Hello everyone! I was just sitting around bored and kind of wondered if anyone knew of any genetic mutations that have happened in a captive ball python (completely new morphs, not just combining two morphs and calling it something new). I know all the major mutations come from wild caught “dinker” projects, but obviously all mutations had to start from a normal ball python that just produced something “off”. Does anyone know if any of the mainstream morphs out there occurred from an otherwise normal captive snake throwing out a wild mutation? Always neat to think an otherwise straight forward pairing could somehow produce the next hot morph without having to bring in wild caught specimens.
There’s really no difference in a wild caught vs captive bred ball python. Either way, mutations can happen and they’re not always good. So yes. you can have something show up. But the chances are low.
I know that Osborne’s first Urban Camo came from a pewter he purchased off another breeder that looked particularly nice to him. He then isolated the sandblast gene in that group.
Cryptic/Gizmo/Amur also showed up in the captive bred circles.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think that is how a lot of the allelic combos came to be. We realized that certain recessives were compatible and created a mashup between them. Candy and Albino, aka Candino, came from a pairing that Mike Wilbanks did. I would be shocked if we ever “ran out” of genes and combos to play with!
I know a wild caught ball python is still a ball python. But I know those new to the trade morphs can cost into the 10’s of thousands of dollars. Would be crazy to breed a couple snakes together and get a whole new morph (that isn’t a negative health birth defect). Plus, I’m totally about lowering our impact on wild populations.
I’m sure the “soup” they came from has been in the wild for a long long time, eventually someone stumbled upon the fact they were compatible. I guess when you think of how long ball pythons have been reproducing in the wild, the odds of a new viable genetic mutation happening in captivity seems pretty remote.
While it could happen, keep in mind that not all mutations are going to affect color, in fact most probably won’t. You’re just as likely to end up with a de novo mutation that causes a heart defect that causes the ball python to drop dead at age 3, one that makes it have a low sperm count, one that decreases liver function slightly, or most likely, one that does observably nothing. Tens of thousands of ball pythons have to be farm raised in order to pull out morphs to be imported to start new lines, because the liklihood is very, very low.
Yep, that’s genetics for you, the majority of mutations are not necessarily good ones. One can dream though, lol.
Clarifications - 1) Wilbanks had nothing to do with it. It was Peter Williams in Canada that paired a het Candy to a poss het Albino and accidentally made the first publicly acknowledged Candino (there is some indication that Kahl may have made a Toffino a couple years prior but he has never verified this publicly) 2) This is not the same as a spontaneous mutation arising in captivity. Both the original Toffee and Candy were imported as visual animals by Outback Reptiles before being sold to Kahl and Craig
Now, to answer the OPs question… There are a large number of cases where extremely subtle/cryptic mutations that almost certainly came out of the wild and were only recognized as being mutations once they piled up enough in someone’s collection - Sandblast, Cryptic/Gizmo/Amur, Trick, Shatter, Red, Ring, etc. There seem to be a very few actual spontaneous mutations that have occurred in captivity. Ben Renick had an female that was absolutely normal in every way, but she regularly threw obviously Pastel babies, for example. Ozzy and his “Weirdo” might be another instance (emphasis on MIGHT)
I had read it on a popular ball python website. Thank you for clarifying so that I now know. I appreciate it
Not aware of any ball python mutations but it does happen on occasion in captivity. A great example is the Motley mutation in reticulated pythons. Bob Clark hatched the first Motley from a wild-type female bred to the original WC Albino (Lavender). Very cool…