I probably will not have enough interesting events to make an actual blog but will occasionally post updates here.

What's Up?

  • 2010/3/5
    New Breeding Season
    Garcia X GarciaAll in all I would say 2009 was a good year for me.  Did have some heart breakers like the umbilical problem on the female Garcia below who didn't live very long.   Her two sisters absorbed a little more and both survived. 

    For 2010 I sent mom Garcia back to Marshall Van Thorre to breed to her 2008 son.  Marshall didn't see locks so we agreed and he put in an older/larger ivory pastel male and they breed.  Then late in February a very unexpected thing happened.  I was trying to breed my 07 Garcia to my 08 male Mojave and they started combating.  I normally sex my babies right out of the egg but am not confident in putting the pressure needed to evert older males the size of the 07 Garcia when I first saw HIM.  If I had known he was a he I could have breed him years ago rather then waiting for him to reach female breeding weight.  He is now over at Marshall's and locked up. 


  • 2009/7/24
    F09BREM01The clutch 5 roller coaster continues.  The first three of the four full term eggs are out.  Two normal and a really nice Garcia.  Unfortunately the Garcia is aUmbilicalgirl (I really need a boy).  And all three seem to have had trouble absorbing their yolk and have umbilical's sticking out still.  I'm off work tomorrow but am not sure if my vet has Saturday office hours.  Sorry, I know the picture is pretty gross.  I'm thinking it has to do with low temps either before or after laying. 

    On a bright note two of the pastel girls have started feeding already.  And two of the possible double het albino stripe girls have had 3 mice already. 


  • 2009/7/18
    Shed Pastels!
    2009 Clutch 3 first three pastel girls shedThe first three of the clutch 3 pastel girls have shed.  I just can't get over how bright these are.  The picture doesn't do them justice.  Think I need to find a black background to show off how bright yellow they are.  Need to find them some hopper mice now.  I usually start baby balls off on small adult mice but these guys are small from small eggs (small mom's first clutch of 6 so with that many eggs they where small). 

    Clutch 5 from the Garcia female still hasn't started hatching yet.  Expect them to start any day now.  Interested to see which father(s) this clutch has.  With only 4 good eggs left hope I don't get 4 normals. 


  • 2009/7/12
    F09GREM06I keep getting surprised by how nice each pastel looks as it comes out of the egg.  I really lucked out again with clutch 4 and have 4 more pastels.  So far 1.2 are out.  I didn't expect them to look as nice as the ones from the bright het hypo girl but they do.  Want to see all of them after a shed or two but so far I would say the clutch 4 pastel girls have less yellow but more intense black than the clutch 3 pastels. 

    Wish I had more experience with pastels (like more than a week, lol) as I can't help but hope this is some sign that the img mom of clutch 4 is genetic.  Hopefully will be able to tell more after a shed or two.


  • 2009/7/11
    No Hypo Pastel
    I got a reply with a picture of a hatchling hypo pastel and it had the ghost frosted color that my pastels are lacking.  So looks like I did miss on the hypo pastel combo.  As much as I would like to keep all four pastel 66% chance het hypo girls from clutch 4 I think I'll only keep one or maybe two.  As it is I'm going to to need to sell a couple of older animals to clear space for the albino girl and at least one each possible double het albino stripe and pastel girls.  And I've still got three clutches to go!  Wish I could keep them all. 

    I was surprised to find a pastel head sticking out of clutch 4 this morning.  Didn't expect that clutch to start hatching until next week.  Hope it's not another case of one baby way ahead of the other's like with clutch 3.  Waiting several days for the majority of clutch 3 to come out after the first one was annoying.  I'm still learning to identify hatchling morphs and really don't trust what I see through a small hole in an egg of a baby that might still be developing colors.  I did slit the rest of clutch 4 and through I saw something interesting but probably just a baby that doesn't have final color yet.


  • 2009/7/9
    2009 Clutch 3
    It took 2 days for most of this clutch to come out of the eggs.  And I'm still not sure what I've got.  Never having hatched pastels or ghosts before I'm not sure on all of these.  My confusion is if I've hit the pastel ghost or not.  The 0nly male is for sure at least a ghost.  There are 4 females that are for sure at least pastels.  And there is another female that looks like a nice normal.

    They five morphs all look better than I expected.  The pastels are all very bright with at leastPurple Heads some purple to their heads with lots of fading in the middle.  Some even have dark back areas with a fade to purple in the middle.  The ghost really stands Head CloseUPout with no normal coloring.

    I'll post some pics in the forums and hopefully get some feedback from someone who has hatched a pastel ghost.  Also, maybe they will look different after a shed and I'll see which shed clear.


  • 2009/7/7
    Clutch 3 has started hatching.  While this is only my 2nd morph hatchling I have noticed that even normal ball pythons color up a good bit between piping and actually leaving the egg and then even after that.  So I'm not 100% sure but I think I see ghost in this clutch.  The first girl to leave the egg might even be a pastel ghost.  Time will tell how her color stabilizes and if she sheds clear.  I'll get better pictures tomorrow.

    On a down note clutch 5 has lost a couple more eggs.  I'm avoiding even checking to see if more have died with only about 2 weeks to go.  I don't think my new snake room was adjusted to provide enough warmth for the place where mom's cage was in the last cold before she laid.  For whatever reason this appears to be a problematic clutch.


  • 2009/7/2
    Clutch 1 Girls
    Clutch 2 was 3 normal males.  Some nice patterns.  I'll get some pics up on the available page after they shed in a few days.  I'll put the clutch 1 maleF09AREM02 there now and he'll be available as soon as he is feeding.  I might sell all four males to a pet store so let me know soon if you might be interested in one for breeding.

    In this entry I have post shed pics of the four clutch 1 girls.  I'll probably sell one F09AREM03or maybe even two after I figure out which are my keepers.  The albino for sure I want to keep but probably one or two of the normal colored ones (whichever I think haveF09AREM04 the pattern most likely to be het stripes).

    There have long been rumors of ways to pick the most likely het stripes out of possible het stripes but I don't know the details and there are similar rumors about most morphs and presumably most of those rumors aren't true.  I've got some ideas but need to look at more known het stripe photos to see if there really is a pattern.  At best it is probably not a sure thing.  But if I am onto anything at all the females left after I pick through them looking for likely hets will be an even lower percentage chance than the 33% they started out as. 

    Also, "33%" is it's self a controversial subject.  If you had a large number of 66% hets and bred them to a large number of normals and produced a large number of offspring then 33% of those offspring would be hets.  However, each individual 66% chance het either is a het (and his offspring are then 50% hets) or he isn't a het (and the offspring are 0% hets).  So 33% just refers to your chance without knowing if dad hit is 66% chance or not.  There is no guarantee I even have the stripe gene in this breeding to start with.


  • 2009/6/21
    They are out
    The albino would always pull it's head back in the egg whenever I opened the2009 Clutch 1 Girls incubator so didn't get a chance to take a picture until she came out.  Yes, the albino is a female and I love her pattern.  I think she's a keeper.  Ended up with 1.4 so can't complain at all.  Here are the girls.  I'll get a good pic of the male after he sheds and add him to the available page.  Might keep my favorite one or two of the non albino females but will sell at least one. 

    Now the wait starts for clutch 2 with the same father and a sister of the mom from clutch 1.  Could there be an albino or two in those 3 eggs?  Should only have to wait a couple more days to find out. 


  • 2009/6/21
    I've been keeping ball pythons for about 15 years (before that corn snakes, boas, king snakes, and bull snakes).  As far back as 1995 I bought a possible het albino male to start working toward ball python mutations.  Along the way I took some wrong turns and made some stupid mistakes. 

    In 2003 I had a clutch where most of the eggs started to develop mold early into incubation.  At the time I thought the only bad eggs where the little brown slug ones and hadn't started candling.  I now think that these where probably bad eggs at laying and if I had candled and saw no veins I would have thrown them out when they started to mold and not worried about them.  Instead, on forum advice I dusted the molding ones with athletes foot powder and didn't have the sense to move them to a new tub away from the good ones first.  I'm not sure if that was the cause but the babies in the two remaining good eggs where both horribly kinked and didn't survive.  The point of all this is that those eggs where from a 66% chance het albino X a 50% chance het albino and the two babies where both albinos and would have been my first ball python morph hatchlings. 

    So, flash forward another 6 years and while the male is a different 66% chance het albino and the mothers are the 50% het albino sisters of the mom of that 2003 cutch my 2009 clutch 1 and 2 are still my first chances to hatch a ball python morph.  2009 clutch 1 started piping over night.  The first three are not albinos.  The two eggs laid on end had not piped yet on their own.  I'm usually pretty patient about waiting for eggs to pip on their own but conventional wisdom is that after the first egg pips there is no harm in carefully cutting the rest just in case there is a baby that needs some help (some cut much earlier in incubation just to see what is inside and get away with it).  Maybe the up end orientation had something to do with these last two eggs developing a little slower but I rationalized that maybe they would have a harder time cutting out of the end on their own so I cut a small flap in the end of each.  One has an albino in it!

    Hopefully it will stick it's head out later today and I can snap a picture to add to this post.  Finally hatching a ball python morph is an exciting and long awaited possibility for me (so sorry to ramble so long if anyone actually reads these anyway, lol).  I can't wait to see the albino out of the egg to be sure all is ok and hopefully it will be female and have dad's slightly stripe like pattern which was why I picked him from Ralph Davis' clutch hatchling photos as the possible double het albinos stripe for me. 


  • 2009/6/19
    Belated Cutch 5 Picture
    2009 Clutch 5Clutch 5 is going to drive me crazy.  Not quite the 1 month point and in addition to the 3 obvious slugs from the start I've removed 2 more that never showed veins.  Removing them probably wasn't the best idea either as even though only one of them was attached at all and then only slightly I damaged the surface of one of the good eggs a bit.  The large container I picked isn't as tight as the ones I normally use and they seem to be dehydrating early.  I'm going to try raising the humidity in the incubator to fight that.  Seems to be that what ever is my most important clutch is also my most problematic. 

    I am getting close on clutch 1 (and soon after clutch 2).  So there is a bright spot even if the odds are very long on getting a morph in either.  All the other eggs still look great too.  So if I don't loose any more from clutch 5 I could end up with over 30 hatchlings this year.  Might be my best year ever although certainly very modest compared to others both in quantity and quality.  Could possibly get another late clutch or two but doesn't seem likely. 


  • 2009/6/9
    More eggs
    2009 Clutch 6Clutch 6 is from a Brian Sharp possible double het VPI snow male to a possible possible het albino female produced my Dr. Mark Seward.  There are 7 eggs and all look good.  I was out of town for a few days so not exactly sure when this clutch was laid but should hatch in early August.  I know the last clutch I got from this nice bright colored 25% chance het albino female was in 2007 shortly after getting her back from a breeding loan.  She was bred with a pastel but only produced normals (5, all males).  Hopefully this clutch will have better luck.  I'm trying to remember if she produced with an albino gene male before I sent her out on breeding loans for several years and I'm not sure.  This might be the first test for both of them and maybe the male this year will hit his 66% chance of being het albino (he is also 66% chance het VPI axanthic) and she will prove too. 


  • 2009/5/23
    Clutch 5 is another milestone for me.  I picked mom up at a pet store in 2001.  She didn't breed for me for a couple of years and then I sent her out on breeding loans.  Daniel Garcia proved her genetic when she finally got around to laying in 2007 and Marshall Van Thorre made some nice Mojave combos with her in 2008 (from a 14 egg clutch!).  I didn't get her big enough to match Marshall's clutch and there where 3 slugs but still looks like I have 8 eggs with a chance of my first hatchings for this project after two clutches out on breeding loans.  I bred her to her 08 mojave son who might carry the mom's "Garcia" gene and also the pastel het ghost and even a possible het pied male.  Check back in late July for a Jerry Springer style "who's your daddy" unveiling. 


  • 2009/5/18
    Long Time Comming
    2009 Clutch 4Clutch 4 is the long awaited eggs from an imported black and white ghostly looking female I picked up in 2003.  After a great start she became a stubborn feeder and didn't produce out on breeding loans for several years.  When I got her back in the summer of 08 she decided it was time to start eating.  I'm not particularly optimistic about her being genetic as I've not heard of any IMG types proving but at least I'm finally on my way to finding out (mid July).  Although she has darkened and picked up more yellow over the years she still has a shed like glow to her lower sides and a very rich black velvet to her markings.  A 5 egg clutch bred to the same pastel het ghost as clutch #3.


  • 2009/5/11
    Pastel Hypo?2009 Clutch 3
    Clutch 3 is also nice.  Mom is a 50% chance het from a het hypo produced by Aaron Van Camp.  I think he told me Sharp line.  Dad is a pastel het hypo produced by Marshall Van Thorre using a TSK extreme hypo mojave (to a pastel).  Of course I'd love to see a pastel hypo out of this clutch.  Mom was the lightest colored of the females in her clutch so maybe she will hit the odds and be het.  I was a little surprised this small girl produced 6 eggs.  A few are developing windows but so far all are still alive.  Maybe a few days after the 4th of July I'll finally hatch a morph!


  • 2009/4/29
    Another Shot at Albino2009 Clutch 2
    Clutch 2 is from the same male RDR possible double het albino stripe to a possible het albino sister from the same 2000 clutch as this year's clutch 1 mom.  At one time I even had their grandparents.  This was also a 5 egg clutch but two where bad.  Unless I've misplaced a record somewhere I think this is this girl's first test for het albino.  She was also off on a breeding loan for a few years and might have produced a mojave or two.  With three eggs from 66% het to 50% het I'll need some luck but check back the last week of June and see how I did.


  • 2009/4/25
    So far 2009 is looking like a pretty good year for my small scale operation.  I didn't feed as well as I had hoped so I had my doubts.  I started an ASF colony last August and just when they got going good my wife started to smell them and that was the end of that.  So I feel lucky to have even a few clutches coming.

    2009 Clutch 1Clutch 1 is from a 2006 male RDR possible double het albino stripe to a possible het albino female from my first ball python clutch back in 2000.  Would sure by nice to hatch my first albino out of one of these eggs and being a possible possible het stripe would be all the nicer.  These should hatch the third week of June 2009.  Mom first produced for me in 2004 bred to a 66% chance het caramel.  All the babies came out normal looking (I've not yet heard for sure of anyone breeding caramel to albino to see if they could be alleles).  I ended up keeping a couple of the female possible possible double hets but sold the male before ever testing him for het caramel and the daughters haven't been bred yet.  In 2005 she produced 5 normals with a known het albino male.  I then sent her off on a breeding loan for a few years where I think she may have produced a mojave or two.  Now that I have her back this breeding to a possible het albino male will be one more step still trying to figure out if she is het albino or not at 9 years old.  The RDR male possible double het albino stripe was also locked up with a possible het stripe recently so maybe I'll get to test him for that gene as well.


  • 2008/8/13
    Babies Growing
    I had a good show at the August 2nd Rocky Mountain Reptile Expo.  I only have two babies left to sell this year, both female possible possible het pieds. 
    Garcia Sibs
    At the far left in this picture is my keeper 08 girl that I believe is a combo of Garcia (her 07 Garcia half sister is the big one) and Mojave.  Her chocolate sides didn't come out very well in the picture but that is the clincher for being sure she is also Garcia and not only Mojave.  Her brother on the right in this picture I'm not so sure about.  He may well be only Mojave as he doesn't have the chocolate color or the extreme distance between side light areas but he does seem to have an abnormal amount of side white to me but I'm no Mojave expert.  Hopefully I can get him up to breeding size this winter and have a better idea based on his offspring next year.


  • 2008/7/11
    No Pieds, Yet
    In 2003 I picked up a pet store female with belly markings similar to those often seen in het pieds.  Today her 8 egg clutch bred to a very well markered 50% possible het pied hatched and no pieds.  Several of the babies have really nice markers from dad (males of course, lol).  I knew it was a long shot that she would be het pied but after 12 babies I'm ready to admit defeat.  I do have a 4 egg clutch that should start hatching in a few days from the same male and a known possible het female (only 25% chance but with a small amount of what might be the marker belly edge stripes) so maybe I'll yet get a pied in my 7th year of trying. 


  • 2008/6/23
    The Babies
    I made it to Marshall Van Thorre's last night to go through the babies from my Garcia female to his Mojave and Lesser males.  It worked out nice that there where 2 each of 4 of the 5 major types in this clutch.  Not 100% sure what all of those types are so I'm open to comments.

    Here is a little girl I brought home that we think is a mojave Garcia.  Notice how wide the dark pattern is between aliens and the white checkering breakup on the lower sides:
    F08MMVT01 Pre Shed

    There where two similar looking males that weren't as dark as the female's we think are Mojave Garcia but they have wide patterns and some of the belly edge checking that make me hope this guy has the Garcia mutation and isn't Mojave only.  I'll get better pictures together with the Mojave Garcia girl after shed.  One idea I had last nigth was that if the Garcia darkens the Mojave maybe it would also darken a Lesser so maybe this type is a Lesser Garcia from the Lesser male:
    M08MMVT01 Pre Shed

    There where also two males that we thought where Mojave only.  I don't have any real experience with Mojave but this guy looks very nice to me:

    There was also one male that we think was just a Garcia (sorry, should have thought to take a pic) and two normal males.


  • 2008/6/21
    Out of Egg Pictures
    Got some pictures of the babies out of the egg from the breeder Marshall Van Thorre.  Looks like we hit some combos of mojave and whatever mom is (believe the official name will be Garcia after Daniel Garcia who proved them in last year's breeding of this female). 

    These full sized images are about 3.5 MB each.

    Here are all the hatchlings:

    Close up of what appears to be mojave Garcia combo:


  • 2008/6/19
    Not compatible?
    Late last night the breeding loan clutch from my dark broad patterned pet store girl to a lesser and a mojave started to hatch.  Hard to tell much from the pictures while they are still in the eggs but no purple or pink or even white snakes.  If we hit the combo it's a dark mojave.  I hope to see them out of the egg either tonight or tomorrow and should know more then.  


  • 2008/6/18
    Day 60 For 7 Year Project
    I've been waiting a long time to find out if a pet store female I picked up in 2001 is compatible with mojave.  She didn't produce her first clutch until 2007 when Daniel Garcia got her to lay with a neat unproven male of his.  That clutch proved her genetic as half her babies looked like her.  In 2008 I finally arranged a breeding loan to both a lesser and a mojave and she laid 14 eggs.  At last report at least 4 looked to be bad.  I'm a nervous wreck waiting to hear what is inside the remaining eggs.  I'm hoping the combo will be really neat.  I'd be happy with white but pink or purple would be even better!  Of course she might be something unrelated to the white snake complex.