11 Banana Ball Python Facts to Impress Your Friends

There are thousands of ball python morphs that are out there for us to admire. A morph is just a name for the genetic makeup of a ball python which affects their colors and patterns.  One of the most interesting is the Banana ball python. 

Banana ball pythons are one the most unique color patterns of all ball python morphs out there. Let’s cover some cool facts about this snake that will make your friends say WOW.

1. Banana Ball Pythons have a Strange Gender Anomaly 

For some odd reason, nature has made male Banana ball pythons mostly male makers or mostly female makers, but never equal especially in males. 

When a male banana fathers banana ball pythons they’ll mostly be one sex significantly more than the other. 

A ball python breeder in 2015 once hatched 40 Banana ball pythons and 39 of them were male! That’s a 97% ratio.

There is no explanation for why this happens, but here’s what’s been proven.

If a male Banana ball python comes from a female Banana, their Banana offspring will be mostly female. These called female makers.

If a male Banana comes from a male Banana, their offspring that come out Bananas will be mostly male. They are called male makers. 

No one has studied this anomaly scientifically, but it is commonly known in the ball python breeding community and definitely one of the strangest occurrences in ball pythons.

2. Banana Ball Pythons Originate from Africa

Ok, you might already know this one and it probably won’t impress your friends, but did you know that the Banana morph was originated by a man named Will Slough? 

Although ball pythons have been captive bred since 1989, Will Slough brought the original Banana ball python into the breeding world in 2003. 

All ball pythons come from bloodlines originating in Africa so all Banana ball pythons came from the one that Will introduced in 2003. Crazy right? 

The most incredible part is that this happens for all ball python morphs that are proved out, such as Pastel, Piebald, Spider and more.

Wild caught ball pythons can even be the same gene as one that has been bred and proven in captivity, but from a different bloodline, which brings me to my next fun fact.

3. Banana and Coral Glow are the Same but Different..?

This may come as no surprise to ball python enthusiasts out there, but the Banana gene and Coral Glow are actually the same gene!

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So why 2 different names? Well, the two different morph names describe the different bloodlines. Different bloodlines make subtle differences in their colors.  

For example, for these two morphs the difference is simply that one is more orange than the other. 

Coral Glows have more of an orange color than the Banana line but they have been getting muddled together more as ball python breeding becomes more well known.

Since banana and coral glow are the same gene they both have the strange gender anomaly explained in fact #1, but don’t get them confused, they create two equally beautiful yet different color ways.

Click here for a more in-depth explanation on MORPHS .

4. Banana Ball Pythons are Kinda Blind

Ball pythons eyes are made up of rods and cones just like us humans, but their eyes just don’t work as well as ours do. They use a chemosensory organ called the Jacobson organ to detect or “smell” prey. 

The Jacobson organ assesses odors in the air and sends signals to the brain. 

Yellow ball python curled up

They use the Jacobson organ in combination with the heat pits seen on the lip just below the nostrils and above the mouth opening as their dominant sense.

The heat pits give them an idea of depth by showing a difference in temperature from what’s in front of them and the background. 

A study done at Susquahanna University proved that ball pythons show interest in heat AND odors equally, but sight is not a sense they depend on. 

Banana ball pythons are no different. I feed my collection of Banana ball pythons and they have the same tongue flicker responses and reflexes as any other ball python morph. 

5. Ball Pythons Actually Curl up into Balls

Ball pythons have a reflexive defense that protects them from wild predators. They curl into a tight ball protecting their head and neck with their body. 

That gave them their fitting nickname: ball python

If you’ve ever held a ball python you know that they can be jumpy which is one of the ways they protect themselves. They normally flinch from what they assume is danger.

Ball pythons have other defenses like shedding their skin to protect them from parasites and prevent infections, so curling up in a ball and flinching isn’t their only line of defense.

They also strike or bite as a defense, but it’s very rare and they usually save that for meal time 

Since they are quick to use other defenses besides striking they make great pets especially for beginners or kids. 

6. Ball pythons are the Smallest Pythons in Africa

In captivity, a male ball python grows up to about 3 feet while a female can be up to 5 feet. Believe it or not this is the smallest species of python in Africa! 

Imagine the size snakes that slither along those floors.

The largest species of python in Africa is the African rock python which can get up to 20 ft! Just like a ball python, African rock pythons constrict their prey when they hunt.

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There are 11 species of pythons all ranging in all sizes in Africa, but these two are the extremes.

7. Ball pythons like to Burrow

In the wild, pythons can be found in burrows during the day, sometimes many in the same burrow, and come out at night to hunt. 

They hide in burrows for protection, temperature control and even for the humidity. 

50 qs, banana facts

In the wild, they’ll find burrows that were created by other animals like rodents and make a home in there, but in captivity there are no rodents creating burrows for them so they tend to find a spot to curl up in like in a hide or in foliage. 

In captivity they’re a bit different. 

I’ve seen them move substrate around to get closer to belly heat set up in their enclosure, but they are more than content under a hide rather than a hole. 

8 The First Banana Ball Python Clutch Sold For $25,000

Banana ball pythons were first bred in captivity in 2003 and the clutch sold for $25,000 by Will Slough. Since there are more on the market now, bananas can be purchased as low as $150 on Morph Market

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There are still Banana ball pythons being sold for thousands of dollars because they have been bred with other genes to create beautiful combos and those genes make the value go up. 

The most expensive banana ball python for sale right now is a whopping $8,500 with a genetic combo of Banana Enchi Cinnamon Clown. What a price tag!

How much would you pay for a designer snake?

9. Ball Pythons Can Lay Eggs without a Mate

Female ball pythons can lay up to 11 eggs in one clutch and even more on rare occasions. Once they lay their eggs, they incubate them on their own curling around them and keeping them safe. 

The odd thing is they can still lay eggs even when they’re virgins. 

The unfertilized eggs that a ball python lays are called slugs.

Slugs are not viable eggs so they will not develop into baby snakes like a fertilized one. You can tell an egg isn’t fertilized by the small size and dark yellow color. 

Click here to learn how eggs are artificially incubated.

10. Ball Pythons are Constrictors 

Ball pythons hunt by being stealthy and quick when ready to strike. They use their tongue and their heat pits to find their food, which mostly consists of small rodents. 

Once they detect their prey they will strategically strike them, bite and clamp on while simultaneously coiling around them in a less than a second.

Like all constrictors, the more their prey moves the tighter they’ll squeeze. 

Ball pythons can exert a whopping 4PSI which to us feels like light pressure, but to a small rat…yikes. 

Ball python isn’t eating? Click here for tips.

11. Banana Ball Pythons Get Speckles as They Age

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One physical feature that makes this morph just like the fruit it’s named after is the speckles that appear as they grow. 

Just like a banana gets brown spots when it ripens, the Banana ball python gets dark spots as well. It just takes a little longer.

These dark speckles are just scales that darken or grow a dark spot on them giving them a spotted/speckled look. 

It’s hard to say how much speckling a Banana ball python will have when it’s an adult, but it’s a feature that can’t be avoided and some people admire and some people hate.