Friendly and shorter than other snakes, ball pythons are some of the most popular snake types out there. Thanks to their easy-to-follow care instructions, ball pythons make for great beginner snakes. However, before buying one, new snake owners must make a difficult choice — what morph to buy?
What are Morphs?
Because of their unique skin appearance, some captive ball pythons are selectively bred to create specific colors or patterns. Ball python morph is the name given to such snakes.
Similar to humans, the genes that give each snake its distinctive color or pattern are passed on through inheritance. As a result, genes can be dominant, recessive, or codominant. Breeders can produce different types of morphs by combining those three genes:
- Dominant genes hide recessive genes and dictate the color or pattern of the morph.
- Recessive genes stay hidden until paired with other recessive genes.
- Codominant genes have incomplete dominance and result in unique combinations of dominant patterns.
Most Common Ball Python Morphs
There are hundreds of combinations and patterns out there with each one more beautiful than the last. Let’s take a look at the most common ball python morphs and see what fits you the best.
The Albino morph is one of the most popular and impressive morphs out there. Melanin is a brown pigment that makes a normal ball python look a bit dark. However, the Albino python is unable to produce this pigment and the result is a white and faded-yellow snake with red eyes. With a price to match the looks, the Albino ball python is available for a $400 price tag.
The Spider morph is a unique looking snake with tan-brown base colors that fade down the spine. Their pale belly and distinct dark spots on the head and body make them easily recognizable. Thanks to their spider-like appearance, the prices for such a morph go a bit above the $150 mark.
Pastel ball pythons are some of the most interesting morph types thanks to their breeding possibilities. Because the pastel gene is codominant, combining two of them results in a totally different type of snake. Ball pythons resulting from such breedings are called Super Pastel and have lighter colors and patterns. Despite its breeding potential, most Pastel snakes cost around $70, with the better looking Super Pastel going up to $150.
Similar to Albino ball python, Ghost morphs suffer from melanin disorders. However, unlike their paler counterpart, Ghosts have hypomelanism. That results in a light tan or yellow skin, with gray patterns sometimes appearing on the snake’s belly. You can buy a Ghost ball python for $100 or more depending on the pattern it has.
Overall, choosing a morph boils down to personal taste. There are a lot of options — from beautiful light colors to unique patterns. As a result, ball pythons are one of the most gorgeous snake types available. No matter what you choose, every snake requires love and care. Watch out for our hissing friends and they will watch out for you!