Genetics and Aggression

Are there any genes/morphs that seem or tend to be a little more aggressive than the average Ball Python?

I’ve experienced that cinnamons as hatchlings can be a little more nippy and on edge than other ball morphs I’ve worked with. But they calm down once handled for a few weeks.

And I wouldn’t say any snake is aggressive, that’s more a human emotion in my opinion. I’d refer to them being more defensive than aggressive.


I’ve got this 2nd batch from lesser pastel
All them are striking, 1st batch more calm. I used same male.

I would give them at least a week before you even mess with them. Clean their tubs and water bowl and that’s about it. Most will calm down once you start to work with them. I’d wait till the shed, and offer a meal a few days after. Get them to feed at least 2-3 times then start working with them. Plenty of time to tame them down.

Most babies are programmed to be defensive from the start. They are terrified after all, and they can’t run so they have no choice but to either fight or curl up and hope they live. They don’t want to have to bite you to get you to leave them alone, which means they aren’t aggressive. Socializing any BP from the time it is a baby easily breaks them of fearing everything. Those that aren’t properly socialized/have had bad experiences with people will of course be defensive. I don’t think any particular morph is more prone to defensive behaviors. If anything bitey babies are good. That means they are healthy enough to fight/have a natural survival instinct, and will probably be easier to get feeding.


I have a champagne that is really defensive and tried to bite me a lot. She is really a nervous type, far more than the other 10 ball pythons I have. The others where also a little scared in the beginning and would ball up. She bites first, multiple times during one handling when she is scared. I still have to watch her when I pick her up but after that she is oke.
A friend has/had in total three champagnes. They were the same in the beginning. Took him with all of them months before they would stop trying ,to bite him. But the all cooled down in time.

I’ve brought this up before and many people that know genetics disagree. With that said, in my experience Cinny, Super Cinny(Urban Camo), champagne, and OD animals have been much more defensive and willing to bite even as adults. I have limited experience with champagne but the others, especially Cinny and Super Cinny I’ve been producing for over ten years. Candy is another gene that has shown more aggressive tendencies in my experience but I’m in the beginning stages of working with them. Sumas are very inquisitive and always moving when out of their tubs. It could be entirely possible that some of the more “defense” genes came from a more harsh region of Africa and these animals have to be tougher to survive, similar to Biak locale GTP.

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Sorry, didn’t mean to say “aggressive”. None of mine have an aggressive bone in them but can be a little defensive from time to time. I guess I was just wondering if there were any genes that seems to produce animals that tend to be a little more nippy.

One reason for my question is that I am about to start working with Puzzles and I had read some where that they can be a bit defensive. Anyone know if there is any truth to this.

Scaleless Head and Puzzle have been known to be more, ahem, high strung, among others.

One additional remark. All of the champagnes I’m talking about are older than one year old so indeed it’s not something connected to beeing hatchlings. Mine was already 18 months when I got her. In her enclosure she really doesn’t do her name as ball python justice. She simply bites before she balls up. But she also has OD in the mix so maybe I got double the fun :sweat_smile:

No need to be sorry, that’s just my opinion on the term aggressive.
I have a friend who works with puzzle, his have been about half/half.

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My champagne combo male is a sweetheart and has never tried to bite. Maybe your snake wasn’t socialized much and was just left in her tub and was only bothered to be fed/watered?