First Produced In: 1997
Last Updated: 2021-12-03
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The word piebald originates from a combination of “pie,” from magpie, and “bald”, meaning white patch or spot. The reference is to the distinctive black-and-white plumage of the magpie. 
Snakes, especially ball pythons, may also exhibit varying patches of completely pigmentless scales along with patches of pigmented scales.
Piebald ball pythons have been known of in the hobby since the early '80s, when California Zoological Supply imported two ball pythons with what appeared to be piebaldism. In 1994 Peter Kahl began purchasing similar animals with similar white-blotched patterning in hopes that he might reproduce the mutation, as Bob Clark had done two years prior with the Albino. :
In 1997 Kahl produced the first clutch of five eggs from a pair he had got to breeding size.
The head resembles the head of a Normal ball python, usually black or dark brown with stripes on both sides, normally just behind the nostrils. The pattern tends to start in a ‘Y’ shape at the top of the neck. Most piebald ball pythons have patterned heads, though some can be mostly white with just a slight smudge.
The body of the Piebald ball python is one of the most recognisable in the reptile hobby. The sharp contrast between an unrecognisable pattern and bright white scales make “pied” still one of the most powerful genes in many breeders’ collections. Where ‘alien heads’ would be on a normal ball python, blotches and stripes show down the body of the Piebald. The amount of pattern is completely random and can range from completely absent (high white) to covering the snakes whole body (low white).
The bright white belly of Piebalds are usually free from markings, leaving a smooth glossy row of ventral scales, though some may show spots or smudges.
Piebald tails can vary from being completely white or full of pattern. Piebalds tend to show most of the pattern higher up the body, with it decreasing towards the tail. Only in rare cases have they been documented to have a completely or near patternless upper body.
Ball Pythons sometimes show visual ‘paradoxes’ such as unusually placed markings or blotches of discolored scales. Piebald Ball Pythons seem to have offspring that show this trait more frequently than other morphs in what is referred to as a ‘ringer’, where a ring or patch of scales is different to what it should be, considering our current understanding of their biology. 
On rare instances, some Piebalds can have ‘paradox’ spots, which can be from individual scales to clusters.