Spotnose Clown Ball Python Morph Guide and Breeding Tips

Time to dive into our Spotnose Clown Ball Python morph guide! If you don’t know about this morph yet, you should check it out – it’s one of the most important…

The Spotnose Clown is an amazing morph that adds a whole new dimension to the Clown gene. More to the point, it’s the starting point for some of the most sought-after high-end ball python morphs created so far. Batman and Pompeii for example both have Spotnose Clown in them!

Morph type

This is a combination morph using Spotnose, which is an incomplete dominant gene, and Clown, which is a recessive gene. Both of these are dark genes, whose main effect is on pattern. This is what makes the morph so striking – the heavy influence on pattern rather than color.

How can you tell a Spotnose Clown?

Spotnose is an extremely interesting gene. Many hobbyists believe that it is allelic to Spider and Woma, meaning that the mutation is part of the same gene as these mutations. This makes it kind of like an alternate version.

As you probably know, these “Spider complex” genes have had a lot of bad press due to genetic issues (which may or may not be wildly exaggerated).

With Spotnose you can get some of the same effects on pattern as with Spider or Woma, without the hassle of wondering whether people will actually buy the snakes!

One of the main features of Spotnose is a little yellow spot right on the end of the nose, and often two additional spots on either side of it. It also creates a jumbled pattern that is very attractive.

So, as you might expect, a Spotnose Clown looks like a regular Clown with spotty, erratic patterning on the head and additional spots and blotches in amongst the pattern on the body.

When compared with Clown alone, it has a stronger, darker pattern that extends down its flanks in more areas. It also has more black patterning on top of the head.

Spotnose Clown Ball Python Morph Guide
Spotnose Redstripe Clown. This photo was kindly provided by Troy Stubbs at upscaled_reptiles.

Does the Spotnose Clown Ball Python have genetic issues?

The Spotnose Clown does not have genetic issues. Mine tend to be plucky little feeders that grow fast and breed young. Interestingly, they are similar to the Spider morph in that respect.

However, it’s important to remember that super Spotnose can have a wobble. So, you wouldn’t breeder a Spotnose Clown to a Spotnose Clown, for example.

Other genes in the “Spider complex” may or not have bad effects when bred to Spotnose, so my advice is to avoid doing it!

These include:

  • Woma
  • Spider
  • Hidden Gene Woma
  • Champagne
  • Sable

Other genes are said to be in this complex too, including Blackhead and Chocolate, though some breeders dispute this. At this time, I couldn’t tell you with absolute certainty if it is true or not.

If used in breeding projects that do not involve other spider complex genes, Spotnose Clown is a perfectly healthy morph, that makes some seriously cool combinations!

Spotnose Clown Ball Python Morph Guide
Spotnose Clown Ball Python. This photo was kindly provided by Joe M. at Morph Wizards


Ok, so they may be healthy, but I find a lot of Spotnose Ball Pythons have a feisty temperament. The Pastel Spotnose Clown that features later in this article for example, used to strike out wildly when I first got him.

All in all, it took roughly twice the time handling to calm him down than it would your average Ball Python. Nonetheless, these days he’s puppy dog tame and getting more laid back by the day.

Obviously, I only breed as a hobby, so my experience with a handful of Spotnose combinations isn’t solid, statistical proof that they are highly strung.

What I would say though is that other large breeders have told me the same thing, some of them having dealt with hundreds of Spotnoses over the years.

Spotnose Clown Ball Python Breeding tips

You don’t need a lot tips – if you’ve got a Spotnose Clown you’re already on the right track! This morph is an essential ingredient for some of the most valuable combination morphs made so far.

The famous Batman and Pompeii Ball Pythons, from Kinova (formerly JKR),  both contain Spotnose Clown as a main component and sent shockwaves through the hobby when first created.

So, if this is the kind of thing you’re going for, then a Spotnose Clown Ball Python is one heck of a good start.

That said, if you’re looking to create new combinations with this morph, I do have three tips.

  1. Combine this morph with genes that increase the business of the pattern. Examples include Acid/Confusion and Leopard. This guarantees an intense look to any offspring that inherit them.
  2. Include Yellowbelly. Always include Yellowbelly when you can – even in dark morphs! It adds contrast and brightness, sometimes to a high degree.
  3. Include popular genes that are becoming mainstays in the hobby. Prime examples include Cypress, Orange Dream and Red Stripe.

Top 4 Spotnose Clown Ball Python Morphs (my choice)

1. Pastel Spotnose Clown

Pastel Spotnose Ball Python
Pastel Spotnose Ball Python

This is such a beautiful morph that it maintains its popularity, year after year. Some people don’t like Pastel in Clown combos, and in some circumstances I’d agree.

In this combo it really works though! It brightens the colour when compared to a Spotnose Clown and adds a nice lemony yellow background hue.

It also jumbles up the patterning on the head, resulting in a complex array of black spots. This is definitely another case where it’s surprising just how much Pastel can do.

2. Batman Ball Python

Yet another combination morph brought to us by Justin Kobylka (Kinova), the Batman is a strikingly dark snake.

It is a combination of Clown, Spotnose, and Leopard. The result is a general appearance similar to just a Spotnose Clown, but with the beautiful patterning of the Leopard gene.

Often, these snakes also have a strong dorsal stripe, and an almost orange head. Add Coral Glow or Banana to one of these and it flips it to a whole new appearance – definitely worth thinking about if you want to do some long-term projects that will hold value.

3. Spotnose Redstripe Clown

Redstripe is one of those genes that seems subtle in some combinations, then spectacular in others. Personally, I think adding Redstripe to a Spotnose Clown makes an incredibly beautiful morph.

And that’s really only half the point with this morph – the important thing is that you’re half way to a Pompeii!

Spotnose Clown Ball Python Morph Guide
Spotnose Redstripe Clown. This photo was kindly provided by Troy Stubbs at upscaled_reptiles.

4. Pompeii

This morph is pretty crazy – and quite frankly I can’t see it losing value or popularity any time in the next ten years, if ever.

In total, this morph contains five genes:

  • Clown
  • Spotnose
  • Yellowbelly
  • Red Stripe
  • Black Pastel

I could talk about it all day, but you’re better off hearing from Justin himself, so check out the video below…

Spotnose Clown Ball Pythons for sale

Something you need to know about high-end morphs like this is that they get very expensive. Before you part with your hard-earned cash, make sure you trust the seller.

There are plenty of ads for these morphs all over a variety of websites. Personally, I would only ever recommend buying from a website that has measures in place to try to ensure the safety of buyers.

One example is Morphmarket, where you can see very easily if a breeder is giving buyers a good experience or not. It also has a dispute process.

If you weren’t comfortable buying from me on this site, for example, you could follow the link on my for sale page to my Morphmarket page. This is a great way of double checking things, and something I’m perfectly happy with.

Always buy high-end animals from breeders who have clear terms and conditions listed and who are happy to be on a platform where they are subject to reviews and feedback.

Spotnose Clown Ball Python Morph Guide
Spotnose Clown Ball Python from D & Jo’s Pythons. Darren and Jo are two of the UK’s leading Ball Python breeders, for good reason!

Future of the morph

This is not one of those cool incomplete dominant or dominant combos that looks great but rapidly loses value over the next few years (no offence to Pewter!).

Spotnose Clowns are a valuable asset to any collection, and will be for the foreseeable future. What you may see is more double and triple recessive projects going forward, but what’s certain is that this morph will be an ingredient in many of them.


First produced by:Ben Renick, 2013
Morph type:Combination morph – recessive/incomplete dominant
Genetic issues:None, but should not be bred to genes in the spider complex
Goes well with:Leopard, Acid/Confusion, Red Stripe, Coral Glow, Black Pastel, Yellowbelly

Also on this topic:

For more on recessive morphs in general:

Back to the recessive gene topic page

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