Do Ball Pythons Eat Each Other? [No! Here’s Why]

There’s one proven case of a ball python eating another BP, and it was an extremely biased experiment. There has NEVER been a proven case of ball pythons showing cannibalistic behavior in captivity.

However, I wholeheartedly agree that ball pythons should NEVER be housed together, but separately. I really do, but it isn’t because of what people say – “the smaller one will become a meal to the big one”

No, it’s not because of that. In fact, the odds of an adult BP eating a smaller one is extremely slim and doesn’t even represent normal behavior.

There are far more realistic reasons to house them in separate tanks. Housing two snakes in the same tank stress them. Not to mention that the shy one would stop eating until the other one is removed from the tank and can’t be seen.

Boas are a completely different story though and are known to occasionally prey on smaller boast, especially after feeding time when every snake in the tank smells like food. I learned that the hard way, and I have warned more people about it.

But, in my experience, and knowledge from speaking to others about the hobby, cannibalism in ball pythons is almost non-existent. Remotely possible, yes, but far from inevitable.

For instance, every single year thousands of differently-sized ball pythons are paired up for breeding and left together for months… some of which are still being fed depending on the temps used. I’ve heard of boas eating their mates during the breeding season, but never ball pythons.

99.9% of the reason why you should house ball pythons separately is STRESS. The smaller snake becomes so stressed that it won’t eat. This is because their immune system is compromised by stress. It is so much healthier to house separately so each can be king (or queen) of their own castle.

They’ll be happier too. The rest of the 0.1% reason is the Murphy’s Law paranoia of cannibalism happening, but we need to stop spreading the information as if cannibalism is the norm in ball pythons.

Black-headed pythons cannibalize. Kingsnakes are cannibals and some boa species typically cannibalize too. But, it is the extreme exception and not the norm in ball python behavior. Things like this are an opportunity to educate new hobbyists, not pass on misleading information.

Can a Ball Python and Gecko Be Caged Together?

No, absolutely not. A ball python and gecko should not be caged together for the following reasons:

  • BP is a predator and your gecko is prey
  • The BP can be injured in the process of attacking and the gecko defends itself
  • Stress to both animals even if one doesn’t die
  • Different care requirements

Can a Male Ball Python Be Kept with A Female In A 50 Gallon Vivarium With Lots Of Hides?

You should not keep them together unless you plan to breed.

Ball pythons kept together for long will become stressed and may refuse to eat unless they’re familiar with one another from a very young age.

Other issues with keeping ball python together include:

  • Constant low-level stress makes them susceptible to health issues.
  • The male may breed the female when she is too young, resulting in egg binding or health problems for her.
  • The infection spreads rapidly.

ALSO SEE: Will A Ball Python Eat A Bearded Dragon?

Will Ball Pythons Attack Each Other?

Ball pythons seldom attack each other. Instead, a show of dominance might occur.

Can Ball Pythons Be Around Each Other?

Yes, they can but you should be there to supervise and make sure nothing goes wrong.

Will a Ball Python Eat Other Snakes?

Yes, ball pythons can feed on other smaller snakes if they get hungry enough.

Will Female Ball Pythons Eat Their Mate?

No, a female ball python will not feed on its mate.

Will Ball Pythons Eat After Pooping?

Yes, but not immediately. A ball python will poop after its meal is digested.

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