Killer Clown Ball Python

Python regius

Last updated: October 20, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© iStock.com/PetlinDmitry

Killer clown ball pythons can cost several thousand dollars.

Killer Clown Ball Python Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Reptilia
Order
Squamata
Family
Pythonidae
Genus
Python
Scientific Name
Python regius

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Killer Clown Ball Python Conservation Status

Killer Clown Ball Python Locations

Killer Clown Ball Python Locations

Killer Clown Ball Python Facts

Prey
Rats, mice, nestling birds, and even lizards
Main Prey
Rats and mice
Name Of Young
Hatchling
Group Behavior
  • Solitary
  • Solitary except during mating season
Fun Fact
Killer clown ball pythons can cost several thousand dollars.
Biggest Threat
None, these snakes are captive bred.
Most Distinctive Feature
Reduced patterns with bright yellows and light colored eyes.
Distinctive Feature
Mottled head stamp typical of clown ball pythons
Other Name(s)
Royal python, super pastel clown ball python
Gestation Period
50-60 days
Incubation Period
50-60 days
Diet
Omnivore
Average Litter Size
6
Lifestyle
  • Nocturnal
Favorite Food
Small mammals
Common Name
Killer clown ball python
Average Clutch Size
6
Nesting Location
Underground burrows, hollow tree logs

Killer Clown Ball Python Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Yellow
  • Black
  • White
Skin Type
Scales
Lifespan
20-30+ years
Length
Up to 6 feet
Age of Sexual Maturity
2-3 years
Venomous
No
Aggression
Low

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Designer ball pythons like the killer clown ball python are extremely popular because of their striking beauty.

This ball python combines two ball python color mutations into one beautiful snake. This species is one of the most popular snake pets because of the vast array of color patterns from which to choose and their generally docile temperament.

3 Amazing Killer Clown Ball Python Facts

  • Killer clown ball pythons are the same as super pastel clown ball pythons.
  • They’re the result of combining super pastel and clown ball python morphs.
  • These snakes are great pets but can be more expensive because of their bright colors.

Killer Clown Ball Python Scientific Name and Classification

Killer clown ball pythons are nonvenomous members of the Pythonidae family and cousins to reticulated pythons, savu pythons, and Boelen’s pythons. Their scientific name is Python regius, which translates as “royal python,” one of their common names. Ball python is another common name and refers to their habit of rolling into a ball when threatened.

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Ball pythons’ scientific name is a reference to stories about ancient royalty wearing them as jewelry. Cleopatra was one of the rulers who people believed owned and wore ball pythons. Whether or not this is true, it’s a great story.

Killer Clown Ball Python Appearance and Behavior

Captive ball pythons for sale
While killer clown ball pythons have never had to track down a meal without it being dangled in front of them, they retain all the preferences of their wild ancestors.

©iStock.com/DogoraSun

The ball python is a medium-sized nonvenomous constrictor species. that may reach six feet long at the most. Most individuals max out at about five feet, and males are noticeably shorter and thinner than females. The killer clown ball python has smooth, glossy scales, a stout body, a triangular head, and vertical pupils. This species has a triangular head, blunt nose, and a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth that point toward their throat to help them hold their prey. Like most pythons, ball pythons have heat-sensitive pits along their upper lip and a few more along the lower lip.


Articles Mentioning Killer Clown Ball Python

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Articles Mentioning Killer Clown Ball Python

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Ball pythons are primitive snakes and have vestigial limbs near their cloacas. In males, these are more developed and used during breeding to entice a female to mate.

These snakes are generally docile and easily handled, which is one factor that makes them attractive pets. In their natural habitat, they hide in termite mounds and abandoned burrows during the day. They cruise through the underbrush at night, nearly invisible to predators and prey. This species is relatively sedentary by nature and only needs to feed every three to five weeks as adults.

Killer ball pythons roll into a ball and hide their head when threatened. They may also do this when sleeping or digesting a meal.

Killer Clown Ball Python Morph Characteristics

Killer clown ball python morph is a designer ball python color mutation that combines a super pastel with the clown mutation. Some ball python color morphs come from a gene, and others from an allele. An allele is essentially two variants of the same gene. Color mutations that arise from alleles can sometimes combine to create a “super” form that’s different from the regular expression of the allele. Those forms can further combine with others to create an even more unique color or pattern.

While snakes with pastel color mutations often have more yellows, blushing on the sides, and a reduced pattern, the super form is more dramatic. The yellows are brighter and sometimes have a lavender hue, and the snakes have pale or green eyes.

In contrast, the clown usually has a mottled-looking headstamp and a reduced pattern.

Now, combine the killer (super pastel) mutation with a clown ball python, which also has a reduced pattern, and it becomes the killer clown or super pastel ball python. Snakes with this combination tend to exhibit brighter yellows, reduced patterns that almost drip down the snakes’ sides, and pale or green eyes. Like all ball python morphs, the shape the patterns take is highly variable.

Killer Clown Ball Python Habitat and Diet

This species is primarily exported from Benina, Ghana, and Togo; however, they’re native to over a dozen western and central African countries. Ball pythons prefer habitats with lots of ground cover; whether that cover is in a wide open grassland, a forest, or agricultural fields, they don’t care. In the wild, these snakes spend most of their time on or under the ground in termite mounds, abandoned rodent burrows, and other locations where they can feel safe.

While killer clown ball pythons have never had to track down a meal without it being dangled in front of them, they retain all the preferences of their wild ancestors. These snakes feel safest in a cluttered enclosure with plenty of space to move about while remaining hidden.

Killer clown ball pythons enjoy a diet of small rodents and birds. Ball pythons are known for being somewhat picky at times and will go on hunger strikes for months at a time. However, as long as they’re healthy and don’t seem to be losing weight, it’s not usually a problem.

Killer Clown Ball Python Predators, Threats, Conservation, and Population

As these are captive bred, and popular pet snakes, killer clown ball pythons aren’t threatened. However, the IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species classifies their wild counterparts as “near threatened” in parts of their native habitat. Since the 1970s, over three million ball pythons have been exported from the main countries of Benin, Ghana, and Togo. Their popularity as pets has both been good and bad for the species because, in addition to exports, they’re widely bred as one of the most common snake pets in the world. However, their wild population is under pressure partly because of the pet trade and the locals’ hunting ball pythons for food, leather, and traditional medicine.

As a species, ball pythons have several natural predators, including birds of prey, big cats, and hyenas.

Killer Clown Ball Python Reproduction, Babies, and Lifespan

Like other ball pythons, killer clown ball pythons can live over 30 years in captivity, but barring injury or illness, most live into their 20s. Females mature in about three years, males typically mature at younger ages.

A female ball python’s typical clutch is 3-15 eggs, and she wraps around them until the eggs hatch. Hatchlings begin life at about 12 inches long and need to eat every week until their growth slows down as adults.

These egg-laying snakes can mate every year in captivity because the breeders typically incubate them artificially. Artificial incubation results in a higher hatch rate than natural because the conditions are closely monitored. However, it also gives the females a chance to regain the weight lost during gestation without having to lose more during the approximately 50-60 days of incubation. Breeders usually help the females regain the weight lost during gestation by feeding a little more frequently than normal.

Similar Animals

  • The Burmese python is a giant snake that has made itself a nuisance in Florida.
  • Before the ball pythons rise in popularity, the Savu python was common as a pet snake.
  • Boelen’s pythons are one of the most expensive snake species in the pet trade.

View all 66 animals that start with K

About the Author

Gail is a musician, author, and artist with more ideas than time. She loves learning about all things in the natural world. Her upcoming book, Pebble Worms and Fast Walkers is filled with all the random bits that kids love! She lives in North Texas with her husband, twin sons, dogs, cat, two red-eared sliders, and two ball pythons.

Killer Clown Ball Python FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Where can you get a killer clown ball python?

These beautiful snakes are available through several breeders that ship worldwide. They can be pricey, but not difficult to obtain.

What do killer clown ball pythons eat?

They’re just like other ball pythons and prefer small rodents and nestling birds. In the wild, juveniles may also eat small lizards.

How do killer clown ball pythons hunt?

These are true ambush predators, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Killer clown ball pythons can sit motionless for days, waiting for prey to wander close enough.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. D'Cruze, N., Wilms, T., Penner, J., Luiselli, L., Jallow, M., Segniagbeto, G., Niagate, B. & Schmitz, A. 2021. Python regius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T177562A15340592. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-2.RLTS.T177562A15340592.en. Accessed on 22 August 2022., Available here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/177562/15340592
  2. Python regius | Reptarium Reptile Database, Available here: https://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Python&species=regius
  3. Ball python genetic traits | Morphopedia, Available here: https://www.morphmarket.com/morphpedia/ball-pythons/
  4. Difference between gene and allele | Britannica.com, Available here: https://www.britannica.com/story/whats-the-difference-between-a-gene-and-an-allele

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