She's just Spooky... Morph ID & Discussion on Ball Pythons with Neuro Issues/Disorders

This is another ball python I aquired from a home that wasn’t well suited for it. The woman I took her (I have yet to sex it officially, though) in from said that she needed an experienced keeper, because she had originally kept her in an open view, and very tropical bioactive enclosure, and couldn’t handle her striking at her walking by, and because of what seems to be a neuro issue, she’s very jumpy and not very coordinated when she’s nervous. The woman who had her said she handled great, out of the enclosure, but she herself couldn’t handle being so nervous around her and it would affect her ability to handle her well. She was also in a busy household, with children. She says she had her approximately 2 years, and she was supposed to be 2 years old to begin with, terribly underfed when she took her in and was being kept in unregulated heat, which she believed was the cause for the neuro issue. I understand her to be at least Champagne, although the very top of her tail looks Pied. Any other education and explanation on this would be appreciated though. I’m aware that Champagne also carries the same wobble trait/issue that Spider does, and I notice it limitedly with her, but mainly when she’s anxious. Once she calms down, she reaches out, moves around and explores just fine, she just seems to lack some coordination when she’s startled, although she moves quickly. If you have any thoughts on her condition based on the information I’ve provided, or extensive experience with disorders such as this, please feel free to comment and discuss on this. She’ll be eating this weekend, and I plan on putting her on a 7 day schedule, on what she came with for now, small f/t rats, and hopefully now that’s she’s in a better environment, both in and around the enclosure I have her in currently, and in better care, she’ll grow some more. Hands down, she’s one of the most beautiful ball pythons I’ve kept, and has definitely grown on me quickly. And considering her skittish nature, and it being the middle of October, Spooky felt like it fit, so that’s her name.


The pied look on her tail is just a ringer. Champagnes are known to throw them occasionally. Given her size and weight I recommend putting her on a feeding schedule of no more than every 2 weeks. With how she looks already it would likely result in her becoming obese.


Congrats on spooky, beautiful snake. In my opinion if the rats are small then weekly is fine. Glad spooky found a good home.


That’s what she’s been on, according to who I took her in from. The story was, the first two years of her life she was kept fed on pinkie rats, at the same frequency, and she was incredibly small when she was taken on, if I can find the pictures, I’ll add them to this. She was also allegedly kept on heat without regulation/thermostat during this time. She was able to get her feeding better, but had her in the bioactive enclosure I spoke of earlier, in which she said she got mites, and the enclosure was dismantled. I’m not really sure when the stress of her walking by and being struck at while in that enclosure played into all this, but based on that behavior, if it’s not simply a feeding response made by an underfed python, I’ve considered keeping to it, and I’ll be monitoring weight and behavior in between, but handling her, she honestly doesn’t feel as heavy as she looks, she almost has loose extra skin on her sides, not bulge, if that makes sense and she didn’t have access to a water dish in what she arrived in, I’m not sure how she was being given water prior to this, but I think she was somewhat dehydrated, because she’s been taking a drink almost every time I’ve looked in on her. I’ve given her mite treatment and an electrolyte soak, and since then, her skin/muscle tone seems to be better, and I’ll have some more recent examples in the thread here soon. I’ve not noticed any mites myself, but I redid her tub and cleaned everything that wasn’t able to be replaced, just in case. And unless this happens to be a male, which is possible and still yet to be determined, that’s the smallest adult female ball python for her age (approx. 4 years) I believe I’ve ever encountered, she’s currently at 980g.


Champagne is a neuro morph so dropping it’s stress level and dialing in husbandry should help cut down the neuro flailing. Neuro animals usually get way worse when they’re too hot or too cold. If it was set up with a heat lamp it may have just been kept too hot and that’s why it was snappy. Temp gun it and if it’s over 87-88 turn the heat down and see if it relaxes. 82-84 is a good body surface temperature to see what the snake normally acts like. Obviously until it settles in you won’t get to see that anyway.

Adults can take a LOOOONNNNGGGG time to settle in to a new collection. I have a female G-Stripe I got when she was about 8 who still isn’t completely comfortable with me and I’ve had her for 3 years…

I would say Champagne + it seems too light to be just Champ. Champ combos ringer a lot too as @ashleyraeanne pointed out.


Spooky is a very beautiful champagne :+1:


That’s a single gene champagne in my opinion. I’ve hatched plenty of single gene champagnes with ringers.

also wanted to say this is spot on


You’ve got a lot more experience with champ than I do, I’ll take your word for it :+1:


I haven’t done any champagne for a couple of years but used to be my bread and butter lol. Here’s a picture of a single gene with a ringer I hatched a few years ago. She was super light in coloration as well.


I will concur with the statement that weekly feeding is not necessary. At this size, a small to medium rat every other week is more than sufficient. The hobby as a whole is notorious for overfeeding so the appearance of a normal-weight ball is often shocking to some people. They really should be “trim” and not “chunky”