If you are in the market for a scaleless ball python (Python regius), you may be wondering about the cost. When they were first bred back in the early 2010s, these snakes went for $20000 and up.
Now that it has been a few years, how much does a scaleless ball python cost?
On average, a fully scaleless ball python will cost around $2000 depending on what other genes it has. You can find a pastel ball python for around $1500, but snakes with different recessive genes can be much more expensive.
About the Morph
One thing to note before you jump in is the morph itself. A fully scaleless ball python has two copies of the scaleless head gene. This gene is co-dominant, so all babies of a scaleless ball python will have the scaleless head gene.
If you are looking at most online marketplaces like Morph Market, fully scaleless animals will be labeled as super scaleless head animals.
A snake without the super label only carries one copy of the gene and will only be missing a few scales on its head. This varies from only one scale missing to an obvious patch gone even fresh out of the egg.
Ball pythons are typically priced for sale based on their genes, their visual appearance, age, and sex of the animal. Recessive genes are typically more valuable than a dominant or co-dominant gene.
The rarity of a gene is also part of the price. A newly discovered gene is typically expensive since breeders will be buying the animals for their own breeding projects.
Generally, older animals and ones that are proven breeders will be more expensive. Animals that may be heterozygous for a gene, listed as a possible het, will be slightly more money since they are more valuable for breeders.
If you are only looking for a pet, you do not need to worry about anything other than the visual gene.
The Low End
The cheapest scaleless ball pythons on the market are either the wild coloration or have other less desirable genes. They are also typically young hatchlings.
The cheapest you will find a super scaleless snake is about $1500 at the time of writing. This may drop in the future as the gene becomes more common.
Another reason for a price drop is if the gene is proven to cause serious health concerns. This has happened before with genes like desert that was proven to cause infertility.
Once you start adding in genes like pastel and lesser, the price raises. Snakes with just the genes added will be around $2000 from a reputable breeder.
Brighter examples of pastel or snakes that are also super or homozygous for other genes can get up to $3000. If you are looking for a good snake for a breeding project, this is likely the lowest you can expect to pay.
Animals with extra genes are generally more expensive. The more genes you have, the more it will cost. Females are also typically more expensive.
These prices are also typically for snakes under 2 years old. Once you get snakes that are old enough to breed, you reach the high-end of the market.
The high end of the market is still nowhere near what it was back when this gene was first proven. Animals that also exhibit the banana and Mojave genes will be around $3500 for a young snake.
Genes like firefly will put the price over $4000. An ivory pastel male may go for $4500 since these are rare genes.
Once you add in even a possible heterozygous gene for piebald or other in-demand recessive genes, you start seeing the price spike up.
A visual scaleless pied snake will be over $8000. A pastel pied scaleless male is $11000.
You may see even higher prices if a snake has even more valuable genes. If a snake can carry and pass down multiple traits, breeders will snap them up in the hope of getting at least a few of these genes as a visual animal. This end of the market is pretty much solely occupied by breeders.
The average hobbyist is not willing to pay this much for a pet.
If your heart is set on an animal with some of these combinations, it may be best to wait. Many of the most expensive animals on the market are the only example of that combination of traits.
Since the full scaleless appearance need two copies of the gene, there are plenty of possible combinations that do not exist yet.
As more breeders try to create the super scaleless ball python of their dreams, you will see the price drop.
If you want a pet or to breed a full scaleless, the scaleless head snakes with only one copy of the gene are much cheaper.
This can be a better option for new breeders or those who want an interesting pet.
Scaleless ball pythons are not cheap animals at the time of writing. If you have your heart set on one as a pet, it may be best to wait unless an animal that is nearly $2000 is in your budget.
If you are a breeder, scaleless animals are in demand for breeders, so you will have to be careful with your budget. Since the gene is still so new, it is not the cheapest.
The scaleless head gene is cheaper, so you might be able to get a pair for less that a single super scaleless animal with good genes.
I hope this article has taught you what to expect with the price of this morph.
If you are interested in getting a scaleless ball python, you should know that they do require special care and attention – make sure to read my scaleless ball python care sheet for more info on the morph.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.