How to prove out genes

So, pursuant to a question I had for the more experienced breeders on this board, and so I don’t go cluttering other threads, I wanted to start this conversation. I’m hoping you folks can aim me in the right direction and at the same time, maybe help others who, like me, are just beginning their adventures in breeding.

Like many of us, I suspect, I have been lurking here, reading here, testing myself trying to identify genes in the pictures and so forth. And like many of us, my experience with keeping reptiles has now evolved to the breeding stage. Now, I’m pretty confident in my ability to anticipate the outcome for most of the better known and more common genes and morphs. And I’m mostly good with what I have currently breeding, but when it comes to my grow outs…?

So, specifically, I’m looking for advice on setting up pairings. Not to generate multi hets or visuals, I’m good up to there. But when you want to prove or disprove allelic genes, or even if they’re the same gene with different names (cause that never happens, right?), or how to show a new combo is actually an ALS? How can I prove I’m looking at a super, other than by producing 900 offspring all carrying a single copy of the gene?

I hope the ramble makes sense here. I find the complexity and variability of the gene expression in ball pythons fascinating and I’m looking forward to jumping into this. I just want to be sure I have good methods so I have good results that are reliable and useful to the rest of the community.

As an example:
I suspect these two genes I have named gravel and asphalt may be allelic, but I’m not sure.

In their single expression form, they are almost identical, and when mixed with certain other genes they affect the final expression in a similar kind of way.

They both have a super form and again the expressions are similar but not identical, so I can tell them apart. I haven’t yet bred them together so I don’t know what that looks like.

What pairings or combinations do I need to make to prove or disprove, in a useful way, that these genes are allelic or not? Would this schedule of pairings be the same for a gene that didn’t appear to have a super form? How would I prove/disprove that? And most importantly, what do I need to document for the information to be reliable to the rest of the community? I mean, are you guys just going to take my word for it with a couple random pics? Nope, me neither, so I have to make sure the method is sound, right? Sure, Justin or Travis or Billy says this gene and that gene are or are not allelic/the same. Ok, they have huge collections and lots of experience, expertise, and a track record. And presumably, he knows how to set up “breeding trials” that give reliable results, and I’m ok with giving the man that cred. I have no problem admitting someone else knows something I don’t, now, time to expand my base of knowledge.


I will point you here quick:


As both are proven allelic to YB then it is guaranteed they are alleles of one another. Further, Asphalt and Gravel have been proven to be allelic via breeding like above


Oh yeah, I know that gravel and asphalt are actually allelic.

It was just an example, I was hoping one of you guys with more expertise than me would then be able to walk the rest of us through it using genes/morphs we know and can find examples of. Instead of, you know, the random cool looking gene (maybe?) I have in my grow out rack, which doesn’t even have a name yet…


My real goal here is to make sure all of us new breeders know the proper method and documentation. Hopefully that will result in an increased knowledge base without adding so much bad or questionable data. And maybe even cut down on arguments, or maybe not…

:rofl: :joy: :rofl:

This is the reptile hobby we are talking about, right?! LOL



Can I start it? (Removes pin from grenade)

Stranger is totally the same gene as Mahogany…

(Tink tatink tink…:boom: )


I think between @t_h_wyman @owalreptiles @saleengrinch and @osbornereptiles profiles on here, you can find a awful lot of information.

Some examples:

Allelic Morphs aka Complexes

Morph Issues

Yeah let’s do this: here’s the Super Spider

A date with Dr Travis Wyman


Excellent! And now there are links, and I have reading material. Thank you. I know lots of this is here, others may not, and I certainly didn’t know the right places to look. I was hoping that by starting this it would bring it up higher in the list and get in depth input, like this. Maybe seeing this will encourage other new breeders, answer their questions and lead them to jump in. This forum is by far the most informative and friendly one I have ever read. And you experienced old hands are incredibly gracious with answers and help, not like some places where they guard all information as trade secrets to be bought with blood.


Your more than welcome!

Knowledge is power, but powerless if you got it and you do not share it.
puts down phlebotomy kit


I have heard that one a number of times now. Just waiting for someone to get up the gumption to do Stranger x Stranger or Stranger x Mahogany and make the “SuMa” form it. I doubt we will see it any time soon though, people are so touchy about the Stranger project… Not sure why given the Cinder project has proven to be allelic and it is still holding value :man_shrugging:t4:

Dammit Thomas… How am I supposed to maintain my immortal visage when you give out the information before I get my blood sacrafice?!?!?

:upside_down_face: :rofl: :crazy_face:


Well… actually, I already have the mahogany 1.1 and next year she will be rtb so trying for suma. At the same time, I’m already looking for stranger that is affordable with my current budget (I really wanted that stranger jedi Brittany had up earlier this year, just couldn’t make it happen before some one got him). We’ll see after the rest of this season.

So far my girls are being insanely stubborn about giving me clutches, I swear I think I’ve seen prelay sheds every other week since February and then pffttt, they go back on feed and just keep building, side laying, cold seeking etc., by now I’m expecting 30 egg clutches from each dang it (every one of them had multiple visual locks, idk what’s going on). But I do have 5 female lav albino and 1 female het lav that will be going up once they get a little bigger, so that’s something at least.

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