One of the greatest human endeavors other than fighting polio and landing on the moon has been the global effort to breed ball pythons. There are many ordinary people across the world breeding some extra ordinary ball python morphs. This is my story and what has worked for me over the last nineteen breeding seasons.
Recessive Ball Python morphs better known as the long game
When breeding ball pythons there are three types of genetics that you can work with. There is the recessive trait which is masked by the dominant genes and needs to be present in both of the parental participants in order to be expressed in the offspring. When breeding recessive ball python morphs like albino or axanthic the most obvious way to go about it is to have two visual animals that can guarantee a 100% yield of visual offspring. This can be expensive so the next option is to breed a visual to a het or normal and make your own future breeder hets. The yield from this type of breeding averages out to 50% and is the most common in the industry. The last option is to breed a het male to het or possible het females and even though this is a hit or miss approach the results almost always outdo the cost so many beginners choose this route.
Dominant Ball Python morphs also considered the quick pay
The second type of mutation is the dominant mutation that has no visually distinct super or homozygous form. Examples of Dominant Ball Python morphs include the Spider gene and the Pinstripe gene. Both of these mutations can be bred together to make a homozygous super form that is no different visually than the single gene Spider or Pinstripe but when used in breeding will make a 100% yield of visual offspring. This is considered the quick pay way of breeding because many breeders have taken one visual male and at the age of 6–12 months produced up to 20 clutches of offspring with very minimal input. This method has been repeated by many but involves the use of an ultrasound machine to determine when females are most receptive to breeding or the very keen eyes of a seasoned breeder.
Incomplete or Co-Dominant Ball Python morphs
The final and most common type of ball python mutation so far is the Incomplete or co-Dominant mutation. There are many examples but some of the most common and widespread Co-Dominant Ball Python morphs include the Pastel and Yellowbelly mutations. These two mutations were some of the very first and showed the industry that there are hidden secrets in Ball Pythons that can be uncovered when two co-dominant genes are crossed producing the super form. When working with this type of mutation most people think it is best to get a male and make your own females that can be bred down the road to make supers. A smaller group of people including myself realize that a female of this mutation will yield results faster and continually if making large numbers is not the goal. You can take a female and breed her to another co-dom male the first year she is of size. The next year you can breed the offspring back to her to make a super and a combination. This process can be repeated and a single female can be the source of many years of genetic firsts in the right hands.
At xyzReptiles we have been involved in the breeding of many first ever Ball Python mutations and morphs. We carry a large and growing selection of Ball pythons and are always available to lend an ear and share our knowledge with future breeders and reptile pet owners. Feel free to reach out to us if you are considering the next step in building your Ball Python collection.