What’s all that hype about???
Python regius aka Ball Python (for you Americans) or Royal Python (for you Europeans) currently hold the record for the most natural occurring variations or morphs in the wild. The morphs being either color variation, pattern variation, or both. In order for a “Morph” to be true, it must prove it’s genetics by passing on the genes to its offspring.
Genetically speaking the morph could be one of the following Dominant, Co-Dominant/Incomplete Dominant, or Recessive.
Dominant genes will have the possibility of being represented in a clutch when being bred to a normal (wild type). Each egg in theory from a clutch that is from a Dominant morph x normal (wild type) pairing will have a 50% chance of carrying that particular Dominant gene. The dominant gene being represented is the homozygous form for that morph.
Co-Dominant/Incomplete Dominant genes will also have the possibility of being represented in a clutch when being bred to a normal (wild type). However Co-Dominant genes have a twist in that they can be represented in a heterozygous or homozygous form.
Heterozygous (Het.) version of a Co-Dominant morph carries an incomplete gene that changes its appearance from a normal (wild type) whether it’s for color or pattern. The heterozygous version will act in the same way as a Dominant breeding when paired with a normal (wild type) with each egg having a 50% chance of either being a normal or heterozygous (Het.) for that particular Co-Dominant morph. When breeding two of the same Co-Dominant morphs together you have the opportunity of producing a homozygous version of that particular morph. Each egg from a Het. x Het. pairing will present the following percentage for each egg 25% for normal, 50% for heterozygous, 25% for homozygous.
A homozygous (usually called Super) version of a Co-Dominant morph carries the complete genes needed to present a different appearance from both the heterozygous (Het.) form and normal (wild type). The advantage of having a homozygous form is simple, when a homozygous form of a morph is bred to normal or any other morph, each hatchling will be heterozygous for that morph to include any other morphs that were used in the pairing. For instance when a Super Pastel (homozygous) is paired to a normal (wild type) you are sure that each hatchling will be a pastel (Het.). When a Super Pastel (homozygous) is paired with an Albino you are sure that every hatchling will be a Pastel (Het.) and heterozygous (Het.) for Albino.
Recessive genes can be looked at with similarity of a homozygous Co-Dominant/Incomplete Dominant in the sense that a recessive morph is basically a super while not having a visual heterozygous form for that morph. All heterozygous (Hets.) will look like a normal (wild type). The only way to produce a recessive morph is to breed it to a heterozygous or homozygous form of that morph. When you breed a recessive morph to a normal (wild type) all the offspring will be heterozygous (Hets.) for that particular morph and will look just like a normal (wild type). However each hatchling will carry the gene needed to reproduce that particular morph.
When you breed two recessive morphs together you will produce double hets. When you breed these double hets back together you have a 1/16 chance of producing a double recessive visual. Sometimes you have luck on your side producing a great clutch with a double visual recessive. Sometimes if can take several years of multiple pairings to produce that 1/16 ball python.
Breeding ball pythons never gets stale. It’s a great feeling to see all your hard work pay off and see your eggs hatch after a successful season. By mixing all the morphs currently available the combos are limitless. I truly believe in the upcoming years many CB normal’s offered for sale, particularly males, will have unknown genes. And with breeding one will prove out many unknown hets. that were thought to be normal’s or offered as normal’s.