The ball python fad has swept the reptile-obsessed society. Over the last two decades, an increasing number of individuals have adopted ball pythons as pets. The demand for young ball pythons remains strong, encouraging breeders to produce as many as they can in quest of the next big morph.
What is a ball Python? Morphs of the Ball Python What exactly is it, you ask? These morphs are what make this community so lively, active, and colorful. You can’t call yourself a ball python expert if you don’t understand what morphs are.
Fortunately, we’ve put together this thorough guide on ball python morphs for you. After reading this article, you will understand what a python morph is, how many distinct varieties there are, and which morphs are the most popular.
What exactly are you waiting for? Morphin’ Time is Arrived!
What exactly is a Ball Python Morph?
Simply defined, a morph is a snake that belongs to the same species but has various colors or forms due to genetic changes. On the most basic level, morphs are the same type of snake, with the exception of differences in scales and eye color that distinguishes them.
The mutation of the snakes’ genetic make-up is at the root of morphism. Ball pythons are thought to have around 100 distinct color and pattern combinations. Because of this, ball pythons are often regarded as one of the most genetically diverse creatures on the planet. It all started in the 1990s, when numerous breeders imported ball pythons into the United States.
Initially, just the variety of base morphs was accessible. Breeders in the United States would bring these snakes together and breed them to create new morphs. Because of the novelty of the snakes’ look, these would originally sell for thousands of dollars. Prices would fall over time as particular morphs become increasingly popular. However, this did not deter breeders from experimenting with novel mutation patterns in their snakes.
The Ultimate Guide
Do You Want to Breed Your Own Ball Python Morphs?
If you want to breed your own ball python morphs, we highly recommend that our readers read Kevin McCurley’s The Ultimate Ball Python: Morph Maker Guide. It is without a doubt the greatest devoted book on breeding your own unique morphs, with no genuine competition on the market. The book has proven to be a big popular among ball python owners, particularly those who are breeding their own unique variants. Furthermore, many of the people who possess the book have submitted their own independent evaluations in which they share their ideas on it, demonstrating how highly this book is valued within the community.
How Many Varieties of Ball Python Morphs Exist?
The amazing thing about ball python morphs is how diverse they are. Though you may get normal ball pythons at your local pet store, these creatures come in a wide range that you may enjoy more at reptile conferences. You will be amazed to witness the inventiveness of ball python breeders in the thousands of ball python morphs on show at these events.
The market officially recognizes 26 different varieties of ball pythons. However, many breeders have spent a significant amount of effort combining these many basic morphs to produce a plethora of other snake mutations to produce particular aesthetic features in these pets. As of this writing, approximately 7000 distinct morphs and submorphs have resulted from these efforts, and the number is growing.
To give you a sense of how many and how diverse these ball pythons may be, we’ll list some of the known main morphs available on the market:
- Blue Eyed Leucistic (BEL) Ball Python — Also known as Blue-eyed Lucy, these ball pythons feature distinctive blue eyes and an all-white body.
- Bumblebee Ball Python — This ball python has the black and yellow coloration of a bumblebee. These morphs do not occur naturally and must be bred in order to be produced.
- Champagne Ball Python — These morphs have a tan or orange hue with stripes grouped in an uneven pattern. These dominant variants have a white belly as well.
- Butter Ball Python — These pythons are browner and yellower than other normal morphs. The brighter the color of these pythons grows as they age.
- Candido Ball Python — These pythons, which are grey and yellow in appearance, are sometimes mistaken for albinos.
- Vanilla Ball Python — These variants are distinguished by their brighter coloration when compared to other pythons. What distinguishes these pythons is that their colors get more vibrant as they age.
- Chocolate Ball Python — These morphs, which are colored in a deeper brown and black, are the favored pythons for individuals searching for darker hues.
- Super Blast Ball Python — The yellowest of the morphs so far, this python has a distinctive lavender-colored head.
- Cinnamon Ball Python — The hue of these morphs is halfway between dark brown and cinnamon.
- Spotnose Ball Python – These ball pythons have a distinctive spot on their noses. These ball pythons have a fading head design.
- Ghost Ball Python — These one-of-a-kind ball pythons have a hue that appears to fade with time. It is not unusual for these pythons to be misidentified as shedding.
- Pinstripe Ball Python — These ball pythons have brown bodies and stripes down their backs.
- I had to have it! (GHI) Ball Python – One of the most popular morphs, these ball pythons are significantly darker in color than ordinary ball pythons.
- Phantom Ball Python — Characterized by a lot of blushing, these ball pythons have dorsal stripes that are more brown in hue.
- The Ivory Ball Python —This is a kind of python that is found in the Ball pythons, which resemble the Leucistic, really have a lighter yellow hue than white.
- Mystic Ball Python (Python mysticus) – Ball pythons, not to be confused with the Phantom Ball, have more creamy hues in their dorsal stripes and less flushing in their side colors.
- Lesser Ball Python — Lesser ball pythons have deeper brown and yellow hues and are traditionally utilized in several breeding operations. Their crossbreeding with other breeds improves the hues and blushes of other morphs.
- Mojave Ball Python — These ball python morphs are characterized by their distinct “Mojave Patter” and totally white underside.
- Albino Ball Python — Another popular choice among ball pythons. These ball pythons are pale yellow in hue, similar to other morphs, but with pink eyes and an underlying white body color.
- Spider Ball Python — These morphs are highly for for their adorable appearance, which features a lovely blend of light brown, black, and white hues. They are also known to have an uncommon neurologic issue known as “head wobble,” which detracts from their popularity among ball pythons.
With such a vast array of morphs available, you may be thinking, “Which of the ball pythons is perfect for me?” On the most fundamental level, these morphs are all essentially the same ball python. These pythons are the same calm and gentle snakes that your local pet store manager sells. It all comes down to how you want your ball python snake to look in the end.
However, there are certain python morphs that have stood out from the crowd and earned a place in the hearts of many python morph lovers. It was tough to compile this list of the most popular ball pythons without hurting the sensitivities of die-hard enthusiasts.
Which Ball Python Morphs Are the Most Popular?
It is difficult to compile a list of the most popular ball pythons since the community values different morphs and submorphs of these snakes. Certain circles within the community will prefer one snake over another, while others will support their own ideas about what constitutes a popular ball python.
Such is the beauty of this community when many of these creatures have distinguishing features that set them apart.
However, since the 1990s, certain morphs have constantly come out on top as having huge appeal with the community, as seen by reptile conventions or even fervent internet forums. Certain morphs are chosen because of their different looks as well as intrinsic features that distinguish them from other morphs on the market.
We’ll go through what we’ve discovered to be the most popular ball python morphs on the market right now.
Axanthic Ball Python
The Axanthic Ball Python is now one of the most popular ball python morphs on the market. Axanthics are distinguished by the absence of pigment for either the red, yellow, or both colors. Ball pythons with unique black, grey, silver, or white hues result from this color mutation.
To put it simply, axanthic ball pythons are aesthetically stunning.
Some breeders have even gone so far as to build entire companies on the reproduction of axanthics. JD Contrictor, a corporate ball python breeder that has created a variety of ball python variants, is one such example. They were successful in developing the most popular python morph to date, the Stormtrooper, which was a stunning pure black and white ball python that looked straight out of a Star Wars movie.
Fire Ball Python
The fire ball python is another notable option for morphs.
The fire ball python, often known as the fireball python, is a base morph that possesses the extremely adaptable Fire gene.
This gene lightens and intensifies the snake’s colors.
This gene produces a gorgeous satin-like gold hue with chocolate-like coloring where black would normally appear.
Because it improves certain morph traits when combined with other morphs, the Fire gene linked with the fire ball python is a highly sought after trait among breeders.
One notable example is the Black Eyed Leucistic, a white snake with complete black eyes resulting from the mating of two fire ball pythons.
The FireFly, a ball python with jet black markings on a neon yellow body, is another notable example. This morph was created by crossing a Fire ball python with a Pastel ball python, and it’s a lot of fun to watch.
Pastel Ball Python
Speaking of colors, the pastel ball python is also a favorite choice among morph aficionados. The Pastel ball python is a main python morph and one of the market’s oldest morphs. When compared to a conventional ball python, what differentiates a pastel ball python is how it accentuates and brightens the colors. They feature unique side colors with a lot of flame, which makes their look stand out.
Pastel ball pythons are highly sought after by breeders since their genes tend to outperform virtually all others. When two pastel balls breed, their genes synergize to form a Super Pastel, which has a distinctive brilliant yellow hue and considerably more flaming and blushing. It’s truly a sight to witness.
Yellow Belly Ball Python
The Yellow Belly Ball Python was discovered by chance in the late 1990s.
The credit goes to Amir Soleymani, who purchased what he believed was a normal ball python at the time. Over time, the python he purchased began to exhibit unusual characteristics that distinguished it from a typical ball python.
Yellow Belly ball pythons have a diverse color pattern with prominent flames on the body’s sides. It also featured a distinct marking on its skull that was unique to this morph.
The look of this morph’s belly is particularly distinguishing: it has a clear golden tint with a checkered pattern around its borders. More breeding attempts with these morphs would eventually lead to the discovery of its superform, the Ivory. These variants differ from other pythons in that they have an off-white patternless hue with a noticeable light yellow stripe along their back.
Yellow Belly morphs are currently popular, yet they were once considered one of the most unappreciated. It is mostly because to its rather delicate hue and distinctive variations that are undetectable to the inexperienced python observer. Breeders, on the other hand, have recognized the significance of the Yellow Belly Ball morph and have not looked back since. The color and pattern combinations that result from mating this jewel of a morph continue to amaze breeders.
What is the finest morph of a ball python?
When you ask ball python owners which ball python morph is their favorite, you will get different replies ten times out of ten. This is mostly owing to the fact that there are hundreds of distinct ball python morphs available on the market, with so many different mutations resulting in diverse looks.
What distinguishes some ball python morphs is not their outward appearance, but rather their intrinsic characteristics that have resulted from mutations caused by repeated breeding. Some ball pythons develop more resistant in this way and may even be more valuable than others. Others are just stunning to look at, earning them a position on many enthusiasts’ top five lists.
We understand that this list of greatest ball pythons may be divisive among the morph-obsessed community, so take everything with a grain of salt. The views stated in this post are primarily our own and do not reflect the views of the whole community. After all, it is the beauty of the ball python community in and of itself.
It is quite diverse.
Piebald ball pythons
The Piebald ball python is our particular favorite. The piebald ball is a recessive feature that results in a snake that is only partially unpigmented and has a variety of color and pattern variations. The huge patches of unpigmented areas across the body are what distinguishes them aesthetically, not how a Beagle appears with its colors.
This ball python is still widely regarded as one of the most popular snakes on the market, dating back to the early 1990s, when the entire ball python craze began.
The Piebald ball python is also a significant pivot morph for many market breeders.
The Pied gene interacts nicely with other morphs, resulting in numerous iconic morphs.
The Piebald and Pastel genes mix nicely to produce Pastel Pied ball pythons with stunning brown spots among the white main hue.
The patches will also be surrounded by a noticeable black border.
How much do ball python morphs cost?
Breeders have achieved a great deal of success in the business of ball pythons and their morphs. After all, sifting through numerous sorts of morphs, bringing together two distinct pythons, successfully breeding them, and hoping the next batch of ball pythons delivers the required mutation is not an easy procedure.
The creation process is supported by solid science, which is based on dominant, recessive, and co-dominant genes, as well as other intricate details that only the most committed ball python fans are equipped to manage. Multiple tries at such a complex procedure are required to generate that one unique morph you’ve been hoping to witness.
To that aim, the major morphs of ball pythons have drastically decreased in price in recent years. Because of their popularity, morphs such as piebald, axanthic, pastel, and fire pythons abound. The number of morphs available at a reptile conference alone is mind-boggling!
In local and even online retailers, a regular ball python will cost you around $50, while a main morph variety will cost you around $75 to $100. Depending on the breeder and/or submorph type, some ball pythons may be more expensive. Don’t be shocked if some of these ball python hybrids cost between $150 and $4000 USD.
However, the cost of these pythons begin to skyrocket for more complicated ball morphs and even their submorphs. You’ll understand what we’re talking about if you browse the collections of online retailers like the morph market. A purple albino sold for a staggering $40,000 as the most expensive ball python ever sold. These morphs are no longer that expensive, with a current price of approximately $250.
What was the earliest morph of a ball python?
The narrative of the first morph is an important element of ball python history. As previously noted, the 1990s were a time when many African breeders regarded the United Snakes as a ripe place for a snake frenzy. The breeders had caught the curiosity of one Bob Clark by bringing the ball pythons here.
Bob Clark learned from his connections in Ghana in 1989 that an amelanistic or albino python had been identified. He went on to buy the snake and have it delivered to him in the United States. Because this adult snake was acquired in the wild, Bob Clark was concerned about its ability to flourish in the United States, as snakes caught in the wild are known to have feeding issues when housed in captivitiy.
Bob Clark, never one to give up, has developed a strategy. He had dedicated his energies to taming the snake and feeding it like a captive snail should. Simultaneously, Bob Clark saw a chance to breed an albino snake on his own in order to grow a python from a hatchling and teach it in captivity.
Bob Clark had set out on a quest that would permanently alter the direction of ball python history. Bob Clark produced two batches of heterozygous snakes in 1990 and reared these ball pythons in readiness for breeding in two years. Bob Clark successfully produced his own albino ball python in May 1992. The albino ball python was the first python morph ever discovered.