When you pause and consider the myriads of ball python morphs that exist, it becomes apparent why reptile pet enthusiasts are enthralled with this distinct breed of snake. Aside from their calm temperament, manageable size, and easy-to-care-for trait, their morph variety is fascinating if not overwhelming.
When considering to get a ball python, it is crucial that you extensively research on morphs.
What is a ball python morph?
Ball python morphs are ball pythons that have been specifically bred for their unique physical appearance due to an underlying genetic mutation. Morphs are bred by skilled breeders who isolate mutations that are naturally found in the wild. Using selective breeding, they then produce exciting variations in both color and patterns.
It can also be referred to as polymorphism. Polymorphism is a natural genetic mutation that results in a species aspect such as phenotype or physical trait to differ in different ways. It explains how features such as size, color, and pattern can vary even though they came from the same gene.
Just like humans, ball python morphs pass their genes on through inheritance. Hence, genes can be recessive, dominant, or codominant. Breeders focus on these genes to produce a variety of morphs.
Recessive – This refers to hidden genes that only manifest when paired up with another recessive trait.
Dominant – Dominant alleles dominate the mutation by pattern or coloration and overshadow the effects of the second allele.
Codominance – Alternative forms of a gene are inherited by the offspring, with both having incomplete dominance. Codominance manifests in a rare combination of visible traits. Hatchlings produced as a result of codominance are known as Mojave.
History of morphs
In the early 1990s, no one really owned a ball python despite being quite common. After some time, the ball python became popular and more people started with the snake breed as their beginner pet. In the later 1990s, the ball python wave was now on the rise, and a man by the name Bob Clark became fascinated with the albino ball python found in Africa. Clark wanted to own the snake; he also wanted to try breeding it.
After some toil and moil, Clark made a deal with a contact and was able to acquire the albino ball python. He immediately began breeding it, resulting in the first bred albino ball python. After his little experiment, the ball python market blew up. Previously, people thought of albinism in ball pythons as a unique natural occurrence. Once Clark bred the first albino ball python, people became curious and interested in creating more of them.
As Clark was working on his new venture, a vandal broke into his lab and stole his research. That is how desperate and curious people were about morphs. As a result, we now have many ball python morphs. Their diversity remains one of the main reasons why they are extremely popular.
How many Ball python morphs are there?
There are 26 main species of ball python morphs. This doesn’t include the subspecies of morphs. In reality, including subspecies of morphs, there are several thousand morphs. Breeders in the market are continually cross-breeding different morphs to create unique variations creating an infinite variety.
Covering all these variations is impossible; therefore, we will dive into the most common morphs.
How can I care for a Ball python morph?
Ball python morphs are a genetic mutation of the ball python; therefore, they are cared for in the same way a ball python would. In an extensive piece known as Ball python care tips for Beginners, we dive in-depth into the intricacies of ball python care.
Here is a list of complex terms that will be used throughout the piece:
Wobble – The term describes a ball python with a head that wobbles from side to side, occasionally flips upside down and backward. It can be clearly observed when the ball python is excited. Ball pythons display mild to severe wobbles, but they are fairly common in morphs.
Kinking or kink – The term describes a spinal deformity in snakes. Snakes get kinks due to injury, genetic make-up, or development issues in the egg. It is theorized that temperature increases during incubation of eggs cause kinks. Kinking is common in phenotypes.
Phenotypes – The term refers to an organism’s observable characteristics, such as development, appearance, and behavior.
Sub-fertility – It is the less than normal capacity to reproduce. For ball pythons, there are phenotypes known to be very difficult to reproduce.
Infertile – It is the inability to reproduce
Bug eyes – The term describes ball pythons born with eyes that are larger than average.
Small eyes – The term describes ball pythons with eyes that are smaller than usual.
Duckbill – The term describes a ball python with a duck-like mouth that appears flat.
Sex ratio – This is a trait that describes ball python that reproduces abnormal sex ratios.
Super morph – Refers to two snakes of the same morph breeding. They often tend to look different from the base morph
Allele – variant forms of a gene that arise through mutation and are found at the same place on a chromosome.
Ball Python Morphs defects
When breeding ball pythons, careful consideration should be made, especially concerning genetics. Mixing and matching mutations can be exciting, but certain genes are best avoided.
|Spider||Wobble, neurological issues|
|Bumblebee, Spinner, x bee, x Spinner, Killerbee||Wobble, neurological issues|
|Super Sable||Wobble, Spiralling|
|Spider x Sable||Wobble, neurological issues, difficult to hatch|
|Super HG Woma||Lethal|
|Caramel||Kink, female sub-fertility|
|Champagne||Wobble, neurological issues|
|Champagne x Spider||Lethal|
|Champagne x HG Woma||Lethal|
|Super Spotnose||Neurological issues|
|Desert||Female fertility issues|
|Blue eyed leucistic||Bug eyes|
|Super cinnamon||Duckbills, kink|
|Super black pastel||Duckbills, rare kinking|
|Banana||Males produce abnormal sex ratios|
|Coral glow||Males produce abnormal sex ratios|
Common Ball Python Morphs
The spider morph is distinguished by its unique dominating gene and was introduced to the market in 1999. They are characterized by their tan brown base color that gradually pales along the spine. Along the morphs belly, the color tends to be pale and speckled.
They have clear black markings on their face and head and thin, dark spots and banding along their length. It is ranked as the most sought-after morph and costs an average of $150.
The albino morph was the first recessive morph hatched in 1992. Albinism in snakes means they cannot generate black, brown, red, or orange pigmentation on its scales.
For this reason, Albinos are bred with bright red eyes and patterned bright yellow.
They are also loved for their high contrast patterns that gradually fade out in shades of yellow.
Albino ball python morphs are sold at between $250-$400 based on their age and contrasting shades.
This ball python morph bears a codominant gene that was revealed in 2003. The first of its kind was sold for a whopping $25,000.
Their distinguishing traits include yellow-colored spots and blotches that appear against a tan base. Some have dark freckles sprawled across their yellow bodies. Depending on their pattern and gender, they are often sold at $150-$250.
It is one of the easiest morphs to identify due to their white base splashed with blotches of color that are filled with random patterns. The piebald was first bred in 1997. Its interesting variable patterns are because of a recessive gene.
Piebalds have a normal head, and the ratio of colored blotches to the white base is pretty haphazard.
They can be easily procured for $300 to $400 depending on the spread of the white base color.
Pastel is one of the basic morphs first bred in 1997 and was named after the Pastel Jungle.
The morph is characterized by its codominant gene mutation with a brown base color and a white belly. They have normal patterns, distinguishing pale green eyes and white lips on a pale head. When two pastels are bred, they produce a unique hatchling.
Super pastels have a slight yellow pattern, with a purple hue commonly referred to as “Purple Haze”. They tend t have keyhole-like blotches and an irregular pattern with some banding.
While Pastels go for $75, Super Pastels tend to go for a higher price of $150.
In 2007, the white ball python was discovered by accident.
The first White morph was discovered in a clutch on the breeder’s wedding day and was named “White wedding”.
They are the cleanest of the leucistic pattern snakes. White wedding python do not have pigmented scales but feature dark eyes.
They are priced at $650.
Axanthic ball pythons are unique for their lack of yellow and red pigment on their scales. They are predominantly in varying shades of silver, black, gray, brown, and white.
This recessive morph features a normal high contrast pattern that turns brown with age. Often, the Axanthic has been said to be like a black and white, old picture version of the ball python.
This morph was first discovered in 1997, then sold all over the world to create more variations.
You can easily own one at $225.
The Bumblebee is bred from the Spider and Pastel genes.
They have unique thin black spots and stripes on a tan, yellow base. They also have white specks sprinkled along their length. Bumblebees with bright yellows are known as “Killer bees” and retain their pigmentation unlike most that fade as they age.
Some breeders use Bumblebees to add intense colors to other morphs.
Bumblebees with a darker shade of tan yellow are sold for $175 while Killer Bees cost $450.
This morph has a recessive mutation that influences their pattern and color.
The snake is so named because the first of its kind that was discovered in 1999 had a teardrop-like spot under its eye.
They have a tan and brown base color with copper undertones that fade out around the belly.
The Clown has a distinctive head with intricate patterns of dark and light shades.
Clowns are sold for $200.
The first Fire morph was bred in 1995.
The morph is a result of a mix of codominant genes. It is identified by its coffee brown base shade completed with a tan banding pattern.
When two Fire morphs mate, the codominant gene fires up the snakes color hatching Super Fire baby snakes. The first-ever Super Fire was bred in 2002.
Super Fires are also known as Black-Eyed Leucistic pythons. They are white with shades of yellow spots along their length and have red pupils.
A Fire morph is available at $100, while a Super Fire can be as pricy as $400.
This morph is born of a codominant gene achieved by mating Phantom morphs with the Mojave.
First bred in 2007, the snake is famously known for its lavender-pink body devoid of patterns. They have dark-colored eyes and an off-white stripe along the spine.
The beautiful lavender-pink color varies in intensity, and some even have circular spots.
The Purple Passion morph goes for $400.
First bred in 2002, the Black Pastel has a codominant gene that was determined right after the first clutch was born.
The snake is known for its dusky black, dark, and gray base colors. Their patterns feature a lot of blushing, and their underbelly is unmarked.
When two Black Pastels are bred, a Super Black Pastel is produced.
Super Black Pastels are easily identifiable due to their black base and rusty colored blotches.
A Black Pastel’s price range is between $150 and $200.
Cinnamon morphs were first bred in 2002 as a result of codominant genes.
They are brownish red and have clearly defined bronze rings outlined in black.
Breeding two Cinnamons produces a Super Cinnamon. They have a dark brownish-red hue that fades with age to a dusky gray-brown or a cocoa color. Due to this change in color, as age progresses, they are often referred to as black ball pythons.
They have no patterns whatsoever, and their bellies are unmarked as well.
A Cinnamon averages at $75 in the market while Super Cinnamon goes for $450.
The first Lavender Albino was bred in 2001, and due to its unique exotic traits, was sold for a whopping $40,000.
The snake is a basic morph and is the result of breeding a recessive Albino with Lavender characteristics.
They are a color based mutation. The morph has a lavender base color marred with a bright yellow pattern and red eyes.
The Lavender Albino can be purchased at $400, and the price varies with the clarity in their body patterns and contrasting color.
The Enchi morph was first discovered in Ghana, Africa, in 2002 as a breeding pair.
They have an orange shade on their sides and a round pattern along the back of their head. Their colors are quite vivid.
When bred with other morphs, their genes are codominant. The patterns on their hatchlings are also more defined, and their color intensifies with age.
An Enchi can be purchased for $80-$100.
The first Pinstripe was bred in 2001 and is loved by breeders due to the stripe on its back.
They are very popular with breeders and are often used to create the stripe along the back that defines the spine and reduce patterns.
Pinstripes are typically light brown to copper in color with a distinct stripe from the head to the tail. Thin stripes meet the Pinstripe perpendicularly, giving the illusion of a light-colored flaming.
Pinstripes can be purchased at $100.
In 2001, the first Lesser was bred and sold for $30,000.
The Lesser is a basic morph with a codominant gene mutation. The morph features a dark brown hue that lightens around the belly. They also have light yellow spots along their sides and spine with no disruptions.
Their heads, however, are a light brown color.
Their hatchlings have the same appearance and color intensity.
You can purchase one at $125.
The Pewter morph was first bred in 2003 and from a combination of Cinnamon and Pastel genes.
They are light brown and may sometimes have a tan base with a stripe along the back. Pewters have a distinct keyhole pattern that is golden yellow with black or dark brown centers and outlines.
A rather interesting fact is that all Pewters have the same color scheme.
A Pewter costs $200.
Unlike the names suggests, these morphs aren’t vanilla.
They are defined by a beautiful brown hue. Vanillas are commonly used to bring out brilliant colors in other morphs.
Vanillas have a codominant gene that depicts a normal pattern and brightens it up with a brown hue. Their heads are faded, and their bellies are light in color.
Due to their enormous popularity, the Vanilla morph costs $100.
The Butter morph was first bred in 2001, and breeders realized they possess codominant genes after careful breeding.
Their base color is yellow with a lighter shade of it, creating markings highlighted with a shade of brown.
The Butter morph is a calmer variation of yellow morphs, and their soft color originates from the wild. When two Butters are bred, they produce Super Butters.
The hatchlings are pale yellows, and others may even be Blue Eyed Lucies. Blue Eyed Lucies are hard to breed from pure Butters and takes a bit of luck.
Blue-Eyed Leucistic morphs are a rare find with pure white bodies and blue eyes. Their scarcity is due to their intricate genetic make-up.
They are successfully bred from up to five different morphs such as Lesser, Butter, Mojave, Russo, and Phantom. They can take two to four generations to be bred. Even so, the odds of producing Blue-Eyed Leucistics are 25% at best.
Due to their difficulty to bred, this morph is sold at a pricy range of between $800-$1000.
The Blue-eyed Lucy is bred from a combination of Lesser and Mojave morphs. This morph is as hard to breed as the Blue-Eyed Leucistic.
They are characterized by their yellow dorsal stripes. They have unique eyes that aren’t sensitive to excess light, unlike other albino and leucistic snakes.
These morphs are sold for $700.
The Champagne morph has one of the most unique patterns and was first bred in 2005.
Also known as Puma, this morph has a tan to dark brown base color with lighter stripes along their length. They have no specific pattern on their bodies.
Due to their unique pattern, breeders use them to create variations of patternless morphs. They also brighten or reduce patterns when bred with other morphs making them a favorite for breeders.
At $200, you can own a Puma or Champagne morph.
Ball pythons offer an incredibly diverse array of snakes. Not only are they tame with a gentle demeanor, but they are also available in diverse genetic mutations that are mind-blowing. Ball python morphs are bred for their beautiful patterns and a plethora of colors. Whether you are a snake enthusiast already with a collection or a beginner in the pet snake world, ball pythons offer you a wide range of beautiful, home-friendly reptilian friends.
Below is a charted list of all the ball python morphs I could find and properly classify.
|Dominant Morphs||Co-dominant Morphs||Recessive Morphs|
Kalabash Reduction Gene
Alpha – Super Alpha
Arctic – Super Arctic Arroyo – Rio
Asphalt – The 401
Bamboo – Super Bamboo
Banana – Super Banana
Black Head – Super Black Head
Black Opal – Super Black Opal
Black Pastel – Super Black Pastel
Blade – Super Blade
Bling Yellow Belly – Ivory (Super Bling Yellow Belly)
Blonde Pastel – Super Blonde Pastel
Bongo – Super Bongo
Brown Back – Super Brown Back
Butter – Blue Eyed Leucistic (Super Butter)
Cajun – Super Cajun
Callisto – Super Callisto
Champagne – Super Champagne (Lethal super form)
Charcoal – Super Charcoal
Chocolate – Super Chocolate
Cinnamon – Super Cinny
Citrus Pastel – Super Citrus Pastel
Coral Glow – Super Coral Glow
Cypress – Super Cypress
Darkling -Super Darkling
Disco – Super Disco
Enchi – Super Enchi
Flame – Super Flame (black eyed leucistic)
Fire – Super Fire
Flare – Solar Flare
Garcia Chocolate – Super Garcia Chocolate
Genetic Tiger – Super Genetic Tiger
GHI – Super GHI
Glossy – Super Glossy
Goblin – Ivory (Super Goblin)
Granite (Co-Dom) – Super Granite
Gravel – Super Gravel
Grim – Grim Reaper
Het Red Axanthic – Red Axanthic
Het Saturn – Saturn
Hidden Gene Woma – Pearl
Honey – Blue Eyed Leucistic (Super Honey)
Huffman – Super Huffman
Hurricane – Hayabusa
Hydra – Super Hydra
Java – Super Java
Jedi – Super Jedi
Jungle Woma – Puzzle Back
Lace – White Lace
Lace Black Back – Super Green Pastel
LC Black Magic – LC Black Magic Super
Lemonback – Super Lemonback
Lemon Pastel – Super Lemon Pastel
Lesser – Blue Eyed Leucistic (Super Lesser)
Lori – Super Lori
Luminoso – Super Luminoso
Mahogany – Suma
Mario – Super Mario
Mathew – Super Mathew
Mocha – Latte
Mojave – Super Mojave
Mota -Super Mota (black eyed leucistic)
Mystic – Super Mystic
Orange Dream – Super Orange Dream
Orange Belly – Super Orange Belly (Graphite Ivory)
Paintball – Super Paintball
Panther TII – Super Panther TII
Pastel – Super Pastel
Phantom – Super Phantom
Quake – Super Quake
Red Stripe – Super Red Stripe
Ruppel Pastel – Super Ruppel Pastel
Russo Het Leucistic – White diamond (Blue eyed Leucistic)
Sable – Super Sable
Scaleless Head – Scaleless
Satin – Super Satin
Sauce – Super Sauce (black eyed Leucistic)
Shredder – Super Shredder
Spark – Super Spark
Special – Super Special
Speckled – Super Speckle
Specter – Super Specter
Splatter – Super Splatter
Spotnose – Power ball
Sulphur – Super Sulphur
Taronja – Super Taronja
Thunder Ball – Lightning Ball
Vanilla – Super Vanilla
X-Treme Gene – Super X-Treme gene
Yellow Belly – Ivory
Z – Super Z (unknown)
Zebra Pastel – Killer Zebra
| 7 Dollar Ghost Albino|
Albino High Contrast