My son is interested in breeding some of his pythons

My son wants to pair up some of his ball pythons.

He is interested in doing something with one of his axanthics.

But, he saw a pastel freeway and wants to do something with one of them also. From what we are understanding starting with a pastel freeway would not be the way to go if you’re wanting to add another gene into the mix. I’m just trying to keep him from spending his hard earned money on a dead end.

So is it worth buying the pastel freeway? I appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance.

  • Axanthic is a recessive trait, so unless the freeway is also carrying an axantic gene, the babies won’t have visual axanthic. They wil all be 100%het for axanthic.
  • Pastel Freeways will not have freeways as an offspring with the axanthic. You will have yellowbelly or asphalt babies that are 100% het for axanthic. About 1/2 of the babies will be pastel as well.

His best plan is to make sure that the other snake is definitely 100% het for axanthic or visual axanthic.

I would definitely recommend researching genetics 1st and asking him how he’ll plan to take care of the babies that follow.

edit: there are also multiple lines of recessive axanthic that are not compatible and will produce double hets for each type. you need to know which line he has to produce more.


So axanthic is a recessive gene, meaning two copies of the allele are needed for it to show in the animal (think blue eyes or blonde hair in people) while pastel freeways, which broken down are pastel, asphalt, yellowbelly, this means from pairing the two up you do have a possibility of getting more pastel freeways! But it’s much more likely to get single gene animals (only expressing pastel, asphalt, or yellowbelly) or a mix of the two, which still could lead to freeways since all the genes in a pastel freeway are codominant (only one allele is needed for expression, like brown hair or brown eyes). Either way back to the recessives, if you paired these animals you would not get ANY axanthics at all, instead all the offspring would be het (every single baby has one alelle) meaning they carry the gene, but only one allele so it’s not visible since it needs two. I’d advise against this unless you’re prepared to be caring for a bunch of heterozygous (single allele, what a non expressing recessive gene is, or a het) ball pythons that have a random roll at getting freeway or pastel freeway. Ultimately it’s up to you and your son, but I’d recommend studying morphs until you’re a couple years in and know the basics regarding what genes are co dominant and recessive, how genes work, and what morphs are out there. Personally I’ve only been keeping ball pythons for a couple years so I’m in no place to speak but they’re definitely fun to learn about.

Further on pairing ideas and explanation as to the probabilities in clutches whenever you pair what morphs your son has and wants to get with other morphs, if you have an axanthic, the main thing you want to pair it to is a het axanthic (one allele for axanthic, not visible) so that the babies have a 1/2 chance of being axanthic, while all the others will be het axanthic. The best possible pairing would be an axanthic to and axanthic so ALL the babies are axanthics (look up punnets squares and do a bit of research on them! Very good for “calculating” what you’ll get, it doesn’t really but it’ll show you what’s likely to happen, the morphmarket calculator for ball pythons is also very useful for calculating what offspring’s morphs may be) to add on TOP of that pairing an axanthic to an axanthic with co dominant morphs would add more variability and value to the clutch, adding recessives would not matter much, het or visible outside of axanthic since it will not show up in the babies unless both parents are het or visible, so adding genes like fire or champagne can be really fun! Co dominant genes have a 50/50 chance of being passed down to their offspring, so you’ll always have the chance of not only getting axanthics but some other morphs stacked on top for all the cooler and more valuable of snakes! As for the freeway pastel the best thing to pair her with if your son got her would be another snake with any CO DOMINANT genes only, the reason I stress this is because for a first clutch, from local sellers or friends having issues, you generally don’t want to be producing heterozygous recessive animals, since you end up spending more on a parent you sell the babies for less on, and it’s near impossible or is impossible to ID if a snake is heterozygous for something unless one parent is visible for the recessive gene in which case all the babies will be heterozygous, but you’ll still end up spending more on the parent snake. Definitely look into combos with the genes that make up freeway pastel that you and your son like if you end up buying an breeding her

Last final note on axanthics: there are different kinds of axanthic ball pythons so you’ll have to learn what kind of axanthic that ball python is before you pair them to any ol axanthic or het axanthic, and if you buy a het axanthic make sure it is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT het axanthic, not pos, 66%, or 50% since there’s the chance that it is not het axanthic and you’ll just produce a bunch of normals/hets if that’s the case

Another note on hets: there is one way to determine if a snake is het for something, you can send it’s shed in for genetic testing but it costs a lot (65 bucks each if I remember correctly?) and does not have every morph available for testing, plus you will not get visible morph ball pythons and I’m assuming your son wants to start out as a hobby breeder. Best of luck!

(I also recommend questioning regarding treatment of the babies after hatching, your son has to be prepared to take care of every single baby in a proper and good way like any animal should be, meaning, hopefully, how the parents are treated assuming the parents are also being well taken care of, you must have tip-top condition snakes for breeding that need tip-top care also, but after the babies hatch it’s likely they won’t sell right away, but also your son has the responsibility of making sure they go to good homes, the amount of times I’ve taken in “phase” pets is insane, people end up buying an animal from somebody who didn’t ask questions and they end up getting abused or dumped. So basically just make sure your son if prepared to care for up to a clutch of 16 babies, although that’s a very rare number, and treat them well as either keepers or until they go to a good home. Also keep market saturation in mind! The market it highly oversaturated so only breed the best snakes available!)


Firstly welcome to the community :slight_smile:

Why does he want axanthics?
If its the black and white, they don’t stay black and white in ball pythons as they age unlike corns for example.
I suggest he look at adult pictures of snakes on morphmarket or the forum.
Maybe he has, I dont know but for other internet readers of this discussion its a good point to make.
See what adult morphs look like and what he likes then. That’s how i picked the ones I wanted to breed.
Most ball pythons change a lot with age. Some improve colour others not.
Also blood line makes a difference.
Its best to get a morph you will still love when it changes.
Many change for the better too.

Just a thought.


That’s what they already have in house from what I understand.
The question is purchasing a freeway for it.


I know, my question is does he know how axanthics change with age. And inferred how that would affect morph combinations


Welcome to the community/family! I’m a keeper not a breeder but I have been around here long enough to know that the people here will not steer you wrong. You have already been given a ton of advice from breeders who know what they are doing. It’s waaaaaaay too confusing for an old lady :older_woman: lol but the information/expertise here has no bounds!

Welcome again and I send the very best wishes to you and your son for the plans he has for the future! :pray::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I’m so sorry, I did not explain that correctly at all. He has two axanthics, and that is a project all on its own.

He saw a pastel freeway and loved the way it looked and wanted to do something with them. But from my understanding it would be better to get say a super gravel and a yellow belly with the other gene that he wants to pair up. I just didn’t want him spending his summer job money on a freeway if it really wouldn’t get him where he wanted to go.

So the freeway and the axanthic projects are separate.

I apologize again for the poor communication on that.


Asphalt not gravel. Lol