Breeding snakes with a deformity

I have a question. If you breed a snake let’s say with one small eye what are the chances that the offspring will inherit that trait? Neither parent has that issue. Would that of only of happened due to incubator issues?


A lot of snake deformities are unknown whether they’re genetic, incubation related or just a random fluke. People typically don’t breed snakes that have issues simply to avoid the possibility of passing it on, in case it is genetic.


There are so many animals available without deformities, breeding a less than optimal one is not something worth doing.


It’s impossible to know. It could be incubator issues, a recessive trait that both parents carry, a polygenic trait, a combination of environmental and genetic causes, etc and so forth. I wouldn’t breed an animal with a defect. There’s no shortage of good quality healthy snakes out there so it’s hard to justify breeding one with a deformity


Agreed. is it worth the risk for snakes?
Its not like its a human with other qualities that could compensate for the risk. E.G stephen hawkings had other qualities (lets not get into that debate though)


I can’t think of a reason to justify it besides species conservation. As many on the community know, I have a pet-only boa named Kai. The main thing that bothers me is that his defect only became more visible as he got bigger. I don’t know if the reptile store I bought him from knew about it, but I have gotten pass that as Kai is heathy otherwise. He may need some extra close attention to humidity and cleaning due to his nasal deformation, and his back kink has only made shedding right on the kink a little bit harder as it sometimes gets stuck going down. He is my boy, and I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world. I think having him and his sensitivities, has caused me to really “perfect” boa care and learn the ins and outs of their husbandry as the risk of losing Kai was a real factor. Lol, I typed a lot, but that is also probably why I feel pretty confident in moving on to breeding boas :joy:. But like I said, I could never justify breeding Kai due to his deformities. He is a sweetheart though. :blush:


Hilary is spot on. This is where I’ve always been on the issue as well.


I am in the camp of those who would never consider breeding an animal with a known deformity barring some extreme possibility of work done by those trying to save highly endangered species.
Generally speaking, there’s just no good reason to do it and many reasons not to do it.

The OP asked specifically about a reptile with a small eye, micropthalmia. This deformity is one which can definitely be caused by incubation at temperatures which are too high. It doesn’t appear to cause the animals distress, so to me it doesn’t present as an immediate need to cull/euthanize. But under no circumstance should such an be bred for all of the reasons others have given.

In fact, I currently have a corn snake who survived an incubation temperature spike which killed most of the eggs. (One other survived to hatching but was severely deformed. I euthanized it.) This snake has a small right eye, and no left eye. It has always eaten, eliminated, shed, and generally behaved like any normal snake. I will never breed it - nor would I even if it was a very rare morph I wanted to replicate - even though I fully believe that the deformities were temperature induced. I will also keep this animal to ensure that it isn’t bred, although I might consider giving it to an individual whom I know well.

If you want a deeper dive, this is a readable paper about temperature and deformity.


These are all good points. Was just seeing your guys opinion. Thanks.

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