Black Axanthic?

Someone near me is selling a black axanthic het genetic stripe Female for what seems to be a very good price. I am tentatively interested (I love me some dark snakes) but am not nearly knowledgeable enough to be able to tell if she is what she says she is. I’ve included the sale pics, I’d love to hear people’s opinions on whether she looks like a black axanthic. Also if anyone knows of somewhere that actually describes features of various morphs in detail I would be extremely interested, I’ve yet to find a resource that is both in depth and comprehensive. Thank you!

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To me she looks to be Black Axanthic. I’ve worked with the morph with my business partner only once so my knowledge is limited.
@t_h_wyman should be able to help you out on this.


A few things I will touch on

The pictures are very low quality

Are you buying from a REPUTABLE breeder?

What is the price?

Did you ask the right questions? Such as who produced this animal? Once you have the answer to that you can actually confirm with the original breeder.

There are very few breeder in the US working with Black Axanthic and a Black Axanthic Het Genetic Stripe would be easy to trace back to it’s original breeder and would not be a cheap animal especially considering the size.


Honestly, I am not terribly familiar with BlkAx as I have not worked with them and have seen very few in the flesh.

The animal in question is definitely Ax in appearance and has the darker tone associated with the BlkAx morph.

Is there some reason you might doubt the authenticity of the seller?


Welcome to the community :grin:

I’m just going to shamelessly drop a link

Morph Encyclopedia (In Progress) :yum:


@stewart_reptiles I don’t believe she is the breeder, when I initially inquired she stated the snake was probably worth $1200 but she was asking $800, today she messaged me back to say she was having trouble finding a buyer and would be willing to take $500.
I am still very new to buying snakes, I will definitely ask about the original breeder, that’s a fantastic idea thank you.

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Well, she’s listed on craigslist and recently dropped the price to almost 1/3rd of what black axanthics are listed for on here. Both are things that could be totally legit but also are things that make me want to take the extra steps to verify as much as I can.

thank you, I’ll check it out!

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RUN, current market right now is $1000 for an hatchling Black Axanthic, you are not gonna find an adult that size for $1200 let alone $500 especially considering it is also het genetic stripe.

Since she is not a breeder (which should make you ask yourself why would someone have bough such an animal 2 to 3 years ago if they don’t breed) ask her whom she got the animal from so you can trace it back she probably still have an invoice. (again very few breeders work with black axanthic)

The old “enter amount here” but I am willing to drop the price to almost one third for x y z reason is scam 101

You want a black axanthic get it from a reputable breeder.


@trails_ahead If its a local pick up. It would not hurt to make sure its the same snake and make sure its health. And pay in cash.

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How long has the snake been listed?

Craigslist is hit or miss. I’ve seen some good deals BUT those were with morphs I could easily see. And unless you know how to sex a snake, who’s to say if it’s a female or male.

Also big red flag, which is connected to my first question, no one would have any issue rehoming a female of that size for 800$ let alone 1200$ IF it is in fact a black axanthic especially with a het in question.
And the fact she dropped it to 500$, even tho I do see it as a black axanthic, I would pass. That’s just way to low for anyone with a brain who buys a snake of that value. Something is amiss. Unless you completely want to take a chance, and a big chance, I would walk away.

To go with what @slithermetimbersreptiles said. If you end up purchasing that snake, pay in cash, preferably bring someone with you and meet in a public place with cameras. Never hurts to be safe with how the world is in its current state.


Can you tell me what it is that your are seeing in those pics that makes you sure it is black axanthic? I am not very familiar with that gene so i would like to know what to look for

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I’m not sure it’s a black axanthic, I think it may be. Looks like the one my business partner had only darker.

What I see to think it’s a black axanthic:
Dark head, with a faint head stamp.
Silver/white outline of the pattern, especially near the belly.
Clean white belly, similar to how the train track pied markers in het pied balls make a clean belly.
And the overall dark color, given that snake is most likely around 2 years old, if not older, I’m surprised it hasn’t faded a little more.
The more banded look with the alien heads near the tail.
And lastly the dorsal pattern, how the alien heads extend onto the dorsal in parts but not the entire dorsal.
I’ve only seen one, but that’s close to the same visual, and what I remember my business partner told me to look for when I worked with his black axanthic.

Better pictures would definitely help.


Ok Thanks so much. I am always curious to see what people look for with a little known gene


Of course, you’re very welcome Mary.
My partner who projects with it has a male. He produced a clutch of hets last year, so it will be some time before we can see more visuals. And then hopefully I can get some more hands on experience with that gene and know for sure what I’m looking at.


@mnroyals Yes to all of that. Weirdly, my gut feeling, which tends to be creepily good about animals isn’t say ‘don’t’ but I’m pretty sure that the brain is gonna issue a veto. I also suspect that even if the other stuff all checks out I’ll wind up with an animal in need of medical care, which, despite my rescuer-instincts, is definitely not something I wanna sign up for right now. And thank you for the morph description! That is exactly the kind of identification description I’ve been looking for.

@stewart_reptiles Thank you, that’s exactly what my brain needed to hear to get the upper hand over the emotions. I did ask a bunch of questions and if she can provide a breeder I may try following up but I’m pretty positive I’m going to take a pass.


You’re welcome. It would be tough for me too to pass that up, but I think you’re making the right choice overall. Better safe than sorry they say.


Is this on the NoVA craigslist? I thought it looked familiar but I could not recall from where. If it is that one you should also note that a good number of the pics on that listing carried the watermarks for multiple different breeders so I can just about guarantee the listing is a scam

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No, this is eastern CT, she’s only got the one snake listed.
I heard back, she got the snake from a family on craigslist, I’ve asked if it’s possible to get in touch with them. She’s looking to sell because she’s going back to school and isn’t going to have time to give all her herps. When I asked about health did say that there is some scarring on her nose but it was there when she got the snake, so she doesn’t know if it was from rubbing or a burn.

I realized I’ve been looking at the cost/risk from a business perspective, and I promised myself that this was going to be a hobby and not a hustle. Since I do have the money and quarantine has me bored out of my mind, I think I’m going to go check her out (with all safety precautions in place) and see if she exists, looks like she does in the pics, and appears to be in good health. If so at best I’ll get a great deal, and at worst I’ll spend too much on a pretty snake and/or have a good story.

Thank you again for all of the excellent advice, I graciously accept all eye rolling and 'I told you so" sentiments in advance and stay tuned for a dramatic update!


$500 for what is most likely a dark normal from someone who got it from someone on CL and is trying to pass it as something worth 3K+ is not really what I called a great deal.