Basic Vocabulary

Albino – having absent or deficient melanin. Widely used term for “amelanistic”. See tyrosinase-negative and tyrosinase-positive.

Amelanistic – having no melanin.

Anerythristic – having no red color.

Axanthic – having no yellow color.

Bedding – the substrate used inside the Ball Python enclosure

Caudal – at or near the tail or the posterior part of the body

Cloaca – Opening near that tail of Ball Pythons that serves as Intestinal, Urinary, and Reproductive tracts.

Clutch – the number of eggs laid

Cycle; Cycling – the recurring reproductive cycle that may be triggered by hormonal and/or environmental changes. It usually occurs on an annual basis.

Dinker – term used to describe a snake that may have an unusual trait, markings, or coloring that hasn’t been proven genetic yet

Dorsal – relating to the upper side or back of an animal

Follicle – small sac-like structure that once fertilized will develop into eggs

Hypomelanistic – an animal having less black and/or brown color than a wild-type.

Leucistic – a pure white animal with dark eyes.

Melanin – black or brown skin pigments.

Melanistic – abnormally dark, especially due to an increase of melanin.

Probe – instrument used for sexing Ball Pythons

Regurge – To throw up or vomit; to eject what has previously been swallowed

Resorption – the process of reabsorbing fully developed eggs. What causes resorption in female reptiles is not known, so there is no known way to trigger nor prevent it.

Slug – an infertile egg

Thermostat – component of a control system which senses the temperature of a system or environment so that the system’s temperature is maintained near a desired set point

Ventral – relating to the underside of an animal; abdominal

Wild-type – the way the animal usually looks in nature (i.e. the normal color and pattern).

Xanthic – having more yellow color than wild-type.