2021 is off to a great start with our first ball python clutch, hatching 7 healthy baby ball pythons. The pairing is Pastel Pinstripe Mojave female ball python with Cinnamon Wookie male ball python.
With this morph combo we were hoping to get at least one ball python with a mixture of all 5 genes and we may have done it.
After admiring the baby ball pythons for a while we gave it a shot at identifying each of their morphs. Since all of the genes in the pair are dominant or co-dominant genes there is a chance that their babies can have anywhere between 1 and 5 of those genes.
To accurately identify the babies’ genes we should first look at the identifiers of each gene in their parents.
The female ball python we paired is a Pastel Pinstripe Mojave which gave her the beautiful tan colors and patterns.
It’s important to remember that adult ball pythons look very different from when they were babies, but we can get a general idea of what each morph looks like.
Pastel Ball Python Morph
Gene type: Co-Dominant or incomplete dominant
Description: This gene alone brightens up the yellow pigments in ball pythons. It improves any morph that it’s combined with by brightening the colors and creating more contrast in the ball python’s pattern.
How to Identify a Pastel Ball Python
This gene is noticeable by its blushing effect on the ball python’s head. Its eyes are pale, sometimes green, in color.
They almost always have white blushing going up the sides of the ball python and on the dorsal.
Next to a normal ball python, the Pastel ball python’s colors are bright and vibrant.
The Pastel gene was discovered in 1994 by a ball python breeder named Greg Graziani. He acquired a bright-colored snake and noticed there were other ball pythons that had that same feature.
He sold his first pastels for $2,500 each although now you can get them for as low as $50.
This morph is a common find now in the ball python market, but still holds a solid place for ball python breeders everywhere.
Pinstripe Ball Python Morph
Gene type: Dominant
Description: The Pinstripe gene adds so much to a ball python’s pattern. The signature look for a Pinstripe ball python is the solid or almost solid dorsal stripe. The gene thins out the black parts of the ball python making the brown patterns more prominent all around.
How to identify a Pinstripe Ball Python
The Pinstripe gene is very noticeable in a ball python because of the obvious dorsal stripe. The dorsal stripe is solid in most Pinstripes, but in some ball pythons, they will be broken up in few areas.
What are normally alien heads are blown into a large, dominant pattern on a Pinstripe with few “eyes” in them.
The thinner lines are translated on the ball python’s eyestripe so instead of a thick black line it’s a thin brown one.
The Pinstripe gene was first produced in 2001 by BHB Enterprises, a well-known reptile breeder in the United States. It was one of the first morphs to pop up in the ball python community right behind Albino and Piebald.
The first Pinstripe ball python came from Africa to the united states for $27,000.
Eventually, Brian at BHB Enterprises hatched baby Pinstripe ball pythons which sold for $25,000 each.
Now you can get a Pinstripe ball python shipped to your house for as low as $100.
Mojave Ball Python Morph
Gene type: Co-Dominant or incomplete dominant
Description: The Mojave ball python gene creates a wide variety of brown colors. There are plenty of variations of Mojave ball pythons that have vibrant yellows, flames, or even deep black.
The Mojave gene also alters the ball pythons pattern changing the classic alien head to something a bit different.
The Mojave ball python is also part of the BEL (Blue-eyed Lucy) complex meaning a Mojave bred to a Mojave could create an all-white snake with blue eyes.
How to Identify a Mojave Ball Python
The Mojave ball pythons I work with have a golden glow that a normal ball python doesn’t have, but some Mojaves offer a dark black and bright yellow contrast.
They commonly have flames going up the sides of the ball python as a part of their signature look. The alien-head pattern sometimes splits into two and usually only has one black dot in them instead of two, or what we like to call, keyholes.
The first Mojave ball python was produced in 1999 by The Snake Keeper, a family-owned ball python breeding company that started off in California.
Since then, breeders have been adding Mojave ball pythons to their collection creating stunning morphs.
The male ball python in this pair is a Cinnamon Wookie. The Wookie gene is one that we believe has really great potential.
It’s relatively new and it has a huge effect when paired with another gene.
The way it interacts with other genes reminds me of the Pastel gene which looks good on its own but creates huge changes when paired with another gene.
Cinnamon Ball Python Morph
Gene type: Co-Dominant(Incomplete Dominant)
Description: The Cinnamon gene darkens the brown colors on a ball python. Their patterns become lighter brown or tan. They also have some pattern changes compared to a normal ball python.
How to Identify a Cinnamon Ball Python
A Cinnamon ball python has a dark, almost black background. Some lines of the Cinnamon gene will come out bright cinnamon color(reddish-brown), but they can be any color in between.
You’ll even see some blushing on the ball python’s dorsal.
Graziani Reptiles, who started breeding ball pythons in 1992, proved out the Cinnamon ball python morph in 2002.
Wookie Ball Python Morph
Gene type: Dominant
Description: The most recognizable part of the Wookie ball python morph is the pattern. The pattern on a Wookie removes alien heads and instead shows “O”s and sometimes heart shapes.
It’s a dark morph that was only recently proven out. The darkness is complimented well with the burnt orange color that comes across from the lightened side colors.
When combined with common genes like a Pastel ball python, Wookie will often create a dark outline on the patterns.
How to Identify a Wookie Ball Python
Reduced patterns. Wacky patterns instead of a bulbous alien head. Broken up dorsal patterns or no dorsal stripe at all. Black pixels in the brown patterns under the “alien eyes” or keyholes.
A lot of times you’ll see burnt orange colors on them as well.
The Wookie ball python was first produced in 2013 by The Herp Vault. Since then, new and wackier gene combos are being produced to this day.
Baby Ball Pythons from Clutch #1
Normal Ball Python
Luckily, this one was quite easy. The morphs that are in this pairing are very easy to distinguish even when it’s a single gene.
The only morph it could possibly be besides a Normal ball python is a Wookie which looks somewhat similar to a Normal when it stands alone.
Wookie Jigsaw Ball Python (Wookie, Pinstripe, Mojave)
The Wookie Jigsaw ball python was a little more difficult to identify. The most obvious morph you see in the ball python is Pinstripe indicated by the solid dorsal stripe and thin eye stripe.
The second most obvious morph in this ball python is Mojave since you can see the “golden glow” especially compared to its siblings.
The Wookie gene was the hardest gene to identify in this ball python, but when we compared this snake to its sibling without the Wookie gene the difference was clear.
Adding the Wookie gene to the Jigsaw really messes up the patterns on the side of this ball python.
It also thins out the dorsal stripe and thickens the outline of that stripe going down the center of the snake.
Pinstripe Ball Python
The Pinstripe gene alone is easy to recognize in a ball python because of the distinct pattern.
This Pinstripe ball python has the classic thick dorsal stripe going down the back and the enlarged bulb patterns on its side.
We also see the thin black eyestripe going across its eye, one of the indicators on a Pinstripe ball python.
The reason we know it’s just a single gene Pinstripe ball python is because if it were combined with any other gene in this combination, the pattern and color would be completely different from a single gene Pinstripe.
Jigsaw Pewter Wookie (Pinstripe, Mojave, Pastel, Cinnamon, Wookie)
This is the ball python we were hoping for in this clutch which is a ball python that has all the genes from both parents.
This ball python is the most unique out of all of them showing a very reduced pattern and a bright, outlined dorsal stripe, with that signature Pewter gray color.
A Pinstripe Mojave ball python, also called a Jigsaw, comes out bright yellow with the signature dorsal stripe down the back. The pattern on these snakes becomes more distorted compared to a single-gene Pinstripe ball python.
Pewter Wookie Mojave (Pastel, Cinnamon, Wookie, Mojave)
We had to identify this ball python by the process of elimination. We can tell that the ball python doesn’t have the Pinstripe gene since it lacks the solid dorsal stripe and all other indicators of a Pinstripe.
Pastel and Cinnamon are easy to identify in this ball python because that combination is what causes the grey/silver color in the ball pythons.
We can see Wookie in this ball python because of the patterns on the sides.
Even though there are other genes messing with the color, we can see the light blushing and flames coming up the sides of the snake as well as the dark outline that Wookie creates.
The Mojave gene was a little harder to spot in this ball python because Mojave mostly shows up as contrasting golds and blacks.
The patterns on this ball python are what give us the idea that it has Mojave. The Mojave gene creates keyholes that you can see all down the snake.
Pewter Wookie (Pastel, Cinnamon, Wookie)
The Pewter Wookie ball python is easy to identify because of the colors and pattern.
We can tell that the ball python has the Pastel and Cinnamon because of that classic grey look of their scales.
The reason we eliminate Pinstripe from this ball python is that it doesn’t have any of the indicators of a Pinstripe which are usually very noticeable.
We can also eliminate Mojave because the side pattern is very straight forward and we don’t see any gold in this ball python.
The cool thing about this ball python and the last is that there is a 1 gene difference between the two, but they look worlds apart.
We are lucky to have 7 healthy baby ball pythons each with its own unique morph. These babies came out better than we expected when we paired the male and female.
Identifying the ball python morphs of these babies was difficult because Wookie is such a new morph to us.
With the process of elimination and a lot of google searching pictures, we were able to confidently identify each one.
This is just clutch #1 out of the many we have this season, so I hope to do more of these posts as they hatch out.