|Blairs GrayBanded Kingsnake (Loma Alta / Hwy 277 Male)|
2013 was the Chinese year of the Snake. Apparently that meant we had to set up a snake project! I've not had snakes in almost 20+ years but like most herpers, got into reptiles by getting my first snake as a kid. "Vishnu" was his name - a really cool Columbian Boa. I lost my interest for big snakes a long time ago but have always liked some of the small, "ornate" snakes. GrayBanded kingsnakes have always been one of my all time favorite snakes but for one reason or another have never set any up. Well the Chinese calendar says I have to (it's a fung sheu / karma thing right???) - so now I finally have an excuse to set a few up! I'm highly partial to the bright Blairs phase and am setting up a very small group to try to breed a line that looks like our founding male "Spear Point" shown above. Most GrayBanded breeders tend to breed locality specific lines and I plan on following that trend. We will be only doing the Hwy 277 / Loma Alta locale as those seem to be the closest to what I consider perfection in a GrayBanded kingsnake. As of 2015 we have one young adult trio hibernating for potentially breeding spring 2015.
I've also always like the "feel" (for lack of a better word), of the large pythons and boa constrictors. It's hard to explain, but its not the same experience you get when holding a typical colubrid snake. Still the large size is just too impractical. However, the Ball Python has that same "feel" to it. To me it is the perfect sized, perfect "mass" snake. All the muscle structure of a large boa or Burmese python but none of the size problems - the perfect miniature. But I've always found them to be just a bit dull looking for my tastes. Thus I'd avoided the Ball Python craze up to this point. But after seeing some really cool looking snakes showing up at the various Reptile Expos I attend, I finally decided to play with a few. My goal and interest here is not to produce some new rare "morph". I want to breed a ball python that is "stuningly pretty" even as an adult. Most the fancy morphs you see for sale as bright babies turn into dull brown or dirty gray adults. But there are a few morphs that when combined, have the potential to remain nice showy snakes. We'll see. I'm probably crazy for getting into this project but they really are addictive if you like to bred towards a goal. The possibilities are endless. I'm shooting for a high contrast bright snake. So for now we're focusing on the Enchi and Orange Ghost genes as the base as they are some of the few that tend to hold their color better with maturity rather than dulling out. To that we'll play around with Leopards for the deeper blacks, pastel and Banana for cleaner backgrounds, and Clown and Pied for cooler patterns.
Below are a few of our future breeders. At this point I only have 7 or 8 juveniles so we are a year or two off from actually producing any.
Orange Ghost Pastel Lesser Female
Orange Ghost Pastel Female
Leopard Pastel Female (het Pied)
Orange Ghost Enchi Male
Some of our breeders