Wow, since Bob Clark’s first debut of the albino ball python back in 1997, who knew that the ball python morphs would take off like a wild fire? From a handful of wild African imported base morphs, to the triple and quad het designer morphs of today, the combinations are unlimited. Every year more new combos are created by breeders. This is what makes this hobby so exciting; to see the next beautiful new combo.
The Entry-Level Morph
Some of the first imports ball python morphs commanded high prices, but successful captive breeding efforts by commercial breeders and hobbyists are putting ball pythons morphs into the hands of everyone. There is a ball python morph out there that can fit anyone’s budget.
Pastel ball pythons are a great entry level morph as a pet or a breeding project. Pastels bring in yellowish hues into a breeders palette coupled with a crazy jungle pattern. Some reduce patterned or banded pastels have also been produced. Whether you like blushing in your pattern, or a more solid black pattern, the pastel morph has variations that can suit anyone’s interest.
The Pastel Line
Being a co-dominant morph, the pastel can reproduce itself, in theory, 50% of the time when bred to a normal, and has a 25% chance of creating a super pastel jungle when bred back to another pastel. Super pastels are a ball python breeders powerful tool. When bred to a normal, it makes nothing but morphs,100% pastels to be precise.
The Pastel gene is probably responsible for the creation of more combo designers than any other ball python morph today. The Graziani Pastel Jungle and NERD’s Lemon Pastel line are probably two of the most popular lines of pastels in the hobby. There are many others such as Bell line, blondes and many others. These pastel lines were established by the importation of wild imported specimens from West Africa and later bred in numbers in captivity.
To have a great looking ball python or any other snake, sometimes you have to pay a little extra.
There are good examples of pastels available and there are some unattractive ones. The future of reptile breeding hobby will be in selective breeding. All pastel lines fade or “brown-out” to a degree with age, but some select pastels will retain a better yellow colour with age. When purchasing a pet or breeding stock, try not to look at price as a starting point. To have a great looking ball python or any other snake, sometimes you have to pay a little extra. For example, lets say that you have a goal of making a bumble bee (pastel x spider). Would you not try and make the cleanest ones possible by starting with a clean yellow pastel?
So if you have caught the ball python addiction, you can’t go wrong with a nice pastel. Pastels are affordable, attractive, and can later be utilized in creating many designer combos.