Ashen Ball Python - New Dominant Mutation [DONE]

Gene Request Form

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Species: Python regius
Name of Gene: Ashen
First produced by whom: Russell Lawson Jr - Green Swamp Herpetological LLC
Year First Produced: 2009
Genetics Type (Incdom/Codom/Recessive/Polygenic/etc): Dominant (another chance to see if Incomplete Dominant late this year)
In complex with other genes?: Unknown - so far proven not allelic with YB complex. Plans in the near future to breed into other known genes with multiple alleles.
Other names/aliases for it?: No


  • Head: Faded, reduced dark upper eye stripes. Faded overall, lacking defined head stamp.
  • Body: Lighter overall coloration than normal, more tan than brown tones. Increased blushing, reduced or nonexistent “alien eyes”
  • Belly: Clear, minimal markings along edges. Nothing too unusual.
  • Tail: Nothing unusual

Proven Lines: Just this one.
Related Genes: None as of yet.

Proven: I previously believed this phenotype may be polygenic, but the numbers started turning more toward 50% visual offspring in the past year. So far, with a sample size of 41 animals from all Ashen pairings that produced animals which could be positively identified (I excluded a couple pairings with combos the phenotype could have been lost in, early clutches where I kept poor records, and the null-allele clutch from 2013), nearly 32 percent of offspring produced from pairings with one visual Ashen parent were visual Ashens themselves. (~34% if outlier clutches which produced no visual Ashen offspring were omitted, and ~41% if only 2021 and 2022 clutches to date are calculated). I can fairly confidently say that if I produce a clutch of 5 eggs from an Ashen pairing, 2 or 3 of the offspring will likely exhibit the phenotype.
Unique: I first saw the founding animal 20 years ago, and have yet to see another mutation that does all the same things in the same way. It is also unique in that the first animal was a female acquired by myself before she had ever been bred before.

Problems: The only problem I’ve had associated with this mutation was in 2013, I bred one of the first Ashen Pastels to an Orange Hypo and produced two null-allele Super Pastel Ashens. One was dead in the egg with an enlarged heart, and the other (also an Orange Hypo) failed to thrive. I do not attribute this to the mutation since they were demonstrably null-allele animals and the rest of the clutch had no problems. In addition, this was the only clutch (Ashen or otherwise) where I’ve had a null-allele phenomenon occur to my knowledge.

I have admittedly drawn this project out for far too long due to space concerns and want to focus on other projects. Only in the past couple of years have I really put more emphasis on creating new combos. Early on, I had poor luck on odds and only produced the first male Ashen animals in the past few years. Here is a short history by year of when new combos were first made:

  • Around 2002 - Founding female imported from Africa as subadult (around 500g if memory serves) - called “Ghost type” due to lighter color and assumed similarity to Desert Ghost mutation. Originally owned by Matthew Walker, a friend who no longer keeps snakes.
  • 2005 - Founding female acquired by Russell Lawson Jr.
  • 2009 - Produced first female Ashen Pastels
  • 2013 - Produced first female Ashen Pastel YB (and the aforementioned null-allele Ashen Super Pastel Hypo, which did not survive, nor would have ever been bred had she thrived)
  • 2017 - Produced first presumed Ashen male - Pastel Superstripe (unproven as Ashen)
  • 2019 - Produced first definitive Ashen male - Ashen Super Pastel Het Clown
  • 2021 - Produced first: Ashen CG/Banana Pastel
    - Bred Super Pastel Ashen Het Clown to Ashen Pastel - 5 eggs, no obvious visual “Super.”
  • 2022 - Bred Super Pastel Ashen Het Clown to Founder Ashen female - Ovulated, awaiting eggs!

The next thing I need to focus on with this project is actually producing a normal Ashen baby. Every Ashen in existence other than the founding female is a combo - most of those being Ashen Pastels (similar situation to Puzzle when that first came around).

Disagreement or Controversy: None
References here on the community:

Founding Ashen Female (taken in 2013)

Close-up of Founding Ashen Female Head

2013 Ashen Pastel Female

2019 Ashen Super Pastel Het Clown Male

2021 Ashen Pastel Banana/CG

A Comparison of Ashen vs Normal Pastel in 2013, and the Banana/CG Versions in 2021:


I do see a definite look to these guys! Also noticed on most the neck stripe was split or weird too. Lots of lighter blushing on back and sides, non alien heads more of a blocky look. Very nice, need to see more or if a visible super form for sure! That het clown head is nuts, but could also have some het clown influence in there as well. I like it👍


Not all of them have the neck pattern split, but I’ll keep that in mind and make a note. The Het Clown did change the pattern a bit from the null allele Super Pastels I produced previously that did not survive.

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Thanks for the feedback! Definitely like the look of this project, love to see in different combos as well! Thanks for sharing!

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Some more Ashen Pastels and an Ashen Super Pastel from a recent clutch of Ashen Super Pastel Het Clown x Ashen Pastel. The sire has the neck pattern split (see photo in original post) - potentially a Het Clown marker - as half of the offspring exhibit it as well. No apparent “Super” form from this pairing, but I have another small clutch from the same sire to the original WC Ashen female incubating currently.

Male Ashen Pastel w/ Neck Split

Female Ashen Super Pastel w/ Neck Split

Female Ashen Pastel

Female Ashen Pastel


I also believe this animal to be an Ashen Pastel Enchi Orange Hypo, comparing it to the other Pastel Enchi Orange Hypos I’ve hatched in the past. I’m finding it difficult to pick out Ashen in Enchi and Enchi combos though, so I will probably try to go in other directions with it.

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