The stormtrooper ball python is a black-and-white morph that was accidentally produced by crossing a pastel ball python with an axanthic morph.
First produced in the ’90s, it is named after the black-and-white Stormtrooper armor in the Star Wars franchise.
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Python Regius Background Information
Ball pythons, Python regius, are medium-sized ball pythons from central and eastern Africa.
Their distribution covers a large part of Sub-Saharan Africa where they inhabit covered woodland and shrubland with some tree cover.
They are often found near running water, which they enter to escape the heat.
Ball pythons used to be extremely common in the wild. But there are some concerns that the removal of wild stock for the pet trade may be driving the animal to extinction in the wild.
These animals were first introduced to the pet trade in the 1980s when they became an overnight sensation and were soon available at low prices.
Breeders started to focus on animals who exhibited variations in their appearances. They bred their animals to maintain these variations or create new ones.
As each of these odd appearances became established, and breeders were able to replicate them reliably, each new type became a morph.
There are hundreds of morphs today, thanks to the insane genetic potential of those first ball pythons.
What is a Stormtrooper Ball Python?
The stormtrooper ball python is an accidental designer morph.
This morph is axanthic, which means that it’s not capable of producing either or both the red and green pigment.
It was initially intended to be a normal pastel x axanthic, but it turned out differently.
A morph usually has a characteristic that can be reliably passed down to offspring by following certain breeding patterns.
The breeder of the stormtrooper hasn’t been able to produce offspring with the same appearance as the stormtrooper.
Stormtrooper Ball Python Appearance
As we mentioned in the previous section, axanthic ball pythons have a somewhat faded appearance.
This doesn’t mean that they look washed out or unhealthy, though. Axanthics have quite a bold appearance because the fading on some parts makes other parts stand out more.
Generally, these ball pythons have very crisp, sharp patterning which beckons to the eye.
Of course, the axanthic gene isn’t dominant or co-dominant, so a large part of the appearance depends on the snakes that are bred.
Though all axanthic ball pythons will have the fading that results from not having red or green pigments, the resulting snake can look different, depending on the morphs used.
The stormtrooper ball python is characterized by its black and white patterning, with the black darkening with each shed.
How Big Do Stormtrooper Ball Pythons Get?
It’s a common myth among new keepers that different ball python morphs reach different sizes. Morphs all reach the same size.
A female ball python is larger than a male, and the species reaches lengths of no more than five feet.
Buying Stormtrooper Ball Pythons
Unlike most ball python morphs, you can’t simply go online or to a reptile expo and buy a stormtrooper.
Attempts to breed stormtrooper ball pythons have yet to produce young that share their parents appearance.
We’d recommend keeping an eye on sites like MorphMarket since those are the likely points of sale if the breeder achieves success.
These sites, along with reptile expos, are an excellent place to buy general axanthic balls.
Axanthic Ball Python Price
While you can’t buy a Stormtrooper ball python, you CAN purchase an axanthic.
If you decide to get one of these faded-looking morphs, you can expect to pay around $400. When it comes to the fancier designer morphs, axanthics can fetch up to $2,000.
The price all depends on the appearance type you choose. Stormtrooper can go for several thousand dollars on the open market.
Caring for Your Stormtrooper Ball Python Morph
It’s a common myth that each morph has separate care requirements.
This thinking is inaccurate, and you can keep all ball pythons the same way.
For more information about how to care for your axanthic ball python, check out our comprehensive ball python care sheet.
Stormtrooper Axanthic Ball Python
People get confused between the terms axanthic ball python and stormtrooper ball python.
It turns out that there’s a huge difference between the two terms. The stormtrooper is one specific python and not a morph that’s generally available for sale.
While the stormtrooper is axanthic (lacks red and green pigments) most axanthic pythons are not stormtroopers.
What Genes Make an Axanthic Ball Python?
Axanthic ball pythons are the result of a recessive gene.
Dominant genes tend to show up in every generation of snakes. Recessive genes may skip a generation or only come to light when crossed with another recessive gene.
This morph was first produced in 1997 by VPI (Vida Preciosa International) and has since been produced by other breeders. Most snakes on the market come from one of four breeders’ bloodlines.
Since the gene is recessive, it has the potential to pop up in almost any breeding, if both of the parents carry the gene.
The stormtrooper is a cross between an axanthic and pastel. It’s unknown which genetic combination creates this odd appearance.
Do Stormtrooper Ball Pythons Have Wobble?
If you’ve never encountered head wobble in ball pythons, you may not be familiar with this genetic problem.
Wobble is the result of a problem with the spider morph and its descendants. Not all morphs manifest this issue. It’s usually only observed when the spider gene is involved.
Head wobble causes the snake to lose control of its head. It may look like a bobblehead when it moves, or the head may stand up at odd angles.
Since the axanthic gene is recessive, the parentage involves a dominant gene as well.
If your axanthic has spider blood anywhere in its ancestry, it may very well have wobble or kinking.
The real stormtrooper ball python is 100% healthy.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this morph guide. For more insight about the morphs you can buy, check out our comprehensive morph guide.
Would you buy a stormtrooper if you could? Let us know in a comment.