The cinnamon ball python morph is among the most common ball python (Python regius) morphs in the pet trade. It’s also among the most variable in color.
Each cinnamon ball python possesses a gene that alters its pattern and color relative to “wild-type” ball pythons. This gene causes snakes to appear dark or reddish-brown – a trait that earns the morph its name.
Like any morph, the cinnamon trait helps to provide diversity to the collections of ball python keepers. Being co-dominant, you can also mix it with other genes to produce unusual morph combinations.
It can also exist in a homozygous form, known as a “super cinnamon”.
Table of Contents
What You’ll Learn
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the cinnamon ball python morph, including:
- How much a cinnamon ball python costs
- What makes the cinnamon ball python unique
- Genetics and pattern of inheritance of the cinnamon gene
- What homozygous (super) cinnamon ball pythons look like
- The result of common gene crosses (such as cinnamon pastel)
- What you need to know before purchasing a cinnamon ball python
Ball Python Background Info
Ball pythons (Python regius) are a medium-sized python species native to Africa. They are one of the best reptile species for beginners.
Fun Fact: This snake has a tendency to curl into a ball when threatened – earning its common name!
Ball pythons typically reach sizes of up to five feet with a lifespan of 30 years.
They are popular with reptile keepers due to their laidback temperament, minimal housing requirements, and overall hardiness.
Due to the ease of breeding these snakes in captivity, and the relative diversity of color and pattern among wild specimens, there are now literally hundreds of ball python morphs and morph mixes available on the market.
“Morphs” are simply different color and pattern variants, caused by unique gene mutations. The wide array of morphs available for this species is one of the main attractions for many owners and breeders.
When breeding two snakes together for the first time, the results can be wildly unexpected – as in the case of the super cinnamon!
What is a Cinnamon Ball Python?
A cinnamon ball python is one that carries the cinnamon gene, resulting in a unique color morph.
Cinnamons are highly variable in appearance, but usually have much darker base coloration than wild-type balls. They also have markings that can differ in color – ranging from a light tan to a rusty or reddish-brown.
They also have a huge potential for morph combinations and can produce some pretty unusual colors and patterns when paired with other traits.
Do Cinnamon Ball Pythons Require Special Care?
For the most part, cinnamon ball pythons require exactly the same care as wild-type ball pythons.
Check out our comprehensive ball python care guide to learn exactly how to care for this species in captivity.
The cinnamon ball python morph is a naturally occurring variant and – for the most part – a fairly healthy one. However, the cinnamon trait can be associated with some issues.
We’ll discuss issues associated with the cinnamon morph in the next section.
Cinnamon Ball Python Genetics
The cinnamon gene is co-dominant.
This simply means that you can combine two alleles (different variants) of the gene to produce a blended appearance.
In practical terms, this means that only one parent needs to possess the gene in order to produce cinnamon offspring.
It also means that two cinnamons can be bred together to produce a homozygous or “super” cinnamon with a different appearance.
Super Cinnamon Ball Python
A “super cinnamon” is a ball python that is homozygous for the cinnamon gene (meaning that it possesses not one but two copies).
This occurs around 25% of the time when two cinnamons are bred together.
Super cinnamons, like the regular cinnamon, can range in color from almost jet black to reddish-brown.
Unlike their heterozygous counterparts, super cinnamon ball pythons actually lack markings altogether.
Instead, they have a smooth, solid color appearance that is highly sought-after by some keepers!
The super cinnamon can range from brown to almost jet black with a pale belly.
These (virtually) all-black, patternless snakes can be highly sought after, resulting in high demand for super cinnamon hatchlings.
It’s important to note that super cinnamons are prone to a few health issues, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
Cinnamon (and Super Cinnamon) Ball Python Issues
Morphs can alter more than just a snake’s appearance. Some, like the infamous spider morph, are also associated with genetic health defects.
The cinnamon ball python is typically a healthy morph and is not prone to any genetic conditions.
The super cinnamon, however, is an altogether different story.
Super cinnamons are prone to several different genetic disorders, such as:
- Kinking – A spinal deformity that can affect the mobility of your snake. Sometimes this can be so severe that embryos die in the egg.
- Bug eyes – A condition that causes eyes to protrude and be unusually large relative to the size of your snake’s head.
- Duck Billing – A condition where a snake’s mouth appears flatter than usual due to abnormal skull growth. May affect feeding and respiratory health.
These are not usually life-threatening issues. However, they may have an impact on the quality of a snake’s life.
Many breeders choose to avoid breeding unhealthy hatchlings as a result.
Though the super cinnamon may not be as unhealthy as other morphs, it’s important to consider the ethics of breeding a potentially unhealthy animal before attempting to create super cinnamon hatchlings.
Banana Cinnamon Ball Python
A banana cinnamon ball python is the result of a cross between banana and cinnamon parents.
In our opinion, the banana x cinnamon is among the most vibrant and eye-catching morph mixes using the cinnamon trait.
The banana cinnamon ball python is typically a pale grey or even lavender with a bright yellow pattern.
Cinnamon Pastel Ball Python
The cinnamon pastel ball python is one of the most popular cinnamon morph mixes.
It’s the result of crossing pastel and cinnamon ball python parents. This morph is more commonly known as “pewter”.
The “cinnamon x pastel” or “pewter” ball python is named for its greyish brown, almost metallic coloration.
Graziani Reptiles bred the first snake with this combination shortly after proving the original “cinnamon” morph.
Cinnamon Pied Ball Python
A cinnamon pied ball python possesses very little dark pigment and is mostly white.
Like the regular pied, the pattern appears as occasional, irregular “saddles” along the body and/or head of the snake.
The cinnamon trait makes these saddles darker than usual.
The exact degree of pattern on pied ball pythons varies dramatically.
Purchasing a Cinnamon Ball Python
The price of cinnamon balls can vary considerably depending on their bloodline.
No two snakes are entirely the same, and so prices can be higher for prettier animals.
A cinnamon snake can range in price from around $50 to well over $200.
Morph mixes can be even more, with some fetching well over $10,000!
When purchasing any snake or other reptile, we recommend shopping through a reputable breeder.
Take care to find a reputable breeder by consulting forums, reviews, or even speaking to other enthusiasts at reptile expos.
A good breeder should be producing healthy snakes, providing good care advice, and breeding responsibly to avoid genetic defects.
In many cases, breeders may be willing to stay in contact following your purchase to give you any further advice you may need.
Do you own a cinnamon or a cinnamon morph mix? Show us your snakes in the comment section!