breed from September to December. Females remain with their eggs to incubate them, and they leave once the babies hatch.

There are many morph varieties of spider ball pythons, and basic spider morphs can cost around $250-400. Specialty morph blends can cost over $5,000. Before buying a spider ball python, it’s essential to see the snake in person to judge the severity of the wobble.

Housing and Environment

To keep your spider ball python healthy and happy, create a cozy and spacious home where they can stretch out and explore, like a luxurious hotel suite for a curious traveler.

A 60-gallon plastic or PVC enclosure is recommended to give them enough room to move around and feel comfortable. Set up a basking lamp for 12 hours a day to mimic a natural day and night cycle, with a hot spot of 88-92°F and a cool side of 77-82°F.

Here are some additional tips for creating the perfect environment for your spider ball python:

  • Substrate options: Choose a substrate that mimics their natural habitat, such as topsoil, cypress mulch, or reptile carpet. Avoid using cedar or pine shavings, as they can be harmful to your snake’s respiratory system.

  • Humidity control: Maintain a humidity level of 50-60% by providing a water bowl for your snake to soak in and by misting the enclosure regularly. You can also use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity level and adjust accordingly. Proper humidity is essential for healthy shedding and respiratory function.

By following these guidelines, you can create a comfortable and safe home for your spider ball python. Remember to monitor the temperature and humidity levels regularly and make adjustments as needed to maintain their health and happiness.

Health and Behavior

Maintain a healthy and happy spider ball python by understanding their behavior and regularly monitoring for health issues like mites, respiratory infections, and retained shed. Keep in mind that spider ball pythons have a genetic predisposition to a neurological condition called ‘spider wobble’. This condition causes head twisting and loss of coordination, which can affect their natural behaviors and accuracy in striking prey. To prevent this condition, minimize handling and keep your spider ball python in a low-stress environment.

When handling your spider ball python, make sure to support their body weight and avoid sudden movements. They may open their mouth and hiss as a warning if they feel threatened, so it’s important to approach them calmly and gently. Remember that they prefer a quiet environment with a steady routine, so try to avoid loud noises or sudden changes in their environment.

By understanding their behavior and providing a stress-free environment, you can help your spider ball python stay happy and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do spider ball pythons typically live?

Spider ball pythons can live up to 30 years, but average lifespan is around 20 years. They need a spacious enclosure, proper heating and humidity, and prefer to live alone except during breeding season from September to December.

Can spider ball pythons be housed with other snakes?

Compatibility concerns exist with housing spider ball pythons with other snakes due to their preference for living alone. There are no socialization benefits for housing them together. It’s best to keep them in their own enclosure to prevent stress and aggression.

What should I do if my spider ball python stops eating?

If your spider ball python stops eating, seek veterinary advice. Check temperature and humidity levels, and try different feeding techniques like scenting and braining prey. Avoid handling to reduce stress.

Are there any specific precautions I should take when handling my spider ball python?

When handling your spider ball python, make sure to provide a safe environment and proper handling techniques. Minimize stress and avoid sudden movements. Support their body and avoid grabbing them by the tail. Wash hands before and after handling.

How often do spider ball pythons shed their skin?

Spider ball pythons shed their skin every 4 to 6 weeks during their rapid growth phase, and less frequently as they age. Be cautious during shedding as they may become aggressive. Include regular misting in your care routine.


So, you’re ready to bring home a spider ball python as your new pet! Remember, they require specific care and attention to thrive. Make sure to provide a suitable housing environment, with proper heat and humidity levels, as well as hiding spots and climbing areas.

Offer a varied diet of appropriately-sized prey, and monitor your python’s health and behavior regularly. But what about the potential for spider wobble?

While it’s true that this neurological condition can affect some spider ball pythons, it doesn’t mean that every spider morph will develop this condition. With proper care and management, you can minimize the effects of spider wobble and provide a happy and healthy life for your spider ball python.

Don’t let this potential obstacle deter you from giving a loving home to this unique and beautiful morph. With these tips and a little bit of research, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an excellent spider ball python owner.

Alain Grant

I'm Alain, a passionate reptile enthusiast and the creator Reptilebehavior.com. A blog sharing my 15 years of hands-on experience in caring for reptiles, my goal is to provide valuable insights, practical tips, and reliable information to fellow reptile lovers. Contact me at alain@reptilebehavior.com for assistance.

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