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Old 09-11-17, 01:32 PM   #26 (permalink)
MesoCorney
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Re: What's the deal with scaleless snakes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SerpentineDream View Post
I had originally decided to keep any disabled snakes I produced just so that I could give them the special care they needed, as I would consider it my responsibility since I brought them into the world. I don't like the idea of culling unless the animal has a serious deformity or condition that ruins its quality of life and / or would soon kill it, such as a very badly kinked spine.

The fad of selectively breeding for eyeless snakes adds a whole new dimension to it. Once you've sold an animal to someone you no longer have any control over whether it gets bred or not. A buyer can swear up and down that they will never breed the snake and even sign a contract stating such. But ultimately you are relying on their adherence to that promise. If the buyer then sells the snake you have no idea what that person will do.

I saw a video a while back of the aforementioned breeder / proponent of eyeless snakes. At the time I don't think he was breeding them. He was feeding his snakes and mentioned offhand that this female albino ball python was born without eyes. IIRC he had to hold the rodent directly in front of her face so that she could smell and sense it and move to take it, then manually feed it to her so that she could swallow it head first. It was pretty clear to me that she had difficulty eating on her own and I remember thinking, "Poor critter. At least he's keeping her and going the extra mile to help her eat. Good for him." Little did I know that he would end up actually breeding for that disability for $$$.

Scaleless corns and scaled corns het for the mutation are all interspecies hybrids. The original scaleless corn was the mutant offspring of a corn snake bred to an Emory's rat snake, which is a closely related species. They are all descended from him.

I wouldn't buy nor intentionally breed for a scaleless snake as I consider this trait a deformity. Some disagree with me on this score, but it has remained my position. My reaction to seeing a scaleless corn for the first time was revulsion. I wondered why anyone would intentionally do that to a snake, leaving it naked and vulnerable by taking away its protective scales.
I am not aware of anyone breeding for eyeless snakes, and I am not even sure it is possible. From what I understand it is not thought to be genetic, at least in ball pythons, because it pops up randomly in many lines. Most of what I have read points to it being a developmental issue in the egg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eminart View Post
Simple color morphs are where I draw the line. Even there, I very often prefer "wild type" to any morph. I really don't get the fascination with scaleless snakes and I certainly don't care for any other physical deformity. Even the two-headed snakes. It's interesting that it happens, but I have zero desire to own one.
Two headed snakes seem like a ton of work to keep alive in my opinion.
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