Cryptically confusing 🙃 the science behind allelic genes

So, It’s common knowledge now that Cryptic is allelic with Clown, and also that Het Cryptic + Het Clown = Crypton.

However, it seems there is still a fair bit of confusion floating around as we often get ads flagged over on MorphMarket where either the seller or flagger has a misunderstanding of how the genetics work.
Especially when it comes to Crypton X Crypton pairings.

It would be extremely helpful to have a comprehensive thread dedicated to this issue… @t_h_wyman @chesterhf :wink:.


Crypton x Crypton is not all that difficult to suss out. It is basically identical to Candino x Candino.

All the offspring will be visuals. If you look at a Punnett square your odds will be one Clown, two Cryptons, one Cryptic. However, unlike that Candy versus Candino, there is no real visual difference between Crypton and Cryptic so any labeling for them should be done as ‘Crypton or Cryptic’ or, more accurately, ‘66% poss Crypton/33% poss Cryptic’


I think what people are having issues with is the concept of something being allelic, and why you would never see something like “clown het cryptic” or “albino het candy”.

First of all, what is an allele?

It’s one of two or more alternative forms of a gene that arise by mutation and are found at the same place on a chromosome.

So to break it down with pictures…

Ball pythons, like many animals are diploid. They have pairs of chromosomes, and as a result, pairs of genes.

A variant in one out of the two genes will lead to a visual morph in the case of a dominant/co-dominant/incomplete dominant trait, or it will be there but you can’t tell in the case of a recessive trait, like clown, cryptic, albino or candy.

The variant/mutation that cause clown/cryptic occurs at the same chromosomal location, but it is a different variant/mutaion.

When dealing with allelic morphs, you are limited to (2) per location. So this means a snake could be albino, candino, or candy, but never albino het candy. In terms of co-dominant allelic traits, it works much the same way. If Blackhead, Spider and HGW are all allelic, you could have a blackhead spider, or blackhead HGW, but never a blackhead spider HGW.


This is very helpful. One thing I’m not sure of is the order of the parts (eg. alleles, organisms, DNA). So far this is what I think the order is. Organism → Cell → Nucleus → DNA → Chromosome → Allele/Gene. Is this the correct order of everything or is DNA a smaller “building block” on this chart?


This a brilliant visual representation of how this works


This is the diagram that I us for the Foundation Genetics guide.