First Produced By: BHB Reptiles

First Produced In: 2012 [1]

Availability: Higher

Last Updated: 2022-06-01

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The Sunset Ball Python is a recessive mutation that was first produced by Brian Barczyk at BHB Reptiles in 2012.

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Some time around the mid-2000s, Brian Barczyk received a phone call from trappers over in Africa regarding a animal like no other they had seen. This was something Brian was used to hearing by now, with the majority of these claims proving either false or a “new line” of an existing mutation. But knowing the ball python community was thriving, he bit the bait and asked the trappers for some pictures.

When Brian finally received the pictures, he was “blown away”. He instantly felt it was the color that the ball python world had been missing, red… well, burnt orange. Knowing that ball pythons don’t have red pigmentation, he knew it must be an extreme mutation to cause such a display of colours.

With that, Brian dropped $70,000 on the snake and had it shipped right over. After a painful wait, the animal eventually arrived looking just as amazing as the pictures told.

Brian’s first pairing with this new animal was straight into a bunch of Normal females in an attempt to prove the mutation out as incomplete dominant, which is what he was certain of. By the end of the season, he had 21 good eggs from the pairings and Brian’s hopes were high. He needed the Sunset to prove out, after the “Viper” turned out to be not genetic and a hole in his pockets.

At day 55 into incubation, Brian decided to cut the first clutch of 6 eggs, which to his huge disappointment produced all Normal hatchlings.
A week later, the next clutch was ready and anticipation was through the roof, but yet again all of the babies came out looking completely Normal and the odds didn’t improve with the remaining eggs.

Brian was beaten down by this point, he had wasted another huge chunk of money on another non genetic animal in such a short amount of time. Brian was convinced it was not recessive and had little interest in raising up a bunch of possible hets again, as he had done with the “Viper”.
BHB put a few of the females in the holdback racks marked as “het Sunsets” and sold the others off to the local pet shops as Normals.

The “het Sunsets” stayed there until October 2011. BHB’s python room manager, Josh Roberts, pushed Brian to pair it with the original Sunset male, which he was hesitant about as he thought it would be a waste of a clutch. A few months later in 2012, she dropped 4 good eggs.

On day 52, Brian cut the eggs and on the very first one, he hit a visual Sunset, proving the mutation to be recessive. He quickly cut the other eggs, still in disbelief, and in total two of the four were visual Sunsets. [2]

The original Sunset was imported through Outback Reptiles.

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The head of the Sunset Ball Python can range from a deep tan colour to an almost chocolate-brown.


The body of the Sunset Ball Python is covered in a burnt orange, rusty gradient that starts as a bright orange towards the side flaming and a dark brown along the dorsal. The “alien head” pattern shows very little resemblance to that of a Normal Ball Python, with the majority displaying stretched, candle flame-like, banding. The dorsal stripe usually exhibits a bubbly pattern.


The tail of the Sunset Ball Python follows the rusty coloration of its body and usually displays a serrated dorsal stripe.


As BHB sold off the first generation of het Sunsets as Normals, there are a bunch of quite valuable animals in unsuspecting collections that may, or may not, one day surface to cause a lot of confusion. [3]

Proven Lines

No known proven lines.

Related Traits

No known related traits.


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