what makes a candino ball python?
Questions About Snakes

What is a Candino Ball Python?

Candino ball pythons are a designer morph. They are the result of breeding albino ball pythons with ‘candy’ ball pythons. This gives them a very distinctive appearance. The only problem is that Candinos are rare, so you have to breed them yourself or buy them from specialist breeders.

A Candino is a ball python morph that has albino and candy genes. It is bright yellow with a light pink pattern. In all other ways, it looks like a normal ball python, i.e., shape, size, and weight. Breeding them is difficult because both the albino and candy genes are recessive.

There are many hundreds of morphs, but only two distinct categories. There are base morphs, which were caught in the wild and imported to be bred. Then there are designer morphs, where one morph was bred to another morph to create something completely new.

What Does a Candino Ball Python Look Like?

Candino ball pythons are much lighter than regular ball pythons. A regular ball python is brown and black. Candinos are bright yellow and light pink.

Their colors are highly contrasting, especially because the yellow is very bright. Like normal ball pythons, their pattern is of solid color separated by small pools and stripes. The background color is yellow, the stripes and pools are light pink.

In other ways, Candinos are the same as regular ball pythons. They reach between three and five feet long, which is a medium size. Their heads are wider than their necks, and they have short tails.

How Big Do Candino Ball Pythons Get?

The only difference between a morph and another morph is appearance. In all other aspects e.g. breeding, feeding, life span, and size, they are the same. This applies to candinos.

This means that Candino ball pythons will reach between 2 and 5 feet. Males are more likely to reach 2 to 3 or 4 feet, while females will reach between 4 and 5. Females reach between 1400 and 1900g, and males reach between 1300 and 1700g.

This is an ideal size for both new and experienced snake owners. They won’t reach a length and weight that’s too heavy to handle easily. But they’ll also be large enough that they make an unusual pet snake.

candino ball python genetics

Candino Ball Python Price

Designer ball python morphs are more expensive than regular ball pythons. There are several reasons why:

  • They are rarer than normals so breeders know they can get away with charging more.
  • They have to be bred through special programs, which costs money.
  • They look amazing compared to normals, and even compared to other morphs.
  • There is a great demand for new, unique, and exciting snakes—especially brand new morphs.

These factors combine to dictate the price of a ball python. When a new morph is bred for the first time, if it is good-looking, it can fetch tens of thousands of dollars. Over time that price goes down.

That applies to every morph. When the Candino was first bred, it sold for thousands. Now that it’s more common, you can pick one up for $250-350. That’s an average price for a designer morph.

Candino Ball Python Genetics

The reason why morphs have different color and pattern is genetics. The Candino has two sets of genes, one being the albino gene, and one being the candy gene.

Every animal inherits genetic material from its two parents. It will have one gene for a characteristic from its mother, and one from its father. These genes are mixed together in the animal’s DNA.

While some are expressed, some aren’t. According to the NCBI, there are three kinds of genes that a ball python, or any animal, can have. The kind dictates how the gene behaves. The three kinds are:

  • These genes ‘beat’ recessive genes. If a snake has two genes for pattern, and one is dominant and one is recessive, it’s the dominant one that will be displayed.
  • These genes don’t ‘win’ or ‘lose.’ They can appear mixed with dominant, recessive or other codominant genes.
  • These genes lose to dominant genes. However, if the snake has two recessive genes for eye color, then that recessive gene will be displayed.

Think of hair or eye color. The gene that gives people blue eyes is a recessive one.

A person can have the blue-eyed gene, but if they have a dominant gene (brown eyes, for example), then that person will have brown eyes. However, if they have two sets of the blue-eyed gene, then that person will have blue eyes.

The albino and candy genes are recessive. Because they have two recessive genes for their color, they are both expressed.

Difference Between Candy and Candino Ball Pythons

The candy ball python is a base morph. This means that it was originally found in the wild and shipped over to the U.S. The Candino ball python is bred from a candy and an albino pair.

In terms of appearance, the candy ball python and Candino are highly similar to one another. The candy has the same bright pattern of yellow with a kind of purple. Their pattern is the same, too.

However, there are several notable differences. If you learn these, you can always tell a candy and a Candino apart:

  • Candinos tend to have brighter yellow coloration.
  • The dark pattern on a candy is a deeper pink than on the Candino.
  • The candy has blushing in its dark pattern, while the Candino doesn’t.
  • Like all albinos and designer morphs bred from albinos, the Candino has red eyes.

If you’re just interested in having a snake with crazy colors, then a candy is perfectly fine. They are also easier to find and buy than candinos, since candinos are a designer morph.

Candino Ball Python History

Albinos were the first morph to be caught and bred other than normal ball pythons. Their history stretches back as far as it can go.

Candy ball pythons were a more recent addition. The first ever candy ball python was imported alongside the first ever toffee ball python by Outback Reptiles. The candy was sold to and named by Peter Kahl, while the toffee was sold to and named by Craig Stewart.

It’s thought that toffee and candy are the same gene mutation, but appear slightly different like all ball pythons of the same morph can. Both genes were proven around 2009 by the respective owners.

As the candy ball python understandably became popular, breeders began to see what they could breed it to. One breeder who bought one of Peter Kahl’s candy ball pythons was Mike Wilbanks. He was the first to produce a Candino in 2012.

Candino Ball Python Morphs

Like other base morphs, the Candino has been bred with many other morphs. Breeders create designer morphs because they are the most interesting and striking ball pythons. They also tend to be expensive.

Some designer ball python morphs have neurological problems, which occurs because genetics is difficult to predict. All the morphs listed below are healthy as well as beautiful. Here’s a table with names and information:

Designer MorphDescription
Candino Pastel Ball Python:Similar to a regular Candino, but with a lighter pink color. This makes their yellow-orange color stand out more.
Candino Black Pastel Ball Python:Very similar to a Candino pastel.
Candino Enchi Ball Python:The same as a regular Candino. The main difference is the slight pattern change of the cinnamon.
Candino Clown Ball Python:The same color as regular candinos, but with the clown pattern. That pattern is a broad but wobbly stripe along the back.
Candino Cinnamon Ball Python:The same as a regular Candino. The main difference is the slight pattern change of the cinnamon.
Candino Banana Ball Python:These snakes have a lighter pink color, and orange blush in their yellow sections.
Candino Leopard Ball Python:Like regular candinos, but with a more irregular and stripy pattern.
Candino Pied Ball Python:A white ball python with large, isolated spots of Candino color along their back and sides.

Candino Pastel Ball Python

The pastel gene is a co-dominant one that increases the yellow pigmentation of a ball python. They also tend to have lots of blushing and characteristic white lips. When bred with other morphs they ‘clean up’ the other morph’s color and pattern.

This is what you see with the Candino pastel. Their color isn’t dramatically different from a regular Candino. Unlike pastels, Candino pastels don’t have much noticeable blushing. What you will see is that a prominent white line often surrounds their pattern.

The main difference is that their pink coloration is lighter. This is good and bad. On the one hand, a Candino’s pink color is beautiful to look at. But the Candino pastel’s lighter pink means that their yellow-orange stands out even more.

Candino Black Pastel Ball Python

Black pastel ball pythons are incredibly similar to cinnamons, but are a separate line. They’ve been bred since 2002, and are a basic morph. Despite that, they have never reached the levels of popularity that other morphs have.

They are high-contrast, with a deep chocolate-black background. Their pattern is a mix of deep red-brown and gold. When bred with a Candino, they create a snake that looks like a Candino pastel but duller.

Their background pattern is a very light purple-gray, while the rest of their color is a deep orange or yellow.

Candino Enchi Ball Python

Enchis are a base ball python morph. Their brown color is transformed into a much lighter orange or even deep yellow. Also, their pattern is thinned out. They’re a popular base morph used to create designer morphs.

Enchi candinos have a more interesting color and pattern variation than others in our list. Their pattern is changed to that of the Enchi, for a start. But their color makes them stand out among Candino morphs.

Candino Enchis have a range of colors. At one end of the spectrum, they are white/light pink and yellow like a pastel Candino. But at the other end of the spectrum, they are yellow all over. Their background color turns yellow too, and turns into white further down their side.

They also have extensive blushing in their darker pattern. They are clear banana yellow on top. But as you move down their sides, that yellow turns to orange. Overall they are a beautiful snake to look at.

Candino Clown Ball Python

The Candino clown ball python is a mixture of the Candino and clown morphs. The clown morph is much the same as a regular ball python, except their pattern is different.

They don’t have pools of color and stripes running down their sides. Instead, they have a wobbly line running along their back. This line is the same color, and has blushing if the morph has blushing too.

That means that the Candino clown is the same color as a regular Candino. Its sides are almost a pure yellow, as bright as the yellow of a normal Candino.

difference between candy and candino ball pythons

Candino Cinnamon Ball Python

Cinnamon ball pythons are a morph that’s similar to the normal. They are so similar that beginners have trouble telling them apart. Their dark color, black on a normal, is browner.

Their pattern is also slightly different, in particular, the pattern on the head. Instead of having two distinct dots, there is usually just one, often in the shape of a heart.

Candino cinnamon ball pythons have the cinnamon pattern. Their color is bright, essentially the same as a regular Candino.

Candino Banana Ball Python

The Candino banana (or banana Candino) is a rare designer morph. It hasn’t yet been widely bred, and perhaps is exclusive to the breeder Geneseeker Genetics. It’s a mix of Candino and banana, which means that both its color and pattern are changed.

Banana ball pythons look a little like candinos already. They have bright oranges, yellows, and pinks. Their pattern contains lots of blushing, too. Their heads are often darker than the rest of their bodies. They also have tiny black spots.

In terms of color, a Candino banana’s pink color is a little paler than a regular Candino. Their bright yellow sections have been overtaken with lots of orange blush. Overall there’s little change because they already have similar colors.

But it’s the unique spotting of the banana gene that makes them stand out. Banana ball pythons develop small black spots irregularly along their body. These spots sit on their pink pattern rather than their yellow pattern.

Candino Leopard Ball Python

Leopard ball pythons have darker colors than normal ball pythons. They are a basic morph that has been around for years. Their pattern may also be different—more irregular with the potential for striping on their neck and tail.

A Candino leopard will be the color of a regular Candino, no different. They will have the leopard’s pattern. Because of the bright color contrast, this change in pattern is noticeable and beautiful.

Candino Pied Ball Python

The Candino pied ball python is a mix of Candino and pied genes. The pied gene affects both color and pattern.

In regular pied pythons, the effect is one where most of the body is white. In this case, ‘white’ is a real pure white rather than light pink or cream. Interspersed along the body are pools of color. The head is always covered with color rather than white.

Pied ball pythons have normal color, i.e., brown and black. The effect makes them look almost like a cow, white with black spots. But Candino pied ball pythons are white with pools of Candino color.

How to Breed Candino Ball Pythons

Because the candy gene is recessive, and because the albino gene is recessive, breeding is simple. If you breed a candy and an albino, 100% of the offspring will be candinos.

That means that every single offspring from the pairing will be a visual combination of candy and albino. This is much simpler than breeding other morphs.

It is also possible to breed a het candy with an albino, or a het albino with a candy. Het, or heterozygous, means that the snake carries the gene but doesn’t show it. A regular ball python can carry candy genes but not display them, because the candy genes are recessive.

Either way, if you breed a het candy with an albino, 50% of the babies will be candinos. The other 50% will be het albinos, i.e., normal snakes with ‘hidden’ albino genes. The same applies the other way around if you breed a het albino with a candy.

Breeding Candinos with Candinos

It’s when you want to breed candinos that things get complicated. You can’t just put two candinos together and expect them to produce more candinos. It doesn’t work like that when you work with recessive genes.

The best you can hope to get is a 50% rate. That means that only half of the offspring of the ideal breeding method will be candinos. Here’s a breakdown of how the breeding process works and the average rates you’ll get:

  • If you breed a Candino with a normal, 100% of the babies will be either het candy or het albino. There will be no candy, albino, or Candino offspring.
  • If you breed a Candino with a het albino, 25% of the offspring will be albino, 50% will be het albino or candy, and 25% will be Candino.
  • If you breed a Candino with a het candy, 25% of the offspring will be candy, 50% will be het albino or candy, and 25% will be Candino.
  • If you breed a Candino with an albino, 50% of the offspring will be albino, and 50% will be Candino. The same applies to candy ball pythons.
  • If you breed a Candino with a Candino, 25% of the offspring will be albino, 25% will be candy, and 50% will be Candino.

In all other ways, breeding is the same. That means getting the snakes to mate, the conditions they require and your incubator setup are all the same as usual.

But if you get it right, you could be due a lot of money. Successful breeding programs for designer morphs like these can earn breeders their money back, and then some. Morphs as beautiful as the Candino will always be popular.