If my two decades of dealing with reptiles have taught me anything, the road to happy pet ownership starts with finding the best reptile breeder you can.
And guess what? With ball pythons or royal pythons (Python regius), it’s no different.
If you’re only looking for a ball python breeder, I’ve created the list to help you.
You can find 9 reputable breeders below – Six from the US and Three from the UK.
However, the list is not the end. I’ll also try to show you how to recognize a trustworthy reptile professional no matter where you are and (very importantly) highlight some of the ethical and health specifics of ball python breeding at the very end.
Let’s get started!
Best Ball Python Breeders in the US
Here is a list of some of the best ball python breeders in the USA.
The list is by no means complete, but it is specific.
While many similar lists feature the largest reptile dealers almost by default, our list focuses on discovering small-scale breeders that offer high-quality, featuring only one large retailer with the best track record.
Also, many of the featured small and novel breeders are the rising stars of the ball python community.
Wilbanks Captive Bred Reptiles
- Owners: Mike Wilbanks
- Address: 3525 S Purdue St, Oklahoma City, OK 73179
- Phone: +1 (405) 604-3525
- Website: https://www.wilbanksreptiles.com/
- MorphMarket: https://www.morphmarket.com/stores/wilbanks/
- Social network page: https://www.facebook.com/WilbanksCaptiveBredReptiles
If you have more trust in large and proven breeding facilities, check out Wilbanks Captive Bred Reptiles.
The state-of-the-art Wilbanks breeding facility spans over 12.000 sq. feet. All rooms have a controlled climate and monitoring at all times. All reptiles are cared for following well-defined husbandry and nutrition protocols and vet supervision.
And the breeding program is a world of its own; Wilbanks claims to have all the mutations and regularly creates new combinations to enrich the world of designer ball pythons further.
It is no wonder that Wilbanks Captive Bred Reptiles guarantees “the finest quality, healthy, robust reptile you will find anywhere.” The online customer feedback and reviews can get online seems to match these statements.
Highly helpful professional is staff available at all times during business hours to assist with various aspects of purchasing and pet care.
- Owners: Kayla Duff
- Address: Urbana, IL, USA
- Phone: 512-638-0840
- Website: https://inspirationexotics.wixsite.com/inspirationexotics/
- MorphMarket: https://www.morphmarket.com/stores/inspirationexotics/
- Social network page: https://www.facebook.com/inspirationexotix/
Now, here’s something completely different. If you’re looking to support a new generation of small-scale ethical ball python breeders that care for the health of their animals as much as for the next cool mutation and more, then make sure to check out Inspiration Exotics.
This operation is special because Kayla passionately advocates for humane husbandry practices – long overdue in the ball python business – and practices what she preaches.
Per her Breeding Ethics page, Kayla takes extra attention to avoid genetic problems and ensures that snakes fully mature before the first clutch and are not overfed for commercial gains.
Lastly, all breeding reptiles and new arrivals at Inspiration Exotics are tested for the nidovirus – and you can pay for the test of your future pet before the shipment if you wish.
As for the morphs, Kayla is open about the Inspiration Exotics breeding program and focuses on Darkening projects, Contrast projects, Pattern changes, Dark Desert Ghost experiments, and a personal favorite – the Banana gene.
I can only hope that this type of ethical breeding will, in time, become the new reptile hobby standard, and I root for Kayla to successfully continue and innovate on this path as her business grows.
- Owner: Justin Kobylka
- Address: Gainesville, Georgia, USA
- Phone: 706-391-0190
- Website: https://kinovareptiles.com/
- Morph Market: https://www.morphmarket.com/stores/kinova/
- Social network page: https://www.facebook.com/kinovareptiles
Suppose you’re into designer ball pythons and morph experimentation. In that case, you should look into KINOVA reptiles (previously known as J. Kobylka Reptiles), one of the leading breeders innovation-focused ball python breeders.
For more than 20 years, Justin and his team have been on the frontline of discovering new traits discovery – Peach, Pixel, and GeneX are all KINOVA discoveries. These have served as a base for many original morphs. Exceptionally, in 2021, the “Smiley-Face” python or “Emoji Ball Python” went viral for its cool namesake pattern.
Like all high-end breeders, KINOVA provides a detailed health guarantee and return policy. Impressively, they export to 12 countries.
KINOVA’s website has a cool feature called Incubator, which lets you view expected and previous clutches in an infographics-like manner, with all the mutations neatly exposed.
Their Youtube channel has around 75k followers and includes ProTips on general ball python care and interesting details from their breeding program.
- Owners: Jonathan Foltz, Ricardo Martins
- Address: Madison, WI, USA
- Phone: 215-301-3744
- Website: https://www.breedingcircle.com/
- Morph Market: https://www.morphmarket.com/stores/breederscircle/
- Social network page: https://www.facebook.com/thebreederscircle/
Despite a board-sounding name, the Breeder’s Circle specializes exclusively in ball pythons. They state that their vision is to “help transform the reptile industry into a safe, fun, and exciting experience for everybody.”
“Everybody” likely includes the snakes as well as people. “Ethics and the well-being of the reptiles are our utmost priority. Whether you are a hobbyist, enthusiast, or retailer, we have to ensure the industry can continue to grow by making sure the animals are always cared for.”
What started as a small but neatly organized operation (check out their Youtube channel with decades-old footage) seemed to grow exponentially. Today, Breeder’s Circle have hundreds of gorgeous ball pythons, stunning reviews, and export to 13 countries.
The Breeder’s Circle web presence is a bit outdated – it would be nice to support all these favorable cues with newer content.
Dream Weaver Reptiles
- Owners: Michael Weaver
- Address: Royston, GA 30662, USA
- Phone: 706-714-3583
- MorphMarket: https://www.morphmarket.com/stores/dreamweaverreptiles/
- Social network page: https://www.facebook.com/dreamweaverreptiles/
Dream Weaver Reptiles is a small, family-run reptile hobby-turned-business that is rising in popularity. All snakes are raised with love and care by Michael, his wife, and their two daughters.
Morph-wise, they have scored some striking combinations and have excellent reviews on MorphMarket and social networks.
Also, they promise full support for customers. As they say, “Our relationship doesn’t end with the sale. We will be here whenever you need us.”
What’s also cool about the Dream Weavers is that they offer snakes in a wide price range. That means that you’ll be able to find a nice-looking, healthy ball python even on a limited budget of $250-300, but also four-figure beauties if that’s what you’re looking for.
The only things that could be better about Dream Weaver reptiles are a better-defined breeder policy, Terms of Service and a more detailed web presence.
- Owners: David Dibble
- Address: 6300 Devon St, Madison, OH 44057, United States
- Phone: +1 440-415-7110
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://k2ballpythons.com/
- MorphMarket: https://www.morphmarket.com/stores/navydave8707/
- Social network page: https://www.instagram.com/kawikas_asfs/
A novel, registered small-scare breeder, the Kawika’s Konstrictors state that they’re an “ethical breeding facility” for Ball Pythons and African Soft Furs (ASFs).”
African soft fur is a rodent species rumored to have a high appeal among Ball Pythons and can get the finickiest of them eating. Supplying both pythons and their fave prey item is an interesting concept.
David boasts that he keeps his snakes in top condition and offers to send a video or FaceTime directly to a potential customer so you can see his snakes and their living conditions in real-time.
Kawika’s Konstrictors is also locally active in the reptile community – you can find them at the Cleveland Reptile Show. Also, the breeder connects education and attraction by offering to present his snakes at private events (while ensuring their welfare at all times).
The only thing missing in the case of Kawika’s Konstrictors is – time; time for proving, for more reviews, and more customer feedback. As they’re the newest breeder on our list, only time will tell if the operation is worth the long-term trust. But it offers some unique value for now, and the few reviews are excellent.
If you’re into supporting new breeders and veteran-operated small businesses (even if it includes some risk), check them out. If you’ve bought something from them – drop a comment below.
Best Ball Python Breeders in the UK
The United Kingdom reptile community is somewhat smaller. While this might make it harder to find what you’re looking for locally, it also means that it is a closer-knit community, and it might be easier to find out what are the truly reputable breeders.
Oh, and don’t get confused – the Brits commonly refer to ball pythons as royal pythons. If you find a royal python breeder – you’re still at the right place.
D & Jo’s Pythons
Owners: Darren and Jo Fawthrop
Address: Batley, UK
Morph Market: https://www.morphmarket.com/stores/dj-pythons/
Social network page: https://www.facebook.com/dj.ballpythons
D & Jo are a veteran husband-wife team of ball python keepers and breeders, owning and breeding their favorite snakes since 1979 (longer than I’m alive!). Their collection numbers around 400 ball pythons from high-quality bloodlines.
Like most breeders that are this experienced, Jo and Darren have created their bloodlines and morphs as well. Most notably, they have launched new recessive Genes – The Tornado and The Sandstorm (you can read the full story on their website’s homepage). They are also the first UK winners of the prestigious International Reptile Report Awards for Ball Pythons.
If you like what D & Jo have to offer, but live outside the UK, don’t worry- they also do international shipping.
Living Art Ball Pythons
Owners: Ashlie Fawtrhorp
Address: Batley, UK
Social network page:
Who said that reptile breeding is not a family business that gets passed down from generation to generation?
If the family name and the hometown of Living Art Ball Pythons seem familiar, you’re not mistaken – Ashlie is nobody else than the daughter of Darren and Jo Fawthrop of D & Jo’s Pythons fame. One could say that she’s a princess of the UK royal pythons!
She started her small collection in 2007 and Living Art Ball Pythons in 2014. Three years later, she was awarded the Python Personality of the Year award by the Reptile Report – and was the first female and the second person in the UK to be awarded.
Ashlie’s operation is ambitious and focused on innovation and quality.
As you may expect from someone who grew up with reptile hobby-turned-business, the Living Art Ball Pythons offers superb quality snakes, professional Terms and Conditions, and customer support.
Owner: Gavin Adkins
Address: Birmingham, UK
Social network page: https://www.instagram.com/balls2u2014/?hl=en
If you’re into high-quality UK ball pythons (and British humor – I mean the name), check out Balls2U, run by Gavin Adkins.
Gav is a famous name in the UK reptile community because, besides breeding snakes, he invests time in gathering and organizing a community via Patreon, topped with Balls2U breeder meetings, and also a running a Youtube channel. You can listen to him speaking for a podcast here.
At various ends of the price range, his pretty snakes are exported to five continental European countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.
How Do I Find a Reputable Ball Python Breeder?
This list contains some of the most prolific ball python breeders in the US and the UK – but it’s far from complete.
You may want to find your breeder or already have someone in mind but are unsure of the quality.
Also, you may live outside the United States or the Isles.
Knowing how to recognize the right reptile breeder is key to obtaining a healthy pet, in this case, a ball python.
The basic breeder assessment gives a good prospect of getting a healthy pet snake.
With ball pythons, there are also some ethical questions you’ll maybe want to consider.
Now, I’d like to teach you how to assess the breeders and pick the right one, no matter where you live.
What to Look Out for When Looking for a Breeder?
Here are 13 golden rules for recognizing a trustworthy ball python breeder.
The bad breeders to avoid would be scoring negatively on these points.
But not meeting these basic criteria for a ball python breeder is a potential red flag.
- They don’t hide their real, legal name.
- There are more ways to contact them than just a social media page*.
- They have a specialized facility or at least a reptile room – and they’ll gladly offer you a tour if you are a serious customer.
- The reptile room is not overcrowded.
- The enclosures are neat and clean.
- They answer customers’ questions thoroughly and enthusiastically.
- They have their Terms Of Service – rules of doing business that is in the best interest of their animals (they won’t sell to anyone).
- They offer a clear Health Guarantee and Return Policy.
- They are very professional and upfront about shipment and do not ship in temperate and cold regions during the winter.
- They will gladly introduce you to their breeding program and, ideally, track the genetic lineage of all their pairings.
- They do not overbreed.
- Online reviews are numerous, positive, and don’t seem fake (e.g., many five stars with no comments or anonymous reviews on sites unrelated to reptiles). You see their name popping up online in a variety of places (e.g., forums and Facebook groups) in a positive context;
- Last but not least – they are aware of and ready to discuss ball python-specific health and ethical issues – such as the infamous wobble in certain morphs or the dark side of the African import trade (more on these below!).
- Ideally, they don’t look at their snakes solely as objects and a way to make money but consider animal welfare (I must tell you, this is a rare morph of breeders).
*Social media – Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok in this case – have become a primary means of communication, and many small business operators don’t feel they need a regular website. Still, I’d be cautious about a breeder unwilling to put their real name, phone number, or address anywhere on their pages.
Should I Buy Ball Python African Imports – Wild Caught or Captive Hatched?
You may be surprised that ball pythons are still heavily imported from the West African wilderness despite being easily bred in captivity. Ball pythons most traded live animals exported legally from Africa.
This happens partly because wild-caught animals are cheaper and can be bought in bulk by resellers but also because the ball python breeders are looking for new mutations stemming from the wild.
I consciously avoid recommending any breeder that advertises selling or regularly working with African imports, no matter their reputation and ratings.
Why? Because despite all the superficial control, collecting animals from the wild still damages the original ball python populations.
Today, the ball python is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, with the population marked as “Declining.” The primary threat comes from – you’ve guessed it – the international exotic pet trade.
What Are Captive Hatched African Import Ball Pythons?
Not all “African import” ball pythons come from the wild.
The “captive hatched” snakes come from eggs laid by once-wild parents on a local African snake ranch or from wild gravid females caught, laid eggs on the farm, and supposedly released.
Although, in theory, captive-hatched should be better than wild-caught because you avoid a handful of problems that come with wild-caught reptiles, a cold hard fact is that the “captive hatched” stock still directly “steals” from the wild population. All these eggs from caught-and-released females could have replenished the wild population if traders didn’t take them away.
And that’s the best-case scenario. Although 93.5% of exported Ball python African stock supposedly comes from ranched snakes and only 6% are labeled as wild-caught, a CITES report recognizes there is lots of falsehood here and that likely only one of the three states exporting ball pythons – Togo – is capable of snake farming on a reported level.
The others are creating a false cover for wild-caught and captive-bred ball pythons.
Let’s be realistic – all captive pythons today once came from the wild, and there are no guarantees that there are no recently wild-caught animals in your new pet’s lineage.
However, I find it appalling that, instead of denouncing the practice, we still have reputable breeders commenting imports “by the boxload” (snakes packed in bags crammed in huge wooden containers and shipped across the ocean) with validating and positive sentences like “it’s kind of interesting how they box ‘em and ship ‘em.”
No matter how hard our morph craze gets, these creatures can still suffer from stress, pain, and illness. A responsible, ethical breeder will recognize this fact at all times.
The final decision if you will choose to deal with breeders that work with imports (or even get an imported snake yourself) is completely up to you. As a scientist and a reptile lover – not a reptile collector – I want you to have all the facts before deciding.
The Wobble in Ball Pythons and Ethical Breeding
The beautiful Spider morph has revolutionized how captive ball pythons look and create the basis for many attractive morphs we enjoy today.
However, besides having that striking, sophisticated pattern, the first Spider mutant also had a genetic defect that caused the “wobble syndrome” – a problem with movement control. The trait was passed on to its offspring and still appears with varying seriousness.
The condition’s cause is unclear, but research points to inner ear defects related to melanism mutations – similar to hearing issues in white cats, dogs, and even albino humans.
How ethical it is to continue to breed spiders with this knowledge is a hot, undying debate. The IHS and FBH have banned spider ball pythons from their European shows.
Because wobbliness is now so widespread in modern ball python morphs, and there seems to be no way to breed it out (except to cancel most morphs), I don’t discriminate against breeders who still use spiders and other problematic morphs such as Woma, Champagne, and Super Sable in their breeding programs.
However, a responsible ball python breeder will be well-informed about the inherited wobbliness problem, won’t pretend it doesn’t exist, and won’t shrug it off as irrelevant.
I hope that you feel empowered with the new information my lists contain. Picking the right breeder can be time-consuming, but it’s well worth it.
In the end, a word of caution – all breeder operations can change in time, for better or worse. The reptile market has witnessed this numerous times, especially with large reptile suppliers.
Before deciding, you should check multiple sources and directly communicate with the breeder or staff.
Also, if you’ve had a bad experience with any of the breeders on the list, help the community by dropping a comment with details.