What is a Paradox Ball Python?

paradox ball python

We hatched a one-of-a-kind ball python this year. The ball python is one that I’d never heard about before, and I knew it would be a one-in-a-million possibility to hatch one.

A Paradox Ball Python. 

I first heard of Paradox ball pythons while looking into unusual patterns on ball pythons that can’t be handed down genetically.

These ball pythons drew my attention, and I knew I’d be living the dream when I started breeding them.

We won the lottery this year and hatched TWO Paradox ball pythons. It piqued my interest, but I couldn’t find very much about them on the internet.

So I wrote this post to gather what I’ve learned about paradox ball pythons so far.

What is a Paradox Ball Python?

The definition of a paradox ball python is a ball python with genetic features from two different morphs.

A banana ball python, for example, should display the Banana morph‘s distinct colors throughout the snake, but a paradox would show a patch or patches that appear different.

We see this behavior as a paradox because it is genetically impossible for a banana to show traits of a normal.

banana ball python
Banana Ball Python

In another case, a Blue-Eyed Leucistic ball python should be completely white. A Paradox Blue-Eyed Leucistic will be all white with patches of brown like a Normal ball python

The ball python should be entirely white genetically, though it has color: a paradox.

Paradox Ball Python Genetics

A Paradox ball python’s distinguishing feature is that the trait can’t be passed down to offspring.

Because the Paradox ball python’s dual-morph patterns are a random genetic mutation, they are one-of-a-kind.

There are various morphs that can boost your chances of hatching one, even though it’s not a hereditary feature that can be passed down to offspring.

The odds of hatching a Paradox ball python are about 1 in 300. 

I base this conclusion on the fact that we’ve hatched approximately 300 baby ball pythons at Infinite Scales. It took that many eggs to hatch the two Paradox ball pythons.

Despite the fact that we hatched two paradox ball pythons, I feel the second one was simply luck.

We hatched two Paradox ball pythons this year from two distinct clutches with two different pairs of parents.

Champagne was the common morph between the two clutches.

The Champagne morph is distinct in that it occasionally produces offspring with a genetic characteristic known as a ringer.

A ringer is a white ring around the ball python that is usually outlined in black and has an orange hue. The ringers can be as small as the tip of the ball python’s tail or as enormous as the snake’s entire body.

This genetic phenomenon may or may not have anything to do with producing paradox ball pythons. Although it’s worth noting that both of the paradox ball pythons we hatched were from Champagne mothers.

How to Make Paradox Ball Pythons

Selective breeding will not produce a Paradox ball python.

The chances of hatching a Paradox are the same as any other clutch of eggs, even if you breed particular morphs together.

Random genetic mutations produce paradox ball pythons, which can’t be duplicated.

Even if you breed a Paradox ball python with another Paradox ball python, the chances of a Paradox hatching from that are slim.

Continuously producing ball python eggs until one hatches out as a Paradox is the best method to make a Paradox ball python.

Some ball python breeders believe that ball pythons with heterozygous genes are more likely to hatch out as Paradoxes, although there isn’t enough evidence to back up this idea.

Paradox vs Chimera

Because paradox and chimera ball pythons have similar features, they are often mistaken.

A chimera ball python is actually a form of the paradox ball python.

Mosaics are paradox ball pythons with two contradicting marks on a single set of DNA. These are the ball pythons that will display patches of various patterns than the morph they are.

The genetic differences between a mosaic paradox and a chimera are significant. A chimera ball python is one that is made up of two distinct DNA sets.

The two sets of DNA come from multiple zygotes (fertilized eggs). The two zygotes create connections that allow transfer of stem cells. Then, the embryos fuse together to produce a single snake.

User t_h_wyman explains it well in a ball python forum:

“You breed a Pin to a WT[wild type] and what you hatch are Pins and WTs. But one of the Pins has random WT patches on it. This happens because, most often, two different fertilized ovum fuse to create a single embryo. This gives you an animal with two genetically different sets of cells in its body… that each had an independent origin. This type of “paradox” animal is a chimera.”

Summary:
Types of Paradox ball pythons:
-Mosaic – contradictory markings originating from 1 zygote
-Chimera – contradictory markings originating from multiple zygotes(usually 2).

Skittles, the Famous Chimera Paradox Ball Python

skittles screenshot

Skittles is a well-known paradox ball python. She is a chimera ball python who has taken the ball python world by storm.

The very rare ball python hatched by Reptile Collective in 2014, displays patterns and colors that should be found on two different ball pythons.

Her traits include Albino, Silver Streak, and Pied. The fact that this ball python’s eyes are two distinct hues, one pink and one black, is astounding.

What makes her special?

Her albino DNA dictates that she should have no melanin in her scales, but she does in certain patches of her skin.  Therefore she is the perfect illustration of a paradox.

She has areas of scales that exhibit melanin since she is a chimeric paradox ball python.

Skittles is available for $50,000 on Morph Market. Although you might be able to work out a deal with the breeders to get her, the high price is most likely a ploy to keep her posted on the internet.

Despite the fact that she is well-known in the ball python community, there aren’t many updates online about what she’s been up to.

Paradox Ball Pythons For Sale

On a lot of levels, paradox ball pythons display their paradoxical characteristics.

Some paradox ball pythons have a small patch of contradicting patterns, while others have them all over their bodies.

The price range is enormous because paradox ball pythons have such a wide spectrum of uniqueness that isn’t limited to a particular morph.

Paradox ball pythons cost as little as $200 on Morph Market.

Aside from Skittles, the most expensive paradox ball python is listed for $9,000.

Although paradox ball pythons are one-of-a-kind, their paradox qualities can’t pass down genetically. Paradox ball pythons are therefore unsuitable for ball python breeders because their genes serve no purpose with breeding.

Ball python breeders search for phenotypes that are verified through breeding, which is how we’ve discovered morphs.

Most ball python breeders will choose a less expensive one with the same genes for that reason.

Ball pythons’ paradox anomaly is still a distinctive trait, thus they make excellent pets, especially for people looking for a conversation starter.

Conclusion

Paradox ball pythons are one-of-a-kind creatures that will never be duplicated. No one has been able to predict the random genetic phenomenon.

Although they serve no function for ball python breeders in terms of selective breeding, they are a wonderful one-of-a-kind pet to have.

Ball python paradoxes can appear on any morph and can range in size from little to big sections on the snake. As a result, prices for them vary greatly.

You can purchase a Paradox ball python for as little as $200 and as much as $9,000.

We can all agree that these snakes are magnificent and incredible to see, regardless of their price or rarity.

Follow our Paradox Ball Python’s journey on TIKTOK.