- Quick Links
- What is a Ball Python Morph?
- Why Are Ball Python Morphs Important?
- Morph Calculators and How to Use Them
- Genetics Basics
- How to Determine a Ball Python Morph
- Common Ball Python Morphs
- Ball Python Morphs Combined
- Morphs For Sale
- Know Your Morphs!
- Want to know more? Check out our other posts:
What is a Ball Python Morph?
Morph is a term we use in the ball python community to indicate a ball python’s genetic makeup. The morph might refer to a single gene in a ball python or a group of genes.
A ball python morph refers to the genetic makeup of the snake that influences its pattern, color, and other physical characteristics.
Why Are Ball Python Morphs Important?
The morph or genetic make-up of a ball python is significant because it defines how the snake will appear, which in turn influences the snake’s VALUE.
Ball python prices range from $40 to $5,000 (even more for rare ones) and can be found online or in pet stores.
Knowing and understanding ball python morphs is important not only for knowing their value, but also for understanding their health and potential neurological conditions.
Sadly, not all morph combinations are safe to breed together.
Champagne and Spider is one of the fatal combinations of ball python breeding.
Champagne Spider ball pythons die soon after hatching, according to World of Ball Pythons, and this is one of several morph combinations that don’t survive due to genetics.
The morph of a ball python could potentially provide information about health issues. A neurological disorder known as a wobble is common in Spider ball pythons.
There are also combinations that cause deformities and kinks in the snake such as breeding Spotnose to Champagne.
Morph Calculators and How to Use Them
Luckily for us, Morph Market and a few other ball python websites have created a calculator for us FREE to use!
To use this calculator, you need to put one parent’s genetics in the first box and the other parent’s genetics in the second box.
When you start typing the morph, you’ll see a drop-down menu of morphs to choose from. You can also enter whether one of the parents is heterozygous for a gene.
Despite the fact that you can enter as many genes as you like, this calculator will only calculate a total of 10 genes between both parents.
In a split second, this calculator will show you the odds of acquiring a specific combination of genes in fractions and percentages, as well as the number of traits and the name of the morph with that specific combination.
These jam-packed results are a lifesaver for any ball python breeder or anyone looking into the ball python breeding community.
Calculate the results by entering each parent’s genetic traits into each box.
The results will display the percent likelihood of acquiring that combination of genes, just as the Morph Market calculator.
Ignoring the fact that this genetic calculator doesn’t provide the number of traits that each offspring can have, it does display something that the Morph Market calculator does not.
Photos of each parent appear once you click calculate, which is quite intriguing since it gives you an idea of what they’ll look like.
Additionally, this ball python genetic calculator allows you to add more than 10 total genes between two parents, which the Morph Market calculator limits you to.
Realistically you won’t need to calculate more than 10 genes total for both parents, but it’s a cool feature to play around with.
Genetics is a difficult subject to grasp, so we’ll leave the details to the experts. All we need to know are the fundamentals to understand ball python morphs.
You may recall the Punnett Square from high school biology as a tool for predicting genetic features acquired from parents.
To refresh your memory on Punnett squares, watch this video then come back to this article.
We can use the Punnett square to compute the morph of their offspring by analyzing the probability of which qualities are passed down from each parent.
How to Determine a Ball Python Morph
When you enter both parents’ morphs, the calculator will tell you what kinds of morphs you can acquire and what percentage chance you have of receiving them. Try it! It’s pretty fun.
We can typically identify what genetic traits ball python morphs have just by looking at them after a little practice, especially with dominant genes.
Each morph represents a distinct physical characteristic of the snake.
You can typically tell what morph a ball python is by looking at its colors and patterns.
Pastel is distinguished by its brightening effect, as demonstrated by the brighter hue on the ball python’s head, which is normally dark, like the illustration above.
Identifying morphs by sight can be difficult, especially as more genes are mixed together.
It takes a keen eye and a lot of practice to get it right. Even I have problems identifying the morph of a ball python.
Researching ball pythons with identical morph combinations is the most useful method I use to determine a ball python’s morph.
The #1 way I can detect a ball python’s morph combination is by comparing images to the one I have.
Common Ball Python Morphs
The most common morph you’ll see in a ball python is.. well… normal.
Normal ball pythons (also known as “wild type”), such as the one pictured above, live in the wild.
Variations can be derived from the normal gene. A single gene can drastically change the appearance of a snake.
Take, for example, the banana gene. The Banana gene causes the snake to turn a brilliant yellow and brown color.
Albino is another typical gene that can be found in both humans and ball pythons.
Albino is a recessive gene that requires both parents to carry it in order to have visible albino offspring.
When compared to a typical color, the color is day and night. This single genetic trait causes the snake to lose its black coloration, giving it a buttered popcorn appearance.
There will also be a lot of Piebalds (pied). The designs of pied ball pythons have prominent white portions.
Pied, like the Albino gene, is recessive, but its effects are very different from those of a Normal ball python. The stark contrasts between these three morphs can be seen in these side-by-side comparisons.
Ball Python Morphs Combined
Different morphs can be mated together to produce offspring with a mix of those genes.
This snake, for example, is a Super Pastel, Spider, Pinstripe, Yellowbelly that was bred from a Pinstripe, Mojave(mother) and an Ivory, Pastel, Spider (father).
Luckily, we don’t have to name every gene a ball python has because there are names for combinations of morphs. For example,
Pinstripe + Mojave= Jigsaw
So instead of saying the ball python is a Pinstripe, Mojave, you can just say the ball python is a Jigsaw.
Here’s another one:
Mojave + Pastel = Pastave
So where can you buy these multi-gene ball pythons?
Morphs For Sale
Ball pythons for sale change frequently. They’re being purchased and sold all the time. Check out Morph Market for the most up-to-date ball pythons for sale.
Ball pythons are also available for purchase on private websites like our own. Here are a few other examples:
Know Your Morphs!
Please keep in mind that if you want to know your ball python’s morph, you should receive it from a reputable source that is familiar with each parent’s characteristics.
Chain pet stores aren’t the best location to acquire a ball python because they often don’t know the snake’s morph or parents and call them “fancy.”
Be cautious that there are scammers out there who will claim that a snake has specific genes when it doesn’t in order to extort more money from you as a consumer.
Be cautious and familiar with your morphs to avoid scams!
You can always reach out to us on one of our many platforms to get some insight on your ball python in question.