Why are Axthantic Ball Pythons not black and white?

Why are Axthantic Ball Pythons not black and white?
Especially as they seem to make a white snow with an albino.

Also what’s the difference between anerythristic and Axthantic?
Cant seem to find anything on google to explain Axthantic.

I can’t seem to find any anerythristic ball pythons either.

Maybe Axthantic ball pythons are just extreme hypomelanistic?

As I said, new to ball pythons so any advice or opinions are welcome.

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Anerythristic is lacking red pigment. Axthantic is lacking yellow.

Axanthic bps aren’t completely black and white because the brown pigment is still there. However some genes that reduce the brown pigment can make the axanthics more black and white. Because there isn’t really a red pigment in ball python it isn’t something described … corn snakes have that red pigment that can be removed creating Anerythristic. Hypomelanstic just means less melanin, … axanthic isn’t creating more melanin it is removing a color.


BPs do not have red pigment, so they cannot be anerythristic. The pigment responsible for brown is the yellow pigment. Axanthic is actually an incorrect term for the mutations, the proper term would be hypoxanthic. They lack some of the pigment, but still have some no matter the animal. The chance of anyone changing the term is unlikely, despite the fact it has been proven incorrect.


Hypomelanistic means less melanin. Hypermelanistic would be more melanin.


oopppps lol… my bad…i knew that my brain is still waking up apparently. Ill edit it.

The colour palette in ball pythons is based on the brown (melanin) and yellow (xanthin) pigments.

The reason the “alien heads” appear as a golden/tan colour is because it is a combination of the yellow and brown pigments being present in the same cells/regions. Imagine if you have a piece of yellow stretch film and a piece of light brown stretch film laid on top of one another and you are looking at a bright light through it. The light looks golden. Remove the brown film and the light now looks yellow (Albino). Remove the yellow film and the light looks a light dingy tan (Axanthic)

Hypomelanism is a reduction in the amount of melanin. All the T-pos “albino”-type morphs (Lav, Candy/Toffee, Ultramel, Caramel, Banana, etc…) are, strictly speaking, hypomelanistic. Pastel is also a variant of hypomelanism. What we call Hypo in the hobby is actually a hypo-pigmentation mutant and not a hypomelanistic one


I thought the brown pigment in BPs was because of the combo of the two pigments? Since when you have an exceptional baby axanthic they are gray and black.

The appearance of the Albino would belie that :upside_down_face:

Melanin is a brown pigment. In high concentrations it appears black but that is down to mechanisms of physics and chemistry. In lower concentrations it is any of various shades of brown through tan. In combination with the yellow, your eyes perceive the gold of the alien heads.

Baby Axanthincs look black/grey because of, again, physics, chemistry, and optic nerve excitation thresholds.


Have you ever seen baby snows? They have yellow on their sides. They don’t lack yellow from what I have seen.

Thanks everyone, really interesting read.

Not in the flesh, like I said im quite new to Ball Pythons, But I have seen pictures of snows with no yellow, but maybe its just bad lighting or my monitor.

I see yellow around the belly of that animal, so maybe it is your monitor.

Yes looking at more pictures there are some snows with with some yellow.
But that contradicts the quote below which made sense. So No I am confused again.

Maybe all the yellow is not completely removed making it not true Axanthic but actually a ‘hypo’ axanthic or partial Axanthic?

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Amelanism VS Albinism

Here is a thread for this I made a while back.


None of the “Axanthic” morphs in balls (or carpets or corns or many of the other species) are complete axanthism. It would be more proper to call them ‘Hypoxanthic’. But good luck changing three decades of inertia on that one LOL