Asked October 22, 2015, 9:07 PM EDT

Is it ok to house 2 ball pythons in the same 50 gallon glass terrarium? We purchased a 9 month old pastel ball python in the end of August. Recently purchased a second pastel ball phython and we're currently housing them together but the newer one is a little bigger than the 1st one and keeps laying on top of the other one especially during the 1st ones shedding duration

Lehigh County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Thank you for your question. This topic has been debated for several years. Some breeders and collectors say you can keep similar sized specimens together provided you have enough enclosure space and places for the snakes to hide. This also assumes you've quarantined the snakes, and are sure that neither has a disease they can pass on to the other cage mate. Finally, you have to feed them in separate containers.

Reasons against housing individuals together, other than for breeding purposes, include the potential for stress-induced problems, as these snakes are solitary animals, and only associate with one another during breeding, the possibility of transmitting diseases, the potential for disrupting feeding patterns, the hassle in moving snakes to separate containers to feed them, and the inability to determine if specimens are defecating regularly following meals. It's possible for the digestive tract to become blocked, and, with more than one snake in an enclosure, you may see feces and urates, but you won't know if they are from one snake or both.
In my opinion, the cons of housing specimens together outweigh the pros. Hope this helps and thanks for using Ask an Expert.