Breeding ball python first time

I’d counter with incomplete dominant used to be referred to as codominant in the hobby :wink:.

For newbies especially I think the general term “dominant genes” to describe all types of dominance is less complicated, more scientifically accurate, and makes more sense regardless of what might be prevalent in the hobby.

We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. I certainly get where you are coming from though.

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No need to counter I agree lol

So how do you explain to them why some dominant genes have a super form and some do not with a simple answer that someone just starting out can understand?

My point with that was that what might be most prevalent in the hobby should not necessarily be automatically assumed the most logical and accurate.

I personally have never used the term “dominant” to specifically describe complete dominance and wont in the future.

I would explain that there are different types of dominant genes. Some that visually express themselves differently with a pair of genes while others do not.

Good discussion by the way. I think this type of back and forth is what makes forums like this great and I appreciate your perspective.

Wouldn’t it be easier in the beginning to call them separate names rather than group them all together and sort it out at the back end?

Same :slightly_smiling_face:

This is a good read. When I first started it would have been easier just to have recessive and dominant and figure out inheritance rather than having different types of dominance and exceptions to most rules (like allelic morphs). But, each person will likely learn differently.

I dont think so, no. I think the reason the scientific community uses the general term “dominant genes” to encompass all three types of dominant genes is because it makes the most sense.

The example I used when explaining to a new breeder to determine a base recessive gene then analyze how dominant genes interact with it is one that pertains specifically to our hobby. Defining the different modes of dominance only further complicates things and makes it more confusing.

Why not if they are going to need to learn the differences anyway? Why not learn all available information before jumping in? We are only talking about 3 individual terms being lumped together. Lumping them into one group only leads to more confusion imo.

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When I started I might not have even stuck around or been interested in breeding if I was overwhelmed with genetics and everything about them (inc-dom, co-dom, allelic, etc.). I think it’s best to keep it simple and then get more detailed over time.

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Keeping things as simple as possible early on makes it easier to learn. Genetics are complex. It’s amazing we have a trustworthy authoritative source in Travis that spends the time and effort here to really get down to the nitty gritty. But adding complexity when explaining things to newbies makes it more difficult to learn. Should we also cover the allelic relationships between mutations? What about sex linked ones? Too much too fast can be overwhelming. It’s crazy enough with the sheer number of ball pythons mutations to start with.

The op is already planning on breeding think they need all available information if they are making the choice to produce ball pythons.

Disagree here as well as people are spending a lot of money to begin with so more information in the beginning will keep them from making potentially costly mistakes.

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From a pastel female to a lemon blast (pastel pinstripe) 50% het GS 50% het albino, here are your odds:

1/8 Super pastel
1/8 Super lemon blast aka Killer blast (super pastel pinstripe)
1/4 Lemon blast (pastel pinstripe)
1/4 Pastel
1/8 Pinstripe
1/8 Normal

These will ALL be 25% het GS, 25% het albino. Of course if you end up proving out the father to be either of those, then you know the babies are 50% hets (because now dad is confirmed 100% het). The probability of them carrying the recessive allele is halved every generation. Only way to know for sure is by breeding them out. The % designations can be a little confusing when you’re first learning. All it means is that you have x% probability that the snake is a recessive carrier for the morph. So for your boy, there’s a 50% chance he has a copy of genetic stripe and a 50% chance he has a copy of albino.

Edit: Oops, the first person to answer already broke it down for you with a good explanation. But here’s more confirmation :slight_smile:

Btw there are ways to have 66% hets, 33% hets, etc. But that might be outside of the scope of this question and not really relevant for you.


Great thanks a lot for your post . Much appreciated.

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Your ratios are all right but technically the offspring aren’t 25% het. Mathematically you’re right but they can’t be labeled as that. Honestly, I don’t understand it myself but there’s a good explanation and discussion here.


So basically i will find out if i prove my boy out to either albino or GS female or 100%het ?

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Interesting thread. I understand both sides of the argument, but it’s not “wrong” to say something is 33%, 25%, etc. That is the probability given unknown carrier status in prior generations. Convention is not to label it as such in the reptile world, true. I’m a physician by trade and we sometimes will have to lay out probabilities for diseases that are inherited in a mendelian fashion. We traditionally do use the mathematical probabilities when counseling patients, but nowadays we just do genetic testing which tells us the “het” status directly without guesswork.

Still, I should respect the convention. They are “poss het.”


That’s true, the only way to prove out a pos het is to breed the animal to an animal that is het or visual for that same morph.

@chris0629 I agree as long as the buyer knows that. It’s dishonest to label and animal as pos het when really it’s only 25%/33%. But, if the buyer knows the probability and lineage it’s okay.


That’s great thanks again so much for all replies. I’ve seen a lock today so fingers crossed. :crossed_fingers:


Good luck! Keep us updated if you get eggs.