Hatchlings with no tounge?

Has anyone ever had a clutch come out and most of them never flick their tounges? Out of my recent clutch (lesserbee malum x normal het pied) 5 babies have never flicked their tounges and won’t eat. Anyone else experience this? Can it be related to the spider gene? Any info is appreciated and thank you!


Woah, that’s weird! I have never heard of that with the spider or any genes in ball pythons myself. But in reticulated pythons, a believe the super form of a few morphs can result in a “bent” tongue. I do know that incubation temperature fluctuations have been linked to no eye/eyes in hatchlings sometimes, maybe this is something similar? This is actually very interesting, the fact that they may not eat is disappointing, but I wonder if it is because they can’t “taste” the prey with their tongue? Hopefully u will get someone who has seen this before to chime in, but this is a new one for me. Please keep us updated, whatever the outcome. Also was there any other birth defects in this clutch?


It’s not a spider thing. I occasionally have albinos and snows that do that. They’ve always grown out of it though. Funny you say that about them not eating, I’ve noticed some are non feeders at least to start with.


Last year I hatched one out that had a minor deformity on the lower jaw that affected his tongue. The one thing I learned from this experience is that smell from their tongue is hugely important for their interpretation of the world. A year later and a lot of effort and heartache later he’s still hit or miss on whether he will take prey or not, and once he is really hungry he will bite anything that moves to test if it’s prey. He’s still surviving so far. Not living a painful life as far as I can tell, but not thriving as much as I hoped he might be able to after all the work.

See if you can tell whether it’s a physical problem where they don’t have a functioning tongue, or if they just aren’t using it for some reason and hopefully they figure it out.


No other deformities in the clutch. All came out looking normal. But the more I watched I noticed one not flicking it’s tounge. I’ve tried hoper mice, hopper asf, pinkie rats, other smaller size rats and mice. No interest at all. Not one has even struck at me or food. But out of 8 babies the 2 normals, 1 lesser/malum, and 1 spider flick their tounges. The rest have not . I’m stumped. I don’t see any physical issue. I had a couple non eaters last season I ended up force feeding but they didn’t make it so I’m torn about doing it again this year or just keeping trying to feed and if they make it they do if not they dont.