Ball Python Morphs
This is just a short introduction into the history of ball python morphs and morph
game in general. Over time I plan to add more and more information into this category as far as
breeding information goes and really try to break things down into great detail, but for now this is
just a basic intro into the history of the ball python morph game. I specifically left out a lot of detail
regarding individual breeders and such.
First you may be wondering what exactly is a
python morph? Well, allow me to attempt to answer
that question without getting too technical. The
word “morph” is more or less a slang term that
originated from the biology term polymorphism.
Legitimate polymorphism is the occurrence of a
mutated gene(s) that are responsible for creating different phenotypes through color and even
patterns in a particular species that differentiate it from the normal wild type animal. Putting is as
simply as possible, all morphs are basically genetic mutants. Science is still not 100% sure
why genes mutate but we can make an educated guess that it related to adaptability and survival.
These genetic mutants are extremely rare in the wild because most of the time their phenotype like
albino for example puts the animal at a huge disadvantage due to the inability to camouflage properly
and seek out prey. With that, most reptile morphs don’t survive long in the wild. Keeping all of
this in mind, you can easy see how a ball python that’s different and extremely rare can quickly
generate interest to private keepers and breeders. That’s pretty much where the whole ball python
morph craze started with a single albino that was caught in Africa and sold to an American breeder
who bred the animal and introduced it to the reptile market.
Ball python breeders took notice of the these cool little albinos and how much interest they were
generating within the hobby and the ball python morph fever started to take hold. Other morphs like
the pastel jungle and ghost ball python came onto the scene and all of a sudden ball pythons went
from a not so interesting and possibly even boring animal, to all the rave. With the explosion of
interest the prices were also exploding, base
morphs were being sold hand over fist for 25k and
up. Early ball python investors/breeders where
making hundreds of thousands of dollars. People
were quitting their jobs and getting 2nd mortgages
on their houses to pursue the ball python craze.
What started with just a couple morphs being
imported into the United States quickly turned into
several different color and pattern mutations that are inherited in a variety of different ways. Today
we have anywhere from 50-100 different genetic ball python morphs on the market.
Well, as many of you know most bubbles end up popping at some point and that popping point
started in 2005 and continued with ball python morph prices falling year after year until late 2009
when the market began to stabilize. That stabilization was most likely caused by the huge increase in
new breeders into the hobby buying and selling on a huge scale. Fast forward to 2012 and we have a
very stable ball python market that appears to be doing very well despite the current state of the
There you have it, a quick over view of the last 10-12 years and how they evolved into the current
state we’re at today.