first reptile ever to have been bred in captivity?And the first morph ever?
The first reptile ever bred was probably something kept in it’s home range in ancient times that was in a group setting that just naturally reproduced.
As far as the first non wild type morph, in the wild they’ve probably been occurring for millions of years, but I believe the first ones known to have been reproduced in captivity were albino gopher snakes in 1947.
For ball pythons, the first morph that was purposely bred for its genetics was a Albino by @bobclark in the early 1990s.
In 1989, I became aware of the possibility of the existence of an amelanistic ball python (Python regius). My friend Olaf Pronk, then of The Hague, Netherlands, had received word via Telex, that the snake had been captured in Ghana. I had heard this type of rumor before, and in every case the snake apparently did not exist. We obtained a picture of this animal and started negotiations to acquire it. In May of that year, I received the snake, a young male about 26 inches long. It was bright lemon yellow and clean white. The snake’s high contrast, bright color and small adult size created much interest and anticipation among the snake-buying public. The young albino was imported as a nonfeeding, wild-caught individual with all the associated problems and worry that go with such an animal-especially a ball python.
The snake fed voluntarily in due time, and while it was thought to be too small to breed, it did so that fall. The heterozygous generation hatched in the spring of 1990. These snakes grew quickly, bred and laid eggs that hatched when they themselves were only 2 years old. I remember clearly the morning during May of 1992. I checked the maternally incubated clutch to find the female coiled loosely around the eggs, exposing one egg with a pink and yellow head protruding. Two years of anticipation had ended! I was fortunate to avoid any jubilation-related injury to myself in the short private celebration that followed-it was a very good day. Expensive and desirable, these snakes have held their price at $7,500.
On the night of August 18, 1994, my breeding facility was burglarized, and the majority of my colony of these animals was stolen. The thieves took the founding male albino and a group of heterozygous females each incubating eggs. Some of the eggs were due to hatch in a matter of days. In spite of the loss, I still maintain a small viable breeding group of albino ball pythons.
There is evidence that ancient Egyptians were keeping/breeding crocodiles ~1600BCE
And I have vague memories of a document I read that mentioned an albino python in one of the first reptile houses ever build in Victorian England sometime in the late 1800’s. Not sure if they bred it however.