With Taylor Nicole Dean, a YouTuber with almost 2 million subscribers regularly uploading videos about her beautiful pet chimera ball python, we constantly see people reaching out and asking a few different things about chimera ball pythons every single month.
Due to this, we have decided to publish this article going over the six most common questions that we see the community asking with a goal of being able to help provide people with the answers that they want.
Due to how unique and beautiful chimera ball pythons look, they instantly draw attention from people so we only expect the number of people reaching out about owning a ball python with the chimera merge to increase over the coming months.
Just keep in mind, due to their rarity, unique looks, and spike in demand right now, the price points of chimera ball pythons, especially the ones with the more unique looks are skyrocketing right now with the rarer ones fetching as much as $20,000 per snake.
As we wanted to cover the six most commonly asked questions that we see about chimera ball pythons in this article, we thought it would be best to add a table of contents below.
It will allow you to quickly skip to sections of the article that you are particularly interested in to get the information that you want as fast as possible.
What Is A Chimera Ball Python?
A chimera ball python is a single python snake that was originally two fertilized eggs. At some stage, the two fertilized eggs merge with each other with the unique DNA code for both eggs being fused into a single snake.
This results in a single snake emerging from the two fused eggs with the snake taking on the patterns and colors of the two individual eggs resulting in some truly unique looks.
If the two eggs did not fuse with each other then they both would have hatched into two unique snakes with their regular colors.
If one snake was a wild color or pattern and the other a unique looking morph then the chimera variant of these eggs will have an obvious unique look to it with some of its color coming from the wild python and some coming from the morph python.
There are some cheaper chimera ball pythons available that are the result of two fertilised eggs meging that would have otherwise hatched into two snakes with the same color or pattern.
Although you can usually see where the mismatch is on their pattern, you will often have to be specifically looking for it and these ball pythons can easily be mistaken for a non-chimera even though they are the result of two eggs fusing.
How Is A Chimera Ball Python Formed?
A chimera ball python is formed by two fertilised eggs fusing with each other at the correct stage of development to allow the two snake embrios to merge successfully into a single healthy snake.
Not only is it rare for this situation to occur but it is even rarer that the embrios will successfully merge into a single healthy snake that will live.
You then have to factor in the odds of the two fertilized eggs having the DNA for different colored snakes to give the chimera a unique look and then the odds of the the chimra being split directly down the middle.
It really does start to get mind boggling at this stage and it is easy to see why the prices of some of the cheapest unique looking chimera ball pythons start at around $20,000 these days.
Although there are a number of theories as to what can trigger the fertilised eggs to merge inside of the mother, they are just theories and some of them have been debunked by science.
To our knowledge, the exact reasons, conditions, and situations that cause the eggs to fuse are unknown.
How Do You Breed A Chimera Ball Python?
Due to a chimera ball python being the result of the fusing of two fertilised eggs merging two sets of DNA rather than a single, unique DNA code it is impossible to actively breed them.
Breeding two chimera ball pythons with each other has the same chance of producing a baby chimera ball python as breeding two regular ball pythons.
The fact that selective breeding is not able to improve the birth rates of chimera as well as the astronomical odds of a unique looking chimera being born ensures that prices will stay high and probably keep increasing over the coming years.
That said, we have seen some people refer to a chimera ball python as an “investment” and this is far from accurate.
There are some rare ball python morphs that are the result of a single set of DNA and do have a chance of passing that DNA onto their children making them more of an investment for breeders as they can make money by breeding more rare ball pythons with that morph color.
As we touched on above though, a chimera ball python has the exact same odds as any other ball python to produce another chimera.
Are All Chimera Ball Python Split Down The Middle?
Although the more popular chimera ball python splits are with the split between the two colors going directly down the middle of the snake, this is not the only way the eggs can fuse to produce a chimera ball python.
It is more common for the colors to split in other ways such as rings or patches or only a partial split down the middle.
The ball python chimeras that tend to fetch the highest price tags are the ones who do have their color split directly down the middle with the colors being obviously different to each other to make them unique.
Second to that is a partial split including the head of the chimera where half of the head is one color and the other half is another color.
The chimera ball pythons that have a ring, patch or partial split down the middle tend to have a much lower price point.
That said though, there are some very unique looking ring and patch chimera ball pythons out there that may still get a high price tag to the right collector.
How Much Is A Chimera Ball Python?
A female chimera ball python with a middle split between two different colors all the way down her body can currently fetch around $40,000 with a male being around $20,000 and we only expect prices to increase.
Chimera ball pythons with a partial, ring, or patch split tend to be considerably cheaper than a full split.
A female chimera that does have a body length middle split but of the same color will also be considerably less than the same snake with two colors in its split too.
The higher prices are almost exclusive to the snake having two contrasting colors for its chimera split with prices falling off rapidly if the colors are similar or the same.
As we mentioned earlier in the article though, there are still some unique looking ball pythons that have the particle, ring, and patch chimera split that can still fetch a high price tag. These usually have contrasting colors and a unique pattern to their chimera split.
Chimera Vs Paradox Ball Python!
Although chimera and paradox ball pythons can look similar, the cause of their unique looks is different. A chimera is due to two unique embryos fusing where as a paradox is due to a mutation that forms in a single cell to break the morph color and then that cell duplicates.
As we mentioned earlier in the article, all ball pythons have an equal chance of producing a chimera but there are some very rare situations where a paradox ball python may be able to have increased odds of producing paradox ball python babies.
These situations are so rare that it is usually not worth even trying to use them for selective breeding though.
Another difference between a chimera and a paradox ball python is that a chimera can be two different unique morph colors giving the same a truly unique look.
A paradox ball python is almost always part non-morph due to the mutation that causes paradox ball pythons breaking the morph DNA and causing the cell to be the regular ball python color.
That brings our article going over the chimera ball python to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand what causes a ball python to be born as a chimera as well as why some of them are able to fetch such high price tags with there usually being plenty of people there waiting to purchase the rarer, more unique looking chimera colors and patterns too.