Can Incubation Temps Determine Ball Python Gender?

Posted: May 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

Want to see a topic on the blog? Send me an email at and I will post the topic!

The question in this title was recently asked on my facebook page and it is a question worthy of discussion. Many reptiles fall under the TDSD, which stands for Temperature Dependent Sex Determination. This applies to lizards, turtles and crocodiles/alligators.

The question at hand is do snakes, particularly ball pythons, fall in the TDSD category. This is my tenth year breeding ball pythons and thirteenth year breeding snakes in general and I have never noticed one gender being produced more readily than the other. In many instances, the clutches are divided on a 50/50 ratio of males to females on average.

With the ball pythons, I used an incubator that was constantly at 89 degrees for 8 years. And last year I let the females maternally incubate the eggs naturally. With the maternal incubation, the temperature varied from the low to high 80s throughout the duration of the incubation period. In both instances, I never noticed one gender being favored over the other. I wish that were the case though because then I would hatch 95% females consistently!

Share your experience and thoughts in comment section below!

  1. Alan Bosch says:

    My GENERAL observations are right in line with yours Peter (Lehe). I have often considered experimenting but NEVER wanted to risk the potental downside with the caliber of snakes with which you and I play. Why don’t you and I do a study with a substantial (10?) group of imported normals next season? This should yield approximately 50 eggs, a significnat number and we’ll divide them into two groups. No need for a control group I think as we have 30 years of ball python data behind us on that between us. We will then incubate one HIGH (89-90) and one low (84-85) or slightly higher or lower based on input from a few more experienced breeders (Clark, Barker, Kahl, Russo Wilkins, etc) and map our results. What do you think?

  2. I think that sounds like a plan! That would a good sample group to see if there is a difference one way or the other.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s