Renowned for their milky white scales and piercing blue eyes, the Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python is a fascinating snake that has captivated both beginner and experienced snake caretakers alike!
Once incredibly rare, this snake was first discovered in 1992 and had a steep asking price of $10,000! Naturally, over time breeders have been able to more easily reproduce the Blue-Eyed Leucistic which has brought the price down considerably.
However, it should be noted that producing these beauties is no easy feat and can require as many as 5 generations in some instances to produce them!
Their relative ease of care makes them a great beginner-friendly pet snake (opens in a new tab) for those who want a snake with a designer look.
To learn more about the Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python including all care requirements, simply keep reading!
Table of Contents
Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python Species Summary
The Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python is a genetic mutation, or morph, of the common ball python (Python regius).
Ball pythons are relatively little snakes in the Python genus.
However, while their 4 to 6-foot length and 2 to 4-pound weight may not seem small, their closest relatives include famous monster snakes, like Burmese pythons and African rock pythons, that grow over 12 feet long!
Wild ball pythons live in the grasslands and savannas of Sub-Saharan Africa, where they hang out in mammal-made burrows and rock crevices.
Like many snakes, ball pythons mainly eat small mammals, with the occasional baby bird taken as a treat.
Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Pythons are a stark contrast to their wild-type cousins, typically tan with black swirly patterning and bronze eyes. Instead, this morph makes the snake completely white with no visible pattern and pale blue eyes.
Blue-Eyed Leucistic is quite the mouthful, so many ball python hobbyists have given them the moniker of “blue-eyed lucys.”
⭐️ Fun Fact: Ball pythons are named after their defense mechanism of coiling into a tight ball, with their head covered and protected in the center.
Where to Buy a Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python
Finding a Blue-Eyed Lucy isn’t as simple as walking into your local big-box pet shop and asking for one.
This complicated and rare morph may be occasionally seen in small, locally owned exotic pet stores, but you’ll probably need to purchase it directly from a reputable vendor or breeder.
If you’re interested in breeding snakes, be sure to obtain accurate genetic information because several different simple recessive morphs can be used to create the Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python.
You’ll want to know morph specifics such as whether you are receiving a lesser Mojave ball python or a butter Russo ball python, or some other combination. And the ONLY way to know for sure is to ask since those completely different combinations make very similar looking snakes.
Expect to pay $700 or more for your Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python, depending on the animal’s age and the genes involved.
✅ Buyer’s Tip: You can find breeders who sell Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Pythons on most popular reptile classified websites, like MorphMarket.com, Kingsnake.com, and FaunaClassifieds.com. These sellers also offer countless other desirable morphs, such as the banana, pastel, piebald, etc.
Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python Diet & Feeding
Like other common pet snakes, Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Pythons THRIVE on a diet of rodents.
Most hobbyists stick with rats when feeding their ball pythons.
If you’ve been blessed with a healthy eater, you may be interested in varying your snake’s diet for nutritional and enrichment benefits.
However, when offering new foods you should always be prepared for the possibility of your ball python deciding it has a new “favorite food”. In this instance, they may stop eating and go on what is referred to as a “hunger strike”.
Options for varying your Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python’s diet include:
- African soft-furred rats
- Baby rabbits
The topic of live prey versus frozen and thawed (F/T) prey is a HOT debate in the reptile community. Some keepers swear by live prey due to the natural hunting experience it provides.
Other keepers find F/T food to be more economical and safer.
So, which one is right for you and/or your snake?
Consider the following pros and cons below of each type of prey.
Live prey offer some benefits, such as:
- Freshness of the animal
- Not taking up freezer space
- Enticing picky eaters.
However, live prey also has its fair share of cons such as:
- Tending to be more expensive
- Requiring you to make a trip to the breeder or store for every meal,
- Can be dangerous; a live rat can severely injure or even kill your Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python
F/T prey offers the benefits of:
- Being more affordable
- Able to be stored at home in your freezer
- Potentially killing parasites with cold temperatures
- Inability to hurt your snake
Additionally, if you’re looking for a more natural experience but don’t like the idea of putting your snake at risk or shelling out a lot of money…
Freshly pre-killed rodents offer a happy middle ground between live and F/T if you choose to go that route.
Regardless of what type of prey you decide to feed, every ball python owner’s primary challenge is convincing their picky snake to eat.
Prey Size & Feeding Schedule
The prey size and feeding schedule are entirely dependent on the age and size of your Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python.
The smallest of hatchlings will start out eating pinkie rats, while the largest of breeding females can probably eat medium rats.
It’s recommended to start baby ball pythons on appropriately-sized rats rather than mice from the beginning. It can be difficult to transition a ball python from eating mice to eating rats, as it gets too big to survive on even the biggest of mice.
Always try to feed a prey size that is as wide, but no larger, than the widest part of your snake’s body.
The guidelines below are loosely based on your snake’s weight, but not every ball python is built the same, so always use your own best judgment.
|Babies||Every 5-7 Days|
|Adults (12+ months)||Every 10-14 days|
Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python Habitat & Tank Setup
Your Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python will be spending most of its life in its enclosure. Its health and wellness depend on an appropriate home with the proper temperature, humidity, and retreats.
While we’ll list the basic requirements for a healthy ball python, challenge and ask yourself if your goal in snake ownership is meeting the bare minimum.. or better?
Size of the Enclosure
Relative to their size, ball pythons do not need massive enclosures. In fact, hatchlings and juveniles under 20 inches do fine in 15-20 gallon tanks.
Meanwhile, juveniles and adults under 3 feet fair better in 40 gallon tanks.
3 Foot+ Long Adult Minimum Enclosure Dimensions: 120 gallon tank (48” Long x 24” Wide x 12″ High)
The general rule of thumb is, you want an enclosure that is at minimum equal in length to your ball python and at minimum half as wide.
Ball pythons are terrestrial species, so enclosure height isn’t vital. That’s why this species is commonly kept in shallow tubs.
Still, if you can afford to give your Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python a tall enclosure outfitted with branches, rocks, and other climbing opportunities, they’ll undoubtedly use the space!
The same goes, and perhaps more so, for additional floor space.
Type of Enclosures
Best: PVC or wood enclosure
PVC enclosures feature three solid sides, a solid bottom, and a solid top. This helps dramatically with retaining the high temperatures and humidity levels required by Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Pythons.
The front-opening door allows you to reach in at the same level as your snake, as opposed to from above, which can make you seem like a predator.
Overall, these types of enclosures allow your snake to feel more secure, which is vital for this shy species that often stops eating when stressed.
Better: Plastic tub
Keepers who own multiple snakes often use shallow tubs in a rack system to save space. Many ball pythons eat, breed, and live long, healthy lives in racks.
Standalone tubs also offer affordable housing for keepers who aren’t worried about saving space. If you go this route, you can get a tall tub instead of a shallow tub, which gives your Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python more opportunities to climb and explore.
Most tubs are made with opaque plastic, which can increase your ball python’s sense of security, but eliminates the ability to observe your pet without removing the enclosure lid.
Okay: Glass or acrylic aquarium
While glass or acrylic aquariums are the MOST common choice for pet snake owners, they don’t necessarily make for the most suitable Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python cages.
Glass and acrylic don’t retain warmth, and humidity quickly evaporates through the screen lid or top.
Still, these attractive display enclosures allow you to see your pet, and they’re readily available at pet stores.
They’ll probably require higher-powered heating elements than a plastic enclosure of a similar size AND a water-proof covering for ¾ of the screen top.
Still, with those modifications, they can make very enjoyable ball python enclosures.
Ideal Temperature Gradient
Cold-blooded reptiles control their body temperature by thermoregulating, or moving to an area that is warmer or cooler, depending on what biological process they’re attempting to facilitate.
For example, gravid females need warmth to prepare fertilized eggs for laying, and all reptiles need warmth to digest their food.
On the other hand, in times of shedding, food scarcity, illness, or sperm development in males, snakes typically choose to cool themselves off instead.
To help our slithery friends engage in this natural behavior and stay healthy, we need to create a temperature gradient in their enclosure, with one cool side and one warm side.
Warm Side: 84-89°F
Basking Surface: 9o-94°F
Cool Side: 75-80°F
Night-time Temperature Drop (optional): 72-78°F
Ideal Humidity Levels
Ideal Humidity: 55-60%
Consider raising the humidity even higher for especially young hatchlings and snakes that are blue, or in shed.
Options: Soil, coconut fiber, cypress mulch, sheet paper
Ball pythons aren’t known for burrowing, so the substrate doesn’t need to allow for that behavior, although some animals will do it if given a chance.
The most crucial aspect when choosing a substrate for Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Pythons is humidity retention.
Homemade soil mixtures consisting of peat moss, organic topsoil, and washed play sand are excellent at retaining humidity and allowing your ball python to burrow if it wants to. Still, it can make spot-cleaning difficult unless you create a bio-active set-up.
Your blue-eyed lucy’s color will undoubtedly POP on this type of bedding!
Cypress mulch is also dark and provides excellent contrast against your ball python’s white scales, but it doesn’t allow them to burrow.
It can be one of the most expensive reptile beddings, but it’s reasonably easy to spot-clean after your pet defecates.
Meanwhile, Coconut fiber or coir is very similar to soil in texture, appearance, burrow-ability, and clean-ability.
Sheet paper, like newspaper, paper towels, and butcher block paper, is incredibly cheap, or even free, and allows you to easily visualize things like mites or abnormalities of the feces.
However, this choice isn’t very enriching for your pet or pleasing for you to look at. It also tends to suck the moisture out of the air, reducing the humidity.
Aspen shavings dry the environment and grow mold when you try to increase the humidity.
Pine, cedar, and other softwood shavings are believed to be toxic to small animals.
Recycled paper bedding is dusty and dry, promoting respiratory infections.
Reptile carpet is difficult to keep clean, costly, and falls apart quickly.
Decor and Accessories
Snakes feel the MOST secure in a cluttered environment where they aren’t forced to expose themselves to move to the basking spot, water dish, or even exploration.
How you decorate your snake’s enclosure is entirely dependent on your preferences and your budget.
The typical solution is to fill the habitat with artificial plants, branches, vines, logs, and cork bark.
Keepers on a budget have gotten rather creative with crinkled sheets of paper, cardboard tubes, PVC pipes, and cardboard boxes.
Either option works to give your Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python the cover and hiding spots he needs to feel safe!
In addition to habitat enrichment and decor, Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python requires at least two hides: one on the enclosure’s cool side and one on the warm side of the enclosure.
The hide should NOT be open on both ends, like a tube or half log, because this will make your snake feel exposed.
Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python like a tight space where they can feel surfaces touching most of their body (belly, back, and sides) to feel secure.
Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python General Health Information
Healthy Captive Ball Python Lifespan: 30+ Years
Signs of a healthy Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python include:
- Bright blue, clear eyes, unless the animal is in shed
- Smooth scales
- Uniformly white with no suspicious discoloration on the belly or mouth (may have beige markings on the back)
- Clear breathing with no clicking, wheezing, or drooling
- Rounded triangle body shape
Ball pythons, and snakes in general, tend to be relatively healthy, especially if you don’t own many other snakes or handle or buy new snakes often.
However, there are some common issues that owners may end up facing eventually…
Symptoms: Black specks on your snake, water bowl soaking behaviors, frequent and incomplete shedding
Treatment: Over-the-counter insecticides made for reptile mites or DIY at home snake mite treatment
Symptoms: Loss of appetite, dead tissue in the mouth, pustulous discharge from mouth and nose
Treatment: Manual mouth flushing with iodine or chlorhexidine, veterinarian-prescribed antibiotics, severe cases may require surgery
Symptoms: Red or brown lesions on the belly, soft and swollen scales, scales falling off, foul odor, blisters
Treatment: Sanitize enclosure, frequent disinfection of the enclosure, soaking in iodine or chlorhexidine, veterinary-prescribed antibiotics, severe cases may require surgery
Symptoms: Mucous discharge from mouth or nose, audible clicking or wheezing when breathing, open-mouth breathing, keeping head pointed upwards, staying on the cool side of the enclosure
Treatment: Veterinary-prescribed injectable antibiotics
Symptoms: Diarrhea, discolored stool, anorexia, the animal is underweight despite eating well
Treatment: Veterinary-prescribed or over-the-counter antiparasitic medication
IBD (Inclusion Body Disease)
Symptoms: Loss of coordination, wobbling, star-gazing, corkscrewing, anorexia
Treatment: Fatal disease (euthanasia)
Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python Handling & Bonding
After you finish introducing your Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python to its enclosure, leave it there and do NOT disturb it for at least 7 days.
After 7 days, don’t handle it. Instead, simply try to feed it.
Also, NEVER handle your Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python for 24-48 hours after it eats.
If your snake accepts its first meal, and you’ve given it enough time to digest its food, you can begin handling it.
Approaching it from the side is better than coming at it from above. Slide both hands under your ball python’s body and lift it. Always support as much of its body as you can.
Nervous, fast, or jerky movements are one of the causes of a ball python bite as they instigate a defensive or food-response bite, so move slowly, calmly, and confidently.
Once used to its habitat and its owner, your Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Pythons are great pets that enjoy exploring while they’re being handled and rarely bite.
Common Blue-Eyed Leucistic Feeding Problems
As aforementioned, Blue-Eyed Leucistic ball pythons can be primadonnas when it comes to food.
Here are the MOST common resolutions for Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Pythons that are refusing to eat:
Follow all of the guidelines below to ensure that your ball python has access to the proper temperatures, humidity levels, and habitat security. Low temperature is one of the biggest culprits for any snake refusing to eat.
Another vital aspect of getting a picky ball python to eat is leaving it alone and not handling it until it’s regularly eating.
Food refusal is one of the MOST common signs of stress in snakes, and handling may be stressful for some ball pythons.
Additionally, once you see your ball python start eating its prey, you should slowly move out of sight so that you don’t spook it and cause it to let go of its food.
If you are feeding F/T or pre-killed prey, ensure that it is the proper temperature. It should feel about the same warmth as your own skin. Just be sure NOT to cook it!
You can warm it with warm water or a hairdryer.
⭐️ Fun Fact: Snakes detect their prey with heat-sensing organs, so warming the prey up can make a world of difference!
Try feeding your snake at night, or even try leaving the (dead) rodent in a cloth snake bag with your ball python overnight.
Different Prey Size or Color
Some ball pythons may prefer dark rats over white rats, or they may be intimidated by the size of a rat and too scared to eat!
Experiment with different colors and sizes of rats.
Zombie Walk and Teasing
The zombie walk, in particular, is for if you’re feeding F/T or pre-killed prey. Using tongs, move the food item around in the enclosure as if it’s walking around.
At first, don’t move it directly towards your snake because that can be intimidating. If this technique fails, you can try “teasing,” which involves tapping the prey on your snake’s nose until it gets irritated and strikes.
Hopefully, after your ball python tastes the prey, its feeding instincts kick in, and it will finish eating it.
Try changing the scent of a rat with animals that may be more desirable to your ball python, like gerbils or African soft-furred rats.
You can use their bedding or simply rub the desirable animal on your F/T prey.
Some keepers have even had luck using tuna juice or chicken broth.
Braining is NOT a method for anyone with a weak stomach.
It involves splitting the skull of the rodent and exposing the brain.
It’s not understood why, but the brain matter’s scent entices many picky eaters to break their fast.