Single gene Ball Python morphs are those whose appearance is only influenced by one genetic mutation. Having varying degrees of influence, single gene morphs are used to make polygenic through thousands of different combinations.
In this post, I’ll explain how these morphs are the building blocks of the morph market as a whole, and provide a gateway to some breeding guides for some of the most important ones…
The building blocks of the morph market
Hopefully you’re lucky enough to be younger than me when reading, this so won’t remember- but if not, then you’ll recall the days when Ball Pythons were first taking off.
No Pewters or four gene recessive combos back then! In fact, it all started with the Albino Ball Python (a Tyrosinase negative form) that was first produced by Bob Clark Reptiles in 1992.
Later on, in 1997, NERD (New England Reptile Distributors) produced the first Pastel, then things really took off.
Over the years, a couple hundred more have come to the fore, and now you have around 220-250 individual morphs available.
That said, how the market evolves has stayed the same:
- A single gene morph appears at a high price
- Its price goes down
- It’s added to polygenic (combination) morphs
- Those polygenic morphs keep it popular, or even make it a mainstay in the hobby
In a nutshell, single gene morphs are the building blocks of polygenic morphs. This means that their popularity can stay high for many, many years. Think of them as the “essentials”.
Dominant and incomplete dominant single gene morphs
Keep reading my articles, and you’ll get a pretty clear indication of which single gene morphs have become “essentials”. Mainly because I mention them over and over again when discussing breeding tips and advice.
All-in-all, it’s fair to say the vast majority of them are dominant and incomplete dominant morphs. These genes in particular are in almost every single Ball Python collection out there. They include:
- Orange Dream
Recessive single gene morphs
When it comes to recessive single gene morphs, they’re equally essential, but a little pricier. Despite their number growing over the years, they still haven’t hit the rock bottom prices of some of the dominant/incomplete dominant genes I mention above.
In fact, recessive morphs have a difference kind of importance: they prop up the high-end Ball Python market. It’s no secret that the odds are little trickier when working with recessive genes, and this pushes the prices up when breeders produce new combination morphs involving them.
If you want to start off with a recessive project, there’s a handful that have shown consistent popularity for years now:
- Lavender Albino
- Genetic Stripe
Considerations for breeding
The main consideration here is, do you want a fun project, or a financial project? If you want to breed Ball Pythons as a hobby, then you can pick single gene dominant/incomplete dominant morphs at rock bottom prices and create beautiful babies.
For example, you could get a Pastel and a Pinstripe, and produce a few Lemonblasts. Lemonblasts are one of my personal favorites, and happen to sell really well. This is always something to think about before starting any project.
If, on the other hand, you want a financial project to bring in some cash – then get your hands on some single gene recessive animals would be a better choice. That way you know that the price of the babies should at least be comparable to that of the parents.
For example, you could pick up het. for Piebald male and a Piebald female. Roughly 50% of the babies would be Piebald, and the other 50% would be heterozygous for Piebald. You make your money back and then some.
Although… Mishaps do happen – so there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever hatch any eggs, or get the odds you were expecting! Just thought I’d cover my back a tad here and let you know…
More on single gene Ball Python morphs:
- The Ivory Ball Python: Description, care, and breeding
- Mojave Ball Python: A complete morph guide and breeding tips
- Champagne Ball Python Morph Guide and Breeding Tips
- Pastel Ball Python
- Coral Glow Ball Python
- Acid Ball Python breeder’s guide