Python Morph Highway Ball

The Ball Python is one of the most popular pet snakes in the world because they are generally docile, easy to care for, and most importantly, beautiful. Ball Pythons are available in hundreds of different color variations and patterns, known as “morphs,” and the number is growing every year. Currently, there are an estimated 6,500 morphs in existence, and breeders are always creating more.

Certain Ball Python morphs are extremely rare and hard to find, and the beautiful highway morph is just one of them. With a beautiful copper base and unique markings, these snakes are truly beautiful to look at. Read on for more information on this rare and beautiful Python morph.

new snake splitterQuick Facts About Highway Ball Python Morph

Python Regius
Common names: Python highway ball
Treatment Level: Easy
Lifetime: Average 30 years, up to 50 years
Adult Size: 4-5 feet
Diet: Carnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 30–40 gallons
Temperature & Humidity 75–80 degrees Fahrenheit on the cold side and 80–85 degrees Fahrenheit on the warm side. Humidity 50-60%

Do Highway Ball Pythons Make Good Pets?

Ball Pythons, no matter which morph you choose, make excellent pets. They are one of the most popular snake species in the world to keep as pets because they are very docile and suitable for beginners. They are comfortable when handled gently and calmly, and they are rarely aggressive. They only require feeding every 7-14 days, there is no grooming or training involved, and they don’t require much interaction from their owners.

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Appearance

The highway morph is a mixture of gravel morph and yellow belly morph, and the result is a dark copper brown base with golden yellow blotches and a dotted yellow stripe running down its back. The contrast between the base and the pattern may vary between individuals, and snakes with higher contrast colors will drive up the price — this variety is often referred to as the “freeway”. They usually reach between 4 and 5 feet in length, although some specimens can reach up to 6 feet.

snake divider 2How to Care for a Highway Ball Python

There is no difference in maintenance requirements of regular Ball Python and highway morph, so you should follow the same protocol as you would with any other Python.

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Habitat, Tank Conditions & Settings

Tank

Glass tanks are by far the most popular choice for keeping Ball Pythons as they are inexpensive and easy to find and offer excellent viewing capabilities. That said, they are heavy and difficult to move, and some people prefer plastic storage boxes or reptile cages. Whatever tank you choose, the most important factor is that your snake has enough space. Ball Pythons don’t climb much, so their height isn’t too much of an issue, but they do require at least 5–6 square feet of floor space at a minimum.

You should clean your snake’s tank daily and thoroughly clean it every 6 weeks or so. Remove everything in the tank, and wash it in warm soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and allow to dry before reassembling.

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Lightning

Ball Pythons do not require special lighting, and ambient lighting from a nearby window is usually sufficient for them. That said, neon lights would look great in their habitat, too. Be sure to have it on a 12 hour day/night cycle, preferably on a timer to save you having to turn it on and off.

Heating (Temperature & Humidity)

In their natural habitat, Ball Pythons prefer relatively high temperatures, and you should try emulating this in their cage. They will need a temperature gradient, as this will allow them to access a wide range of temperatures according to their needs. You can make them using a heat lamp, heat pad, or heating tape, at about 75–80 degrees Fahrenheit on the cold side and 80–85 degrees Fahrenheit on the warm side. Humidity should be maintained at around 50–60%, which you can maintain with a daily gentle misting.

There are a variety of substrates suitable for Ball Pythons, including newspaper, paper towels, and aspen shavings. We recommend spruce mulch, because it is affordable, retains moisture, is ideal for digging, and is very easy to clean.

Tank Recommendations
Tank Type 30–40 gallon glass vivarium
Lightning N/A
Warmup Heating pads, tape, or temperature gradient lamps
Best Substrate fir mulch

Snake-dividerFeeding Your Highway Ball Python

Ball Pythons are carnivores, so the main diet for your Ball Python should consist of frozen mice. Adult rats need to be fed small or medium sized mice every 7-14 days, depending on their age and size, but young mice (under 1 year old) will be fine with small or pinky mice every 5-7 days.

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Diet Summary

Fruits: 0% of diet
Insect: 0% of diet
Meat: 100% diet: small/medium rat
Required Supplements: N/A

Keeping Your Highway Ball Healthy Python

Ball Pythons are strong and generally healthy snakes and rarely suffer from major health problems as long as they are provided with adequate nutrition, environmental conditions and housing. If your Ball Pythons exhibit normal, consistent behavior, eat and drink regularly, and shed regularly, they are most likely happy and healthy. However, we highly recommend annual checkups with your veterinarian to make sure your snake is in top condition.

General Health Problems

Most of the health problems that affect the Ball Python stem from a lack of adequate care. These can include thermal burns from tank heating devices, spillage problems caused by low humidity, or breathing problems caused by high humidity. Inclusion body disease is a rare viral disease that can affect your snake, although this is rare with proper precautions.

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Lifetime

Breeding

Highway morphs are the result of breeding gravel morphs and yellow belly morphs, but mating a highway with another highway or freeway should also result in the same or very similar coloring. That said, breeding Ball Pythons for their unique morphs is a complex process that can take a lot of trial and error to get right, and is best left to the experts.

snake divider 2Are Highway Ball Pythons Friendly? Our Handling Advice

Ball Pythons can live their entire lives happily untouched but are much more relaxed with being handled than some other snakes. Your Ball Python may not be the most cuddly pet, but they may enjoy handling and getting out of their tank for short periods of time each day. Be sure not to handle it during shedding or a day or two after feeding.

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Always grab the Ball Python with two hands, one behind the head and the other supporting the body. Never pull their tail as this can easily cause injury to their spine. Maintain a loose grip, and allow your snake to move freely and easily.

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Shedding and Brumation: What to Expect

Healthy Ball Pythons usually shed their skin every 4–6 weeks, at which time, you will notice their skin tone is dull and their eyes are blurry. The whole process takes about 14 days from start to finish, and you should avoid handling Python until the process is complete. Most Ball Pythons won’t eat during this time, so if their appetite is waning, there’s no reason to worry, but you should still offer them food.

In captivity, Ball Pythons will not brumate because there is no seasonal change in their tank. Some breeders will induce brumation before breeding their Python, but this is not necessary. A captured Ball Python can live its entire life without brumation, without any ill effects.

How Much Does a Highway Ball Python Morph Cost?

On average, Ball Pythons only cost $50 for common morphs or thousands of dollars for rare morphs. Since highway morphs are quite rare and a bit hard to find, they are more expensive than regular morphs but not as expensive as some other morphs, such as piebald. You can expect to pay $500-$700 for a highway morph, depending on breeder and availability.

Care Guide Summary

excess

  • Benign
  • Easy to handle
  • Low maintenance requirement
  • Simple diet
  • Long live

Counter

  • Must be placed individually

  • Need a big tank

new snake splitterConclusion

Whatever morph you choose, the Ball Python is a great pet, especially for beginners, and there are tons of beautiful morphs to choose from. The highway morph is just one of them, and its unique copper brown base with a broken contrasting pattern is one of the more unique varieties out there. Although these snakes are hard to find, they are beautiful animals that make eye-catching pets and are worth trying!


Featured Image Credit: Deb Davis, Shutterstock

Python Morph Highway Ball
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