Reptiles seem to have hidden gems in their genetics coding for colors and patterns that couldn't even be imagined based on the wild-type (normal) animal. The myriad ball python morphs have been studied and categorized and combined in ways that defy imagination, and there are still more secrets to be discovered.
Everyone wants to own that one of a kind, amazing animal. More exciting is to be the first to create a combination morph, and find out that it is better than you'd dreamed. Perhaps best of all, is discovering something new and exploring the potential of a new morph. At Pacific Coast Reptiles, I want to create those animals that are unique in their beauty, either as just a fine example of a known morph or combo, or the first of a kind.
The Z Project
It all started with an unusual looking captive hatched female I purchased in 2008 (Pic 1). When she was large enough I paired her with a Citrus Pastel Lesser Platinum Whiteout male, figuring that he would give her the best chance of unlocking something if she turned out to be genetic. In 2012, they produced 5 babies, 4 of whom appeared to carry similar traits as the mother. (Pic 2)
In 2014 she had a clutch with one of those offspring, a Citrus Pastel Lesser Platinum Whiteout Z male. In that clutch, there were two new findings--a Z, and what appears to be at least a Super Z, and most likely a Super Z Lesser (Pics 3 and 4). Further breedings will be needed to verify the genetics.
Pics 5-10 show more of the offspring from the two clutches.
Look for more information and exciting new Z combinations in the seasons to come!
Genetic Banded: Chico’s babies
One of my goals has been to produce a truly banded ball python. Over the years, I’ve collected a number of banded looking ball pythons, and even some offspring of banded looking ones, hoping to find the right combination of genetics. I produced a lot of normal looking clutches over the years in my quest, until Chico came along.
Chico was produced by Jay Nelson of Chico Reptiles in 2008 from a Green/Orange Hypo male (unknown origin) x Het Orange Hypo female (from Exotics by Nature). Chico (Fig 1) appealed to me because of his really clean banding on the posterior portion of his body. Figures 2, 3 and 4 show some of his first babies. I really didn’t pay much attention to his babies overall, but did make a mental note that some of the babies had pretty banding.
In 2012, Chico sired a clutch with his Het Hypo mom (Fig. 5), whom I later acquired. In this clutch (Fig. 6,7,8,9,10,11), nearly all of the babies had dramatic banding. One hatchling, Fig. 8 (and Fig. 9), looked particularly banded over the length of its body, with clean, orangey coloration. I am looking forward to future breedings to see if it could be a super, or if it is the fortuitous product of selective breeding. So far, the inheritance of the banding seems to be dominant, with variable penetrence, and perhaps co-dominant if I prove out the super. More than likely, there are a number of factors that combined to give Chico his stunning look. Here he is in an informal photo in 2012 (Fig 12).
Chico was also bred to an Enchi female this yea. The babies from the Chico x Enchi clutch showed some variation, supporting the dominant or co-dominant theory. The unrelated mom Enchi is shown in Fig. 13. Two of the male babies look to be Enchi and Banded and Het Hypo (Fig. 14, 15, 16). I wish I'd kept one of these. One of the females in the clutch has no banding at all (Fig, 17), while another of the females looks like her grandmother (Fig. 18).
I can’t wait to see these Bandeds combined with other morphs. More pictures and updates will be added over time. Fig. 19 shows the baby from Fig. 8 (the one I’m hoping is a super and which has no Enchi in it) after one shed, and no meals.