The ball python is a major favorite of many reptile enthusiasts because it is easy to care for and has a gentle demeanor. Ball pythons also offer some of the coolest morphs in the world, coming in any color or pattern you can imagine—like fireball.
If you catch a glimpse of fireball python morph, you’re probably determined to learn all you can. So, let’s cover all the basic information you need about this popular morph.
Quick Facts About Fire Ball Python Morphs
|Species Name:||Python Regius|
|Common names:||Python Fireball|
|Adult Size:||3-5 feet|
|Minimum Tank Size:||30-50 gallons|
|Temperature:||75-92 degrees Fahrenheit|
Do Fireball Python Morphs Make Good Pets?
Ball pythons are native to central and western Africa, where they live in humid and warm temperatures. These snakes have made their way into homes everywhere, captivating snake lovers with their serene nature and incredible breeding potential.
The fireball python is a special morph that makes an excellent addition to any reptile collection. They generally move slowly and don’t mind being handled. Because they are relaxed and unlikely to bite, they work well for beginners or younger owners.
The fireball python is an intricately patterned codominant morph, usually clad in satin gold and black. But in some, you can find watery or bold coloring, depending on the genetics and the pairing.
Each pattern is specific to snakes, but they all share black eyes. There are many different forms of fireballs. If fire mates with other ball pythons, they produce fire offspring. However, the two flames make the python a super fireball.
The superform of the fireball python is called the black-eyed leucistic, which is very light and sometimes blotchy in color.
How to Take Care of a Fireball Morph Python
Since fire is a cold-blooded creature that needs a life far different from your own, you need to gather supplies first. These individuals need heating pads, basking lights, and the right substrate to thrive.
Habitat, Tank Conditions & Settings
Adult fireball pythons should live in a glass enclosure that is at least 30 gallons. For larger fires, you will need to increase the tank size by 10 gallons.
Your ball python may not be the most active of snakes, but they still enjoy the space to move around. These snakes do well in all cages with long branches so they can climb at will.
The more space you can provide, the more comfortable your snake will be.
Pythons like to have places to climb, hide, and bask. Make sure to fill the tank full of bark, branches, and leaves (if you can).
Your fireball python will need a light cycle that mimics day and night in nature. While these snakes don’t need UVB light like some reptiles, they do benefit from low levels of UVB light.
You must leave the light on for 12 hours per day.
Heating (Temperature & Humidity)
Since snakes are cold-blooded, they need sufficient heat. They need a basking spot where they can absorb a lot of heat. It should stay within the 88 to 92 degrees F region. The rest of the cage can stay between 75 to 85 degrees F.
The humidity level should remain between 50% and 60%. Your fire will absolutely need this level at all times to be properly extinguished and prevent descaling. Because they live in such hot temperatures, adding mist is essential to keep them moist.
Ball pythons need a substrate that retains moisture to keep their skin supple. In a warm environment with dry material, it can irritate and dry out the scales.
The best substrates for fireball pythons include:
Try to avoid substrates like:
- pine shavings
- cedar chips
- Recycled paper bed
|Tank Type||30 gallon glass tank|
|Lightning||Low level UVB light|
|Warmup||Heating pads, sun lamps|
|Best Substrate||Reptile skin, coconut husk, fir mulch|
Feeding Your Fireball Python Morph
Ball pythons have a very easy and inexpensive diet. They are one of the cheapest pets to feed, especially as juveniles.
In terms of diet, these ball pythons require rodents—from pinkies to adult mice—depending on their stage of life.
Young ball pythons should start eating the pinky at first, increasing to a fluff as they grow. Adult fireballs should eat mice or rats according to their size.
Teenagers should eat twice a week, and you should divide feedings on the same day. Adults need one meal every one to two weeks. You can feed according to what suits their taste.
|fruits||0% of diet|
|Insect||0% of diet|
|Meat||100% diet – small/medium rat|
Keeping Your Fireball Python Morph Healthy
Fireball pythons are relatively low-maintenance pets, so you shouldn’t have many health problems as long as you provide them with the right care. However, that doesn’t mean your snake won’t face any problems. Reptiles can develop many health problems.
That’s why it’s so important to find an exotic vet near you before making a purchase. Without proper professional care, your snake’s life span may not be long, which in most cases can be avoided.
General Health Problems
Here is a short list of health issues your fireball python may face:
Stomatitis—bacterial infection of the jawbone
Mites — parasitic scale infestation
Upper respiratory tract infections—infections of the lungs and airways
Inclusion body disease—viral infection of the lungs
Like many snakes, fire only shows symptoms when the disease is severe enough. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, immediate veterinary attention is needed.
A completely healthy ball python without any complications can live up to 30 years. This longevity requires a major commitment, in contrast to a dog or cat that lives approximately 15 years.
However, many snake hobbyists sell or trade their snakes for morphs or other species. Since reptiles do not form emotional bonds with humans, returning to their proper owners is possible.
Ball pythons have a very long reproductive range, surviving up to 30 years in some cases. The mating season is generally from September to November.
Fireball pythons lay an average of six eggs, which stick together for protection. The incubator must remain at 89 degrees F for successful hatching. The eggs will hatch between 50 to 55 days.
Are Fireball Python Morphs Friendly? Our Handling Advice
Fireball pythons are very docile creatures that are easy to handle. It’s better if you never do fast moves. Your snake can be frightened when they come out, as this can cause a fear of biting.
However, if you calmly handle these snakes, they will be curious to explore you and the surrounding area. Always make sure that you have snakes where they cannot escape. If there are areas or small objects that they can enter, be careful.
These snakes can sneak up on or cling to things pretty quickly. Monitor all out-of-house experiences closely. Also, because of the salmonella risk, always make sure to wash your hands after you’re done.
Shedding & Brumation: What to Expect
Fireball pythons molt every 4-6 weeks. During the process, you may notice a layer of white film on its body. This is the removal of dead skin from newly emerged scales.
Ball pythons should be shed in one or two pieces. It should not come off of small flakes over time. If you think your ball python is having problems shedding due to improper humidity levels, you can soak it in water for 2 hours to help moisturize the skin.
Ball pythons don’t enter a brumation period, meaning they don’t need a hibernation period—like some reptiles. However, during the winter months, their eating habits may slow down.
How Much Does a Fire Ball Python Morphs Cost?
Since fireball pythons are such a common morph, you’ll find that they’re quite affordable. Adults will be more valuable than teens, so they are on the higher end of the price spectrum.
On average, fireball pythons cost between $50 and $300, depending on breeder rates, the area you live in, and the snake’s life stage. Compared to some of the other morphs, this is a modest price tag.
But that’s not all—besides, you need to consider whatever supplies you need.
|Attachment:||$50 – $350+|
|Substrate:||$20 – $25 per month|
|Tank decoration:||$20 – $30|
|Rat/Rat:||$1 to $3 per rodent (frozen)|
Of course, you can always cut costs by purchasing a fully equipped snake. You can also reuse old enclosures or improve your own live feed.
Care Guide Summary
Must be placed individually
Can grow big enough
Often hides the disease until it’s advanced
If you think the fireball python is your next reptile pet, check out the options around you. Fireballs are plentiful, so you can find them by searching online or visiting your local pet store. You may even find one of the owners ready to part with their pet.
Always make sure to maintain humidity levels, temperature settings, and a feeding schedule to keep your reptile healthy. An exotic vet is your best friend—go to them to address any concerns your snake may have.
Featured Image Credit: Ery Azmeer, Shutterstock