Over time morph difference, or health issue?

Hello MM community! Reaching out as a first time ball python owner and have a question you all can probably answer. I received Tigger first week of march 21’, pastel, yb/asphalt, od.

I have begun to notice though that over time since ive gotten him, he has started to devolop these greyish scales along the top of him.
I am just wondering if this is normal for his morph or bps in general, or if its something more concerning? Being new, I just want to make sure im not the cause of this. Will it darken even more over time? Tried to research online but didnt really see anything specific about those morphs, but I have read and seen that over time morphs such as banana for example, do not look the same as they get older. Thanks for any input!


It could be change in patterns, going to shed, or scale rot.

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What you are seeing is the oncogenetic colour change that all ball pythons go through. The Pastel morph specifically, is known to “brown out” as it goes through the change which is what you are seeing here.


Awesome, thank you! I was in fear that it could be possible scale rot, but considering the husbandry is pretty on point I wasn’t so sure. But when you say brown out, do you mean the entirety of the snake, or is it usually in certain areas such as along the top, or just varies depending on the snake?

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It depends on the snake. If you go on morphmarket listings and look for adult animals for sale or previously listed that are the same morph as yours you can get an idea of what yours may end up looking like.

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My orange dream has developed some darker colors on the top. To me it starts to look more like a sunset and provide contrast. Nice combo you have there.

It depends on the morphs involved. Anything with Pastel pretty much gets a darker cast along the dorsal and creeping down the flanks. Some other morphs will offset that a little, modulating how far the darker tone creeps down.

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My pastel YB is doing the same as she ages. Nothing to be concerned about. It is the exception for a ball python to retain the bright colors and patterns of their juvenile stages into adulthood. Most will dull, darken, fade, etc. as they age.

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Ball pythons tend to change color as they age!

Here’s my butter spinnerblast (butter pastel spider pinstripe) girl shortly after hatching and having her first shed:

And her now:


Yeah browning out in general happens to the pastel gene quite a bit.
This is my Pastel girl from juvenile to breeding adult. She was a good looking Pastel at hatch and thus retained a bunch of yellow into adulthood but some vibrancy was definitely lost.

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