Could Piebald be inc-dom rather than recessive?

I dont have much to contribute on the genetics here, however, recently got a snake to work with that should by all rights look like a normal. It is pos het pied, het clown. Instead, it is very bright and yellow, which would support the hets having an influence and reacting to eachother if the het pied proves out.

(Photo used with permission of the breeder)

Banana clown x yellowbelly het pied was the parents.


I hereby coin the term “Acts Like not recessive…sometimes” :rofl:


Hahaha :rofl: think that nails it on the head.

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Anybody that works with ball pythons long enough, knows that hets can and will sometimes “alter” the look of an animal. Most people who work with a gene long enough know what “to look for” so to speak. Now with that said is it 100% tried and true, absolutely not and we should not be treating them as incomplete dom just because we are able to pick certain nuances of a gene when looking at poss hets.

And from YEARS OF working with the paint/sentinel gene i can tell you going by a “look/color/pattern” change DOES NOT 100% guarantee that animal has that gene. Which is why paint is now listed as recessvie and should have been from the start.


If “het pied” is a “morph of its own” leading to changes in expression with other genes, and I agree with you there btw, then that would certainly add strength to the argument. Just going by strict definition, I don’t think you can really call pied in ball pythons a recessive, since pretty well everyone agrees that the single gene is visual. Recessive, by definition is not visual in the single gene. Which, of course, begs the question on a few others…

Heh, I see a new board project being created…:rofl:

Out of curiosity, where would you put that dividing line? I don’t have enough experience with enough recessives to say, but you do, so how would you set the classification criteria? Number of other gene combos it shows in? Reliability of identification? Degree of influence? Seriously, this could be really hard but great data. I mean, hypo probably should retain its recessive label, although, I’ve heard that lots of experienced breeders say the single gene has a slight effect on color, but what genes would you be inclined to consider as the hypothetical weak inc-dom class? Pied? Clown? Cryptic? I’m really curious.

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If you CAN NOT with 100% degree of certainty pick them out then they should remain classified as a recessive. I have seen MANY animals that have the classic “train tracks”" that never prove out to be het pied. Also you can get wonky patterns with just a sharp increase or decrease of your incubator, like seen with SOME het clowns.


Is there a good thread with pics from you guys with more experience that covers the het recessive /maybe not subject? Seems like a fascinating rabbit hole, not that I need another. :laughing:

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Another way I have often phrased it is via this analogy:

If you take ten Lessers and throw them in with 490 wild-types, you can pick the Lessers back out pretty easy. Likewise, if you take ten YB and throw them in with 490 wild-types, you can pick the YB back out, maybe not as easily as the Lesser but still something you can do. Now if you take ten het Pied (het Clown, het Hypo, het Axanthic, het blahblahblah…) and throw them in with 490 wild-types, can pick the het Pied (het Clown, het Hypo, het Axanthic, het blahblahblah…) back out?

For some of these (specifically het Pied) I believe it is possible. For others, I think people just see what they want to see.


Good analogy, especially just using wild type, because I would say that it seems to be easier or harder to pick out the hets with certain genes. I admit I don’t know how much of that is just the het and how much is the combined effect of the het + whatever gene, which we know happens (enough that the het can be used to intentionally influence the final expression of the morph, which is ridiculously cool :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: ).

Personally, I always feel like pastel is really good at covering up “markers” as a for instance, but that may be just me. But I like my chances spotting het DG in pinstripe. In super pastel? no way. G-stripe? I’m pretty sure there are markers in wild type, but they’re really subtle so almost any other gene wipes them. I’ll be testing that in another year or so, I have a male I chose over a sibling with the same gene set because he has what I think are the markers (sibling did not). His sire is an unproven 66% het g-stripe, my boy is a known double het (enhancer, pied) wild type, so we’ll see.

But regardless, I would still plant both of those firmly in the recessive category for exactly the reason you gave. I don’t think I could reliably pick all ten hets out of a group of 500. Het pied? Maybe someone with more experience, I wouldn’t put money on me, but I bet I’d get some of them.


And that is a fair self-assessment. I am not certain I could perfectly pull out ten het Pieds either

Flip side, how many people do you think could perfectly pull ten Specters out of a group of 500? But we still consider Specter to be inc-dom.


And is allelic with yellowbelly which is much easier to pick out.


Sometimes… :upside_down_face:


Honestly, I admit that I still sometimes have trouble with that whole complex. Sometimes they’re easy, but sometimes…crap. And how did anyone ever even start to find asphalt or gravel? They must have seen the super form first and said wtf, yellow belly doesn’t do that! But that’s all I saw go in! Can you imagine? They must have seen the hatchling and been like :exploding_head:

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Both Asphalt and Gravel were discovered by accident when import animals believed to be YB were bred to a YB and the Freeway/Highway, respectively, popped out. Gravel was even further complicated because both animals in the pairing were acquired as WC “assumed” YB so the originator did not know which was actually YB and which was Gravel. If I remember correctly, it took him three years to figure it out.

This also goes to illustrate the incredible difficulty in differentiating Asphalt, Gravel, and YB from one another


:rofl: So it was a wtf hatchling moment! Awesome, I’m glad he was able to figure it out, but I bet there was some serious head scratching and hair pulling frustration…