Noticing that your ball python sleeps all day and only shows signs of life at night may leave you with many questions. You will certainly want to know whether this is normal ball python behavior, or it is an indication of something wrong with yours.
That is then likely to lead to questions like whether ball pythons are nocturnal, what time of day they sleep, what time of day they are most active and so on. In this article, you will find answers to all those and other related questions.
Are ball pythons nocturnal? Most ball pythons fall into either the nocturnal or crepuscular classes. The nocturnal ones are most active at night. The crepuscular ones are most active at dusk and at dawn. In the wild, most of ball pythons’ time is spent either hiding in burrows or on the ground.
Another interesting thing about ball pythons is that they are not venomous. So they kill their prey by way of constriction suffocation, rather than through the use of venom.
Therefore, if you have a ball python that only becomes active at night, this is entirely normal. Yours is one of the typical nocturnal ball pythons.
Similarly, if you have a ball python that only shows signs of life at dawn and at dusk, that is quite normal. It means that yours is one of the crepuscular ball pythons. But if you have a ball python that is super active during the day, this may be a sign of something wrong with it.
Typically, it takes a lot of stress to make a ball python diurnal (mostly active during the day).
Are Ball Pythons Nocturnal?
If you realize that your ball python sleeps most of the day, and only becomes active at night, you may be inclined to pose this question: are ball pythons nocturnal? On the other hand, if you are considering adopting a ball python as a pet, you may also find yourself posing the same question: are ball pythons nocturnal?
Getting an answer to the question on whether ball pythons are nocturnal can help you in figuring out how to relate with yours.
So, are ball pythons nocturnal? The answer is yes. Most ball pythons are nocturnal. This is to say that they are mostly inactive during the day. But they become active at night. The few that are not fully nocturnal are crepuscular.
This is to say that they become active at dusk and at dawn. Otherwise they spend most of their time resting. The ball python hide box is typically the place to find him, during the hours in between.
In evolutionary terms, several factors make the ball python nocturnal (or crepuscular). First is the fact that the ball python vision during the daytime is poor. In fact, their eyes are too sensitive to daylight. Such light makes them rather uncomfortable.
Secondly, the types of animals that ball pythons prey upon are those that are most likely to be asleep (and hence easier to catch) at night. On the other hand, the animals that prey upon ball pythons are also most likely to be asleep (and hence easier to evade) at night.
So it makes sense for them to be nocturnal.
Are Ball Pythons Nocturnal Or Crepuscular?
This question (are ball pythons nocturnal or crepuscular) is a fairly complex one. That is because some ball pythons clearly only become active at night. They therefore qualify for the nocturnal label. Others only become active at dusk and at dawn.
Therefore they qualify for the crepuscular term. So the best way to put it is thus: some ball pythons are nocturnal while others are crepuscular.
So it is not possible to put all ball pythons in either of the categories. Are ball pythons nocturnal? Well, most are. Are ball pythons crepuscular? Well, quite a few of them are. Therefore it is ideal to just state that ball pythons tend to be either nocturnal or crepuscular.
This means that if you are getting a ball python as a pet, you should expect him to fall into either of the categories. He may turn out to be one that becomes active at night. Or he may turn out to be one that becomes active at dawn and at dusk.
When Do Ball Pythons Eat?
Closely related to the question on are ball pythons nocturnal is this one on when they eat. As we have observed, ball pythons are either nocturnal or crepuscular. The upshot is that their best meal times are at night (for the nocturnal ones) and at dusk or dawn (for the crepuscular ones).
The most ideal times to feed ball pythons are in the evenings or at night just before you go to sleep. This sort of feeding routine should also align well with the peculiar ball python sleeping habits.
Do Ball Pythons Sleep?
Observing a ball python closely reveals that it never quite closes its eyelids. In fact, it doesn’t seem to have eyelids to close. This may lead to the question on whether the ball pythons do sleep at all. And the answer is yes. Ball pythons do sleep.
But their sleep is different from ours, in that it doesn’t entail closing eyelids. But they do sleep a lot. Sometimes, it gets to an extent where one complains that their ball python sleeps all the time! This is because in a 24 hour cycle, a ball python may sleep for 20-23 hours.
Do Ball Pythons Sleep With Their Eyes Wide Open?
We have just mentioned that ball pythons don’t have eyelids to close as they sleep. This naturally leads to another question: do ball pythons sleep with their eyes open? And the answer is that they do. A sleeping ball python may look as if it is staring. But it is actually deep and sound asleep.
When Do Ball Pythons Sleep?
Another way of putting the question on are ball pythons nocturnal is by asking when they sleep. But it is important to point out that whether an animal is diurnal, crepuscular or nocturnal depends on when it gets active, rather than when it sleeps.
Thus, if your key question is that of are ball pythons nocturnal, the time they sleep may not offer you much insight. All in all, it turns out that ball pythons sleep most during the day. But they also sleep during some hours of the night.
In a 24 hour cycle, a ball python may sleep for 20-23 of those: only coming out to eat, bask or patrol its cage. Sleeping 20-23 hours means that it sleeps both at night and during the day. Still, if you want to increase the probability of finding your ball python actually deeply asleep, the best time to check is during the daytime.
Do Ball Pythons Sleep At Night?
The question on whether ball pythons sleep at night is a natural extension to the one on are ball pythons nocturnal. So, do ball pythons sleep at night? The answer is yes. In spite of them being nocturnal (or crepuscular), they do spend some hours of the night sleeping.
Thus while a ball python may become active at night, it is not active during all night-time hours. There are still hours of the night it sleeps. So ball pythons do sleep at night, and even more during the day.
Ultimately, a ball python sleeping at night (in spite of it being a nocturnal animal) is not an oddity.
Do Ball Pythons Sleep All Day?
Another natural extension to the question on are ball pythons nocturnal is the one on whether they sleep all day. And as it turns out, ball pythons typically sleep all day. Therefore, you may find your ball python sleeping the entire day, without ever flinching – and that would be perfectly normal behavior.
Considering the type of food it eats (including rodents swallowed whole), its size and its hunting strategies, it needs lots of rest. That is why a ball python can sleep all day.
Of course, this can be disappointing when you want to show off your ball python to your day-time visitors, yet it spends the entire day sleeping. Showing off an active (rather than sleeping) pet tends to be more fun… But that is the ball python for you.
Do Ball Pythons Come Out During The Day?
Ball pythons prefer to spend much of the day sleeping, ideally in their hide boxes or other dark spots. But they do come out on occasion: to bask or to get hold of something they really need.
Therefore if you have your ball python occasionally coming out during the day, that is still normal. But if you have a situation where your ball python only becomes active during the day (and then inactive at night), that could be a sign of a problem.
Is It Normal For A Ball Python To Bask?
Yes, it is normal for a ball python to bask, occasionally. In fact, this is one of the things you need to make a provision for when setting up an enclosure for your ball python. Ensure that there is a basking spot on it.
To put it differently, for a ball python basking is a real need. They may only bask once in a while, but it is still something they really need.
The people who pose the question on are ball pythons nocturnal may be under the impression that these animals don’t need basking because they are nocturnal. But that is far from the truth. Ball pythons do need to bask, and a basking spot is a key component for a ball python enclosure.
Do Ball Pythons Sleep A Lot?
The question on are ball pythons nocturnal usually goes hand in hand with this one, on whether ball pythons sleep a lot. And the answer is yes, ball pythons sleep a lot. If you want a more specific answer, you may ask: how long does ball python sleep? And the answer is that a ball python can sleep for as many as 20-23 hours a day.
Therefore if you are looking for a pet that is hyper and spends much of its time jumping all over, the ball python is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you are seeking a docile pet that spends much of its time sleeping, the ball python may be very ideal.
Do Ball Pythons See?
Ball pythons have the ability to see. In fact, there are two ways in which they see. First is through their eyes, though their eye vision is a bit on the poor side. The second way in which they ‘see’ is by sensing heat changes.
So they have something akin to infrared vision, which is precisely what makes night time hunting a possibility for them. There is something we refer to as a ball python pit organ, which is responsible for giving the ball pythons the ability to ‘see’ at night.
The pit organs in ball pythons are holes that are to be found on their heads (typically on the edges of their mouths). Through these, they can detect nearby animals and structures.
Therefore through the pit organs, the ball pythons are able to ‘see’ even in darkness. This is not vision in the ordinary sense of the word, but it serves the same purpose.
Can Ball Pythons See In The Dark?
When one dives deep into answering the question on are ball pythons nocturnal, inevitably the question on whether they can see in the dark comes up. In terms of the actual eyes, ball python night light vision may not be so good.
But then, the ball pythons do have pit organs, which enable them to detect heat changes (up to the minutest degree). It is these pit organs that enable the ball pythons to navigate at night, in spite of their actual eyesight not being that good.
What Time Of Day Are Ball Pythons Most Active?
Perhaps the best way to find the answer to the question on are ball pythons nocturnal is by enquiring on when they are most active. So, indeed, when are ball pythons most active? The answer is that most ball pythons are most active at night.
This means that they are nocturnal. But there are also some that are most active at dawn and at dusk. Those are crepuscular, rather than nocturnal.
Why Is My Ball Python Active At Night?
If your ball python is active at night, this means that it is a nocturnal ball python. And this is normal behavior. Even in the wild, ball pythons typically become more active at night, while burrowing for most of the day.
Night time is when they catch their prey easily (their prey being mostly things like rodents that get sleepy at night). Night time is also the time when the animals that prey on them (including the various big birds) sleep. So they feel safer moving about at night.
You may find comfort in learning that you are not alone in trying to figure out why your ball python is active at night.
Most of the people who pose the question on are ball pythons nocturnal tend to be individuals who have discovered that their ball pythons only become active at night. So this leads to the question on are ball pythons nocturnal. And indeed, they are.
Why Is My Ball Python Not Active At Night?
There are several possibilities. One is that yours could be a crepuscular ball python. For such a ball python, the active times would be at dusk and at dawn, rather than at night. Another possibility is that your ball python is active at night, but you are not noticing it.
Perhaps you are expecting the ball python to spend the entire night moving up and down its enclosure the way a rat does. (A ball python being ‘active’ often means just making marginal movements. Don’t expect too much).
Or you may be looking at a situation where your ball python is about to shed skin. In that scenario, it can remain inactive (both day and night) for as many as a couple of weeks.
Why Is My Ball Python Active During The Day?
A ball python being mostly only active during the day is cause for concern. It is typically an indication of stress. Perhaps you haven’t provided it with a hide box where it can spend the day. Or perhaps the enclosure is too big for it.
Further, it could just be new to the environment. Or it is not getting enough water or food. Or you may not have proper ball python night temperature and proper ball python night light conditions. These may stress the ball python to the point of it becoming active during the day.
So it is important to ensure that the ball python has an appropriate hide box. Actually, you need to have two of those: one on the warm side of the enclosure and another on the cool side.
Further, ensure that there is enough food and water for the ball python. Further still, ensure that you have the right ball python night time temp and light conditions.
All in all, a ball python being active during the day should cause some concern. It is as worrying as a trend of a ball python sleeping on top of hide box (rather than inside). Or a trend of ball python sleeping in water bowl. It calls for an investigation, to understand what exactly may be stressing the ball python to the point of adopting such behaviors.
Ultimately, yours may turn out to be just a rare ball python that is diurnal. This would be similar to how some human beings turn out to be nocturnal, in spite of us being ‘officially’ a diurnal species.
But you have to rule out the possibility of there being something wrong that is driving your ball python to have a tendency to only be active during the day.
Final Verdict – Are Ball Pythons Nocturnal
As we have seen, ball pythons are either nocturnal or crepuscular. This is to say that they are most active at night (for the nocturnal ones) or during the dawn and dusk hours (for the crepuscular ones).
Therefore it is reasonable to expect a ball python to be mostly inactive during the day, and active at night or during the dusk/dawn hours. Make sure your ball pythons are not dying.
A ball python that is only active during the day should be cause for concern. It may be under some immense stress, and the situation may need to be investigated and remedied.