Video updates on 2015s!

I did a video update on some of the awesome stuff we hatched out this past year and wanted to make sure and link it here!

As always we are SUPER happy with how this past year went and I can say even MORE excited about the coming year! Eggs and babies can’t get here soon enough! 😀

Enjoy!

Also if you missed it here is the ST’s premiere on AnimalBytes TV from our recent trip to the Tinley Park NARBC show 🙂

The “Stormtrooper” is going to the darkside!

For the previous blog post about this CRAZY looking ball python see my post HERE!

"Darkside Stormtrooper"

The “Stormtrooper” continues to impress!

As crazy as it sounds this is the VERY same animal I posted previously and took a YOUTUBE VIDEO of!  Things have DEFINITELY changed as this animal has grown!"Stormtrooper" before the change

For awhile now I’ve had some weird things floating around in my collection which cause a few of my animals with Pastel and Axanthic to gain melanin (turn darker/black) in certain areas as they age where they normally are white/grey.  I dubbed the first animal “Darkness”.Darkness

Other instances where this weird color change has appeared is in combos, which I have playfully dubbed “dirty” in the name of the combo.  As seen here with a “Dirty” Firefly Axanthic."Dirty" Firefly SK Axanthic

So what does the future hold for this combo?

Hopefully more of them!  I’m excited to see the “Darkside Stormtrooper” adult one day next to a regular “Stormtrooper” for sure!  And also hoping above all hope I can hatch more of these beauties in the near future and understand what exactly is going on genetically 🙂  Until then….enjoy! 😀

 

What does “Het” mean?

I get this question fairly often on pings from newer folks to the hobby.  Quickly followed up by questions on pricing and why the difference in value 🙂

Nowadays there is a TON of great codoms out there and recessives are fairly less common.  Thus making it a little harder to understand the recessives.  My hope is this post will clear a “little” bit of that up 🙂

“Het” is short for Heterozygous.  In the “Het Axanthic” case they are non-visually Axanthic animals which carry the recessive gene for Axanthic.  When bred to another het or visual Axanthic (of the same line) they produce visual axanthics but they themselves look no different from animals that are not het axanthic (ie a bee het axanthic and a bee look the same, a normal and a het Axanthic look the same, etc).  Basically an animal that is “het” for a recessive doesn’t look any different than an animal without those words “het” after it.  The power is in their underlying genetics.  Or to put it in genetics speak, their Phenotype is normal and their Genotype is Heterozygous Axanthic.

If they look the same how do I know it’s a het?
The simple answer is to only buy hets from breeders with a solid history in the industry and who have produced visuals as well.  Hets are the bi-product of visual Axanthic breedings so it is VERY important to purchase them from a breeder who carefully tracks their breedings and can provide that background for a het animal they are selling.  If someone doesn’t have any information about the pairing that produced the “het” animal be very weary about that animal proving out to actually be het.

When an animal is “Axanthic” then it is a visual Axanthic (aka Homozygous). Axanthic is a simple recessive gene so there are visual carriers (homozygous) and non-visual carriers (heterozygous). Or once again in genetics speak, their Phenotype is Axanthic and their Genotype is Homozygous Axanthic.

To put it visually here is a picture of a Killerbee het Axanthic and a Killerbee Axanthic.

Killerbee het Axanthic vs Killerbee Axanthic

Killerbee het Axanthic vs Killerbee Axanthic

The yellow colored animal on the left is the heterozygous (het) Axanthic and looks just like a regular killerbee would.

The grey and white colored animal on the right is the homozygous Axanthic (aka visual Axanthic or just ‘Axanthic’).

If you have the time there are some great articles to be found on Google talking about simple recessive genetics in ball pythons that can help you understand the details 🙂

The next and more complicated item is DOUBLE recessives (like Axanthic Pieds aka Lightning Pieds)….but I’ll save that for another post 🙂

Hope that helps!

The Pastel Axanthic “Thing”

I posted pics of this beauty as she started to change colors on my Facebook Page and the most recent pic I posted went somewhat viral! (atleast for my humble page)  Resulting in over 300k views and 3k+ shares in only a few days.  WOW!

Since I have yet to figure out the genetics of this beauty a few folks have playfully called her a “Stormtrooper” which I think is super fitting as I’m a huge fan!  So until the genes are figured out I think that’s a great pet name for her!

Some helpful info!

  1. This is NOT just a nice Pastel Axanthic (there is another gene going on or it is a fluke)
  2. If it’s not a fluke, a best guess is that the parents carry a recessive gene, something like Desert Ghost along with Pastel and Axanthic.
  3. I’m performing breedings this year (2016 Season) to see if I can figure it out.
  4. Since I’m asked very often, everything has a price so I would reluctantly consider selling her, offers less than 5 digits sadly would NOT be considered.

The video tells the tale but here is also the pic that got several folks talking!

Thanks for watching, enjoy, and I’ll def keep posting updates!

Pastel Axanthic HUH

 

Leopard, Ghost, Yellowbelly…Oh My!

Things have really been awesome these past several weeks as far as hatching.  I have REALLY had a great season so far and with every new clutch hatching it seems I’m totally lucking out and hitting on some of the exact things I’m looking for!  On top of being EXTREMELY lucky!

Some of the awesome highlights as of late 🙂

Pastel Leopard SK Axanthic (preshed)

Pastel Leopard SK Axanthic (preshed)

 

This little girl just crawled out today in fact!  I’m super excited to have my Leopard het SK Axanthic male do a little fathering of some clutches.  This would be the 3rd visual Axanthic combo animal with Leopard I’ve hatched so far this year with atleast 1 more clutch with possible Leopard Axanthic stuff in it!

 

SK True Ghost (Hypo Axanthic)

SK True Ghost (Hypo Axanthic)

 

The other fun animal that hatched out and was a HUGE surprise this season was also VERY rare!  I purchased some Vanilla het SK Axanthics a few years back which were also possible het for ghost.  Further from a great friend I got a female double het SK Axanthic Ghost I ran that Vanilla het Axanthic possible het Ghost to and VOILA!  I ended up not only proving my Vanilla het for both but ALSO luckily producing this awesome True Ghost!  Very excited to see her color up!

 

Firefly Yellowbelly SK Axanthic

Firefly Yellowbelly SK Axanthic

Lastly, but certainly not least, I had bred my Firefly Axanthic to a couple of big Yellowbelly het Axanthic girls in high hopes of hitting on this combo!  A Firefly Yellowbelly Axanthic!  Not “very” much different that the Firefly Axanthic to most but definitely more aberrant pattern and just overall a wickedly patterned and colored animal!  I have high hopes for this male in the next few seasons as I think those genes mixed in with other pattern morphs will truly be outstanding!  Imagine Firebee Yellowbelly Axanthics!!!

 

So far indeed has been an awesome season and I really look forward to what other animals pop out in the coming weeks!  We are over 1/2 way but I still expect some really neat new combos for us to be hatching!  Further show season is just around the corner and I can’t WAIT to start seeing folks and talking more about Axanthics in person!  Hope to see you out there!

Firebee Axanthic! (aka Fire Zebra Bee)

I’m super pumped to start seeing some of the wicked Axanthic combos I had hoped for this season start showing up! We are just getting into our hatching season and already I hit on not 1 but 2 Firebee Axanthics! From breeding a Firefly Axanthic to a Spider het Axanthic no less which is a 1 in 16 chance!Firebee Ax just out of the egg

I am excited to see how they will color up! The goal being of course to have as black and white a spider as an adult as possible while retaining as much contrast as possible. Bee Firebee SK AxanthicAxanthics tend to turn a light “grey” as they age and while the Killerbee Axanthics have a great dominant coloration as adults the “super pastel” causes alot of fading of the blacks making for less contrast. Contrast is where it’s at with Axanthics so the Firebee should be the first step towards making that white and black combination as an adult!

On top of the Firebee Axanthics we have been super lucky to also hatch some very nice Axanthic combos in the process. Not just awesome to do comparison photos but honestly great looking examples!

Bee Axanthic Combos

From top left then clockwise: Firebee Axanthic, Bee Axanthic, Killerbee Axanthic

Overall a VERY excited season with a new record number of clutches for us and some great pairings!  Keep an eye out for more fun stuff as we start seeing more things out of the eggs!

How to know when you’re expecting

It’s that time of year again when you’ve been pairing snakes for what seems like years (but has maybe only been months) and you are wondering what the heck is going on!

As I’ve gotten more and more breeder females over the years and have seen more and more female behavior it has gotten to be a much easier task to know what’s going on with my girls.

One other variable that has helped me solidify my suspicions and helped me understand better what’s going on has been an ultrasound.  Knowing what is going on isn’t always “needed” to be successful at producing babies, in fact it sometimes hurts your chances if you are overly curious and an over palpater!  But all in all it’s definitely nice to atleast know who is going to produce eggs for you and what the signs are a lady is going to lay.

One of the more helpful graphics of the female ball python cycle I admittedly stole off the interwebs, but only because it really is a great resource.

Ball Python Female Reproductive CycleThis picture of the Ball Python Female Reproductive Cycle is great for a number of reasons!  One big take away is that it shows you that the “breeding” season for a female can last anywhere from 4 months to 8 months before ovulation!  That’s a LONG time!  However it lacks some of the details leading up to the big “OV” that might be more helpful.

I’ll caveat the following information as being “what’s worked for me” and “what I’ve seen”.  As with anything your personal experience and what works for you may vary. 🙂

Even after having an ultrasound, trying palpating, and every other trick in the book I came back to a short list of what to look for in a developing female.  I put together this graphic of the timeline I look for in a female to know whether or not she’s going to lay.  And to be honest, unless I’m really unsure of what a female is doing and she isn’t moving along like I had been thinking I don’t use an ultrasound or palpate anymore at all.

Ball Python Female OV CalendarThe list of what to look for can kind of be summed up into just a few key things.
1.) Feeding Response (lack there of)
2.) Glowing
3.) Cool Seeking
4.) Start of a “Build”

For me that last one is the most important indicator that a female is going to go for me.  The first 3 give me an inkling that things are headed in the right direction.  The female has been breeding well, was feeding aggressively at one point but has since shut off, is glowing and looks fantastic, and lastly is typically using the cooler end of the cage.

Females that transitioned into that state and are in that stage I pay very close attention to, looking for one particular thing to let me know I can quit breeding them and can expect eggs…..a “build”! 🙂

A build isn’t the easiest thing to spot when a female is just laying there.  It’s actually best if you simply get the female out of the cage and drape her vertically to see if there is any signs of a “ponch” in the lower 1/3 of her body.  Again this is a female who has transitioned off of food so it’s not a rat she ate the other day, this is an “out of nowhere” slight bulge.

Pastel Axanthic Building

For instance this female looks fairly “normal” and doesn’t appear to be building/ovulating or anything interesting going on at first glance.  Notice tho she looks pretty darn good (glowing), is on the cool side (water dish off to the right) and she has been off feed.  Also she of course has been breeding well and paired a few times with a couple of different males.  All the signs that she might be heading towards producing some eggs for me this season!


BP Build

Now a look at the same exact female moments later draped vertically (hanging from my hand).  A few gentle strokes to get her body relaxed and dangling shows a slight “bulge” forming in the lower portion of her body.  The start of a build!

Generically from here, depending on her last pairing, I would pair her one more time to make sure and then label her done on her breeding record.  From there watching as the build continues to grow and keeping an eye out for an ovulation.

In a nutshell that’s all I’m watching for in my girls.  No palpating, very little ultrasounding, just looking for the “signs” that a female is getting ready to go and “checking” them for builds by draping them in the air to see if there is a bulge.  Builds can last weeks so they are fairly easy to catch compared to ovulations.  So with that in mind it gives me a point of reference for when I really need to pay close attention to a female’s next shed and note when she would lay after.  If you see a build, but never an ovulation, you may have just missed the OV and it’s a good idea to note the next shed date anyway and see if eggs show up about 4 weeks later 😉

Hope this helps. 🙂  As always your mileage may vary.  I tend to check my females during breeding season almost daily to see what they are doing relative to the list I made and in the past several years have yet to be surprised by a clutch of eggs.  Surprised by an ovulation?  of course!  But it definitely has helped me stay on top of when I need to start checking a female’s cage for eggs 🙂

Best of luck this season and every one after!

2015 is off and running!

It’s official!  🙂  My first clutch of eggs laid in 2015!1501_oneggs

Granted it’s not an Axanthic clutch 😉  But it’s still exciting to see the results of a long winter of breeding.  Also I’m VERY optimistic about this season compared to last season.  This girl laid 6 plump white eggs which is a huge improvement over last year’s slug-o-ramma!

So needless to say I’m looking forward to what hatches this summer!  If you are looking to see what all may be hatching and get on my waiting list feel free to head over to my Waiting List page!

2015 Season – Please excuse the mess :)

REALLY excited for this season!

As I write this I have 2 females due to lay and a handful more building towards ovulation!  And it’s only March!!! 🙂  Really stoked to see what pops out this year as we have alot of cool Axanthic combos in the works and some definitely cool new things!

For your viewing pleasure a few breeding photos as well as our first clutch of 2015!
*Please excuse the messy cages, we try to disturb them as little as possible during the season to entice breeding.
**Please excuse the pic quality ;), most are just quick cell pics.

ENJOY!

Where are all the pics???

One thing I’m not over thrilled with is how “poor” the setup is on Facebook mobile.  Finding page’s apps or albums is kind of a pain.  Especially with more and more people using mobile devices in place of web browsers 🙂

That’s why I wanted to make a little mapping here of all of my albums of pics over the years for folks to bookmark or just basically know where everything is.

Hope this helps!!!

2015
2015 Hatchlings
2015 Clutches
2015 Breeding

2014
2014 Hatchlings
2014 Clutches
2014 Breeding

2013
2013 Hatchlings
2013 Clutches
2013 Breeding

2012
2012 Hatchlings
2012 Clutches