Ball Python genetic behaviors

I’ve made some observations across my collection that intrigued me and I wonder if anyone else sees similar patterns within their collection. Now I’m not saying these occurances are actually related to the genes themselves, these are just what I’m noticing with my snakes.

  • My lighter colored snakes are way better eaters than my darks. They are not bashful when it comes to food and readily take F/T

  • My darker colored snakes are a bit finicky when it comes to food and most prefer live. I even have one that will only eat solid black/live rodents no matter what.

  • My busier patterned snakes are a bit more “flighty” and prefer to try to escape you when handled versus balling up.

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How long are these observations over? Have you noticed this over multiple generations?


I believe that this will be another very interesting discussion that I want to follow!

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Is an Albino BlkPastel considered a light snake or a dark snake?

Is a GStripe Spider considered “busy” patterned?

I ask these questions because of the contradictory nature of the morphs in them should create problems due to their conflicting nature.

If the BlkPastel gene is responsible for the animal being finicky, then an Albino BlkPastel should also be finicky despite the fact that it is not a dark snake…

As primates, we are sort of evolutionarily “programed” to see patterns in things. Quite frequently, it causes us to find patterns that are not really there


Not long, about 2 yrs and comparing 14 snakes total


I’ve actually noticed the opposite in my collection! The few dark snakes I have slam food like they haven’t eaten all year


Great point - I’m not trying to re-classify any genes into newer categories of light and dark. Just in my collection of 14 balls half of mine are visually on the light colored side

So my great eaters are the following, and I would consider these lighter in colored compared to my other snakes. And I’m not going to list all the hets they’re just listed as the visual gene to keep it simple

Coral Glow
Pinstripe Pied

My “darks” that are finicky eaters are
Axanthic (eats only Live Black rodents)

My busy pattern


My banana is an amazing eater, never missed a feed since I got him and he was 2 this year, and everyone I’ve spoken to with a banana also says that their banana is the best eater in their collection.

Probably means nothing but was interesting to know :blush:


Was not saying you were trying to re-classify, just reframing the question so you would understand my logic and my final point about the primate brain frequently finding patterns that are not there :+1:t4: :grin:

I can also reframe the question this way:

Bamboo and Mojave are just different mutations to the same gene, so how would we account for an opposite change of behaviour between them?


Well this was supposed to be a fun super not serious discussion based off of what my primate brain was identifying as “patterns” amongst my individual collection of fourteen snakes. I guess we can go ahead and kill this thread. It got way too deep


Based on the title of your thread, I was given the impression that this was intended to be a discussion on genetics. Nothing in the title, or your initial post, implied that it was just for fun.

And fun and serious pretty much go hand in hand for me when it comes to discussions of genetics.


Amen to the bling yellow belly

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It’s all supposed to be fun

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Yes, it is all supposed to be fun. Though, talking through genetic theory can get a little bit intense. I love to have fun but also be part of true discussions were one can learn from others. Personally, I am open to discuss genetics all the time, I love them.


Indeed, I was blown away when I first saw what yellow belly and specter together made and have been hooked ever since


Me too!! Which is probably good considering the career I chose :joy:


I do think I might have a genetic observation, over multiple generations and I really have never believed in genetic trait difference in something like eating, just individual snake behavior but…
I got a sub adult female het. Red axanthic from Cory woods line over 11 years ago and I have to say any snakes produced, over multiple generations and a lot of outcrossing to other morphs in my collection, as well as back into the line of this red ax line are the most food aggressive bps I have ever had. In fact the babies tend to be more aggressive then usual in general, I have never had issues getting any to feed. After all these years and breeding different morphs, this is the only possible genetic type feeding difference I have ever observed in my collection.

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I have heard this said about BlkPastel complex animals as well, but some of my worst feeders have been BlkPastels.

I would guess, especially with someone like Corey, that you are looking an unrelated polygenetic selection for strong feeders over time


Not a ball python guy (or a breeder of any species) but I’d assume personality is often a combination of line breeding and upbringing. It would definitely be possible to breed for temperament specifically, but considering it would take x3 as long as the domestic fox experiment (bare minimum) and how expensive that would be (especially if wild type babies ended up being the most friendly just by genetic lottery) and a line bred trait can’t just magically be applied to all morphs /and/ there really isn’t a need to fully domesticate ball pythons (we’re pretty damn close if not there already) it’s just not really feasible. With that being said I don’t think you’re on the wrong train of thought noticing these patterns per say. If you got your snakes that look similar from the same or similar source, they’re going to have similar temperaments. New morphs will also probably have shared temperaments for the most part. It’s probably like bred as opposed to based on morph but that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting to explore, even if people with the same morph have different experiences! (I have a yearling lavender corn snake from a massive reputable breeder who has no socialization guaranteed who was skittish at first but is now a sweetheart, legit sat with me for like 45 minutes today, and I have an august lavender from a super kind and personable hobbyist breeder who decided that my printer was his new cage today and yeeted into it from 6 inches above and I haven’t seen him since. There’s always variety in morphs!)

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Temperament can certainly have a genetic component and (like many many other unconsidered traits) it absolutely can be bred for. I have said many times that people’s collections are genetic because of this.