Coral Glow Ball Python

The Coral Glow Ball Python is an awesome morph. Who wouldn’t love a mutation that creates incredibly bright, striking colours? Produced by NERD, in 2002, the Coral Glow gene does all that and more.

What makes a Coral Glow Ball Python?

Coral Glow Ball Pythons are a single gene, incomplete dominant morph. This means that breeding two together can create a super form, known as Super Coral Glow.

Coral Glow is also a sex-linked trait (read the Genetic Issues section for more information on this).


yellow ball python morphs
Coral Glow Leopard Pastel Clown. Not the best photo (sorry!), but you get the idea

As hatchlings, Coral Glows have amazing, bright yellow blotches on a light lavender background. At first sight, you would be forgiven for assuming they are a type of albino. And just like in albinos, their pattern tends to be the same as that of normal Ball Pythons.

This colouration isn’t permanent, however, as Coral Glows undergo what is known as ontogenetic colour change. Ontogenetic colour change is basically a change in colour that occurs as an animal reaches maturity.

In Coral Glow Ball Pythons, this colour change is quite dramatic. The yellow and lavender areas get darker and more intense, and black speckles appear all over the snake. As a result, Coral Glow is one the few morphs that can be said to be as spectacular at maturity as it as a hatchling.  

Coral Glow ball python
Coral Glow Champagne ball python

Coral Glow Ball Python Genetics and issues

Coral Glow Ball Pythons do not have genetic health issues. That said, the gene is sex-linked.

Now, this is a little complicated, so bear with me… Most snakes appear to have a ZW chromosome system, where females have ZW sex chromosomes and males ZZ. Conversely, Boas and Pythons appear to have an XY system, where females have XX and males XY. 

At this point you’re probably wondering what this has to do with the Coral Glow morph? Apparently, everything. From many years of observations, the Coral Glow trait appears to be linked to a sex chromosome.

Moreover, the fact that males have two different chromosome impacts how this sex-linked gene is inherited.

Simple, right? Well, no, I forgot to mention something else. The Coral Glow trait also appears to have regular “cross-over” events during recombination.

In a nutshell, male Coral Glows sired by another male Coral Glow will produce almost exclusively male offspring with the trait. This is because it is a scenario where the trait is carried on the male Y chromosome. We call these “male-makers”.

Male Coral Glows sired by a female Coral Glow will produce almost exclusively female offspring with the trait. We see this because this time the trait is carried on the female X chromosome. Remember, both males and females have the X chromosome, so a gene carried on it can show up in both sexes. We call these animals “female-makers”.

Breeding tips

In all honesty, the Coral Glow is spectacular, and affordable, in its single-gene form. This is what has driven its popularity. It also tends to wash out or completely mask a lot of dominant other dominant genes.

Nonetheless, combining Coral Glow with dark dominant genes can still make very striking multi-gene morphs. Leopard, Black Pastel and Cinnamon can all be used to add contrast and colour intensity to Coral Glow. The ever popular Mojave gene also goes extremely well with Coral Glow.

When it comes to recessive gene combos, Coral Glow goes extremely well with Piebald and to a lesser extent Clown. If you want to use Coral Glow in a breeding project, I will highly recommend involving Piebald. Doing so will make the offspring both more valuable and more sought-after.

Top 5 Coral Glow Ball Python Morphs (my choice)

1. Coral Glow Pied Ball Python

Worldwide, Piebald is pretty much the most popular recessive trait in the Ball Python hobby. When adding it into a breeding project, you really can’t go wrong. So, if you like Coral Glow, I highly recommend getting a Coral Glow Pied or Coral Glow Het. Pied (which can have Pied offspring) baby.

Personally, it isn’t just from a financial point of view that I find this morph attractive. The clean white patches created by the Piebald mutation add spectacular contrast to the otherwise unaltered Coral Glow colour.  

2. Super Coral Glow Ball Python

Being caused by an incomplete dominant gene, Coral Glow does of course have a homozygous super form. The super form is much brighter than the simple, heterozygous form and tends to also keep more of this brightness into adulthood.

For breeding, super Coral Glows have the advantage of passing on the trait to all their offspring – guaranteed. Breed one to a normal Ball Python and 100% of the babies will visually express the mutation.

When you’re a small breeder like me, having no normal babies to sell is a big advantage. Though beautiful, they are less in demand and less valuable.

A designer Ball Python morph involving Coral Glow. I’m not sure what other genes are involved but it certainly looks good.

do ball pythons make good pets?
A designer Ball Python morph involving Coral Glow. I’m not sure what other genes are involved but it certainly looks good.

3. Pastel Coral Glow Ball Python

Pastel was first on the list in my Top 5 Essential Ball Python Morphs post. And for good reason. It goes well with everything, adding brightness and extra patterning to most combinations.

With Coral Glow, Pastel adds some much-needed contrast between the pattern and background colour. It also tends to add some subtle, brighter hues to the flanks of young examples. In adults, the presence of Pastel tends to reduce the black freckling that appears in older Coral Glows.

Asides from this, it doesn’t have a huge effect on the overall appearance. Nonetheless, it’s undeniable that Pastel is always a good gene to have if you think that you may one day breed the animal.

4. Coral Glow Pinstripe Ball Python

If you like intense, dark yellow to orange snakes, then this morph is for you!

Pinstripe is another essential Ball Python gene, having a profound effect on pattern. In this case it greatly reduces the patterning and increases the intensity of the Coral Glow yellow. The result is an extraordinarily bright, colourful snake.

In amongst all this colour, you can still make the subtle Pinstripe pattern making the combination one of my personal favourites.

5. Coral Glow Cinnamon Ball Python (Cinna Glow)

Coral Glow Cinnamon Ball Python hatchling.
Coral Glow Cinnamon Ball Python hatchling. Dark genes and Coral Glow go together exceptionally well.

Cinnamon is an intense, rich brown and black dark morph with huge popularity. At first glance, you might not assume it would work well Coral Glow, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Rather than being washed out by each other, these two genes combine to intensify the animal’s appearance. The background colour is darker, almost purple. The pattern is mostly the same, save the addition of a nice yellow stripe down the posterior third of the body.

When thinking about breeding projects, don’t forget that other dark genes such as Mojave can produce a similar effect.

Coral Glow Ball Pythons for sale and cost

Coral Glows are widely available these days and much more affordable than they were just a few years ago. You can easily find this morph for sale from local breeders or at specialist exotics pet stores.

If you are interested in using Coral Glow for a high-end breeding project, you should be a touch more selective about who you buy from. This is especially true when buying “hets” (heterozygous). After all, your only proof that an animal is heterozygous for another trait, such as Piebald, is the breeder’s word.

Fortunately, many experienced breeders will guarantee the genetics of their babies and stake their reputation on it. As always, the best way to make a choice is to go on Morphmarket and check out their ratings from other buyers.

Coral Glow Ball Python Summary

First produced by:NERD, 2002
Morph type: Incomplete dominant
Genetic issues:Sex-linked, but no impact on health
Goes well with:Dark dominant/incomplete dominant genes, Clown, Piebald
Influence:Lightening, complete colour change
Availability:Very widely available
Price:Low to medium

FAQ relating to the Coral Glow Ball Python

What is a coral glow ball python?

A Coral Glow Ball Python is a Ball Python that has inherited the incomplete dominant gene called Coral Glow. The gene greatly reduces black and brown pigment, leaving us with a bright yellow and lavender snake.

This is different to Albinism in Ball Pythons, which is caused by a recessive gene instead. In fact, Coral Glow Ball Pythons get black spots as they age, unlike Albinos which never exhibit black or brown pigmentation.

Is coral glow and banana the same?

The Coral Glow and Banana morphs are caused by exactly the same gene. There is no evidence that these snakes are different from each other in any way. Simply put, different people imported and bred snakes with the same gene, then give it two different names.

So, whether someone calls it Coral Glow or Banana is not really a big deal, the gene causing the mutation is identical in each lineage.

Is there a super banana ball python?

As Banana is the same gene as Coral Glow, is also incomplete dominant, meaning that it has a super form. Whether you choose to buy a super Banana, or a super Coral Glow doesn’t matter too much – either would be a great investment. 100% of the offspring produced would carry the Banana/Coral Glow gene and visually express it.

Also on this topic:

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