Hello everyone. I have a question I hope someone can answer. My brother in law purchased 2 male ball pythons, has them in separate tanks. They are doing amazing. He then purchased two females. Used one tank separated the girls with a divider, like he did the boys. The next day, both girls were on one side. He separated them again, but the next day they were on the other side of the tank. They would take turns on which girl would go to the other girl. We figured out that they would climb up a straight wall , squeeze between the divider and the screen top to get to the other one. Now they are in separate tanks and can’t get to each other, but they still climb to the top of their tank and push against the screen. One is eating and shedding great. The other would not eat for about 2 months, finally figured out to feed her frozen thawed. Now she is eating and shedding good. Why would they try so hard to be together? They are from the same breader, but different clutches.
It seems like it could be resource guarding, where snakes will be as close to the other one as they can so the other one can’t use a resource if the other snake needs it, kind of like if the snake always wants the best resource so they make sure that the other one doesn’t get one better than them. Someone else could probably explain it better. Reptiles don’t show affection so it wouldn’t be that they just want to be together so they aren’t lonely or anything like that. Ball pythons are very solitary and won’t usually be close to each other by choice except for “resource guarding”. They probably want to do the same in their new enclosure because they know what action allows them to watch/guard the other snake so they try to repeat that action to get that result.
Thank you. That is a lot of what we have been reading. I found it odd. They were fed separate, one would eat and one wouldn’t. The one that was eating good would always be on top of the other one. They were together in the hide and out of the hide. Thank you again.
I had two female snakes who are paired that I recently separated by divider to test something - same thing, they dug a legit hole in dirt substrate to connect every time I tried to fill it in. Categorically refused to be apart.
In this thread I challenge some assumptions about ball python social behavior. I wouldn’t inherently assume dominance or a link with not feeding, though both are a possibility. Given my observations on F/F pairings, a likely possibility is that they socialize fine and that one is arbitrarily not eating. Would still check by testing the feeding behavior after both time together and apart, but my picky feeders are picky independent of social state.
And trust your instincts - if it looks like they want to be together, I’m pretty confident they do. My observation is females overwhelmingly trend towars social/physical ‘contact.’
I had a female hatchling that refused to eat for 2 months. She was incredibly defensive but would not eat live, frozen, mice, asf, rats… nothing… I did EVERYTHING to try to get her to eat. Eventually I put another female hatchling that was doing very well in with her just to see what would happen. Different clutches but around the same size. Every time I would check on them they would be in the hide together laying on top of one another but I let them stay. I gave it a week and separated them to try to feed.
Both took food instantly. I kept them together a few more weeks, each time neither refused food. Now the trouble child has actually been in her own tub for months and never misses a meal. I’m not sure what clicked with her or if the cohabitation even made a difference but its the only thing I can think of that changed.
In my opinion this almost looks like resource guarding, the trouble snake clicking into the mode where they need to eat food to prevent the other one from eating and they start “wanting” to eat.
Definitely. Could be a nice trick to use to get one to eat but doesn’t seem like it’s something sustainable long term although it’s been quite interesting to read
“If I don’t eat this, then they will eat this and I will starve” is basically what I am thinking lol. It is a nice experiment, but not something I would ever risk with my snakes personally. Because if things go wrong, you might end up with a dead snake.