Has a melanistic ball python ever existed?

I’m wondering if a melanistic ball python has ever been found? I mean a pure black snake. Like how melanistic jaguars are black.

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To my knowledge that has not been a thing but if other on here have info on one that would help. All I can find is that dark snakes are super cinnamons, and the super mahogany, super black pastels are the solid black looking ball pythons.

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The BlkPastel complex, Mahogany complex, and GHI would all classify as melanistic, which is simply defined as an increase in the production/display of melanin

While there are numerous cases of a single allele mutation that confers a uniform black phenotype in many mammalian species, there has, to my knowledge, never been any documentation of the same in reptiles to date.


Oh the thing about the complexes completely slipped my mind.

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Melanistic eastern garter snakes have been recorded, it’s a simple recessive mutation in that species!



That takes 2 copies of the gene. Travis was referring to single allele examples.



Yes, there are numerous examples of homozygous mutations that generate melanistic phenotypes. I specifically listed the BlkPastel group to account for the SuperBlk and SuperCinny and the Mahogany group to account for the SuMa.

The jaguar “panther” mutation is a simple dominant mutation where a single mutant copy confers the all-black phenotype. We also see this in dogs and wolves (wolves actually acquired theirs from dogs interestingly enough), mice, rats, squirrels, birds… There is a pretty extensive list

The gene responsible for dominant melanism (most frequently MC1R) may also be involved in the mutations we already know in the hobby but, because reptiles have additional pigments that mammals lack, the expression mode might be shifted from one of simple dominance to one of incomplete-dominance. Without someone actually doing a genetic-level interrogation, we are left with little but speculation


My bad for the mixup, thank you for clarifying!