Elmo the wizard 🧙‍♂️

So Elmo shed today and I have been noticing something since his last shed that is really intriguing me. I waited until he shed to make sure it wasn’t something in his enclosure that caused it. Well I can confidently say it is just Elmo being the weirdo that he is as it has actually gotten more defined and covering a slightly larger area. I can’t do a good job explaining it so I will just show you guys.

It almost reminds me of a ringer that sometimes shows up on het pied ball pythons. I have never seen this in all of the scaleless Texas rats I have looked at, which is a lot as I like to fantasize about which would be a good mate for him :sweat_smile:.

This is probably not related or anything but he is a scaleless DH leucistic albino. The het leucistic couldn’t have an “influence” as he wasn’t like this when he was young could it? And it couldn’t be a paradox as he wasn’t born with it? If this seems a bit all over the place it is because I am just putting down what pops into my head.

@noodlehaus @ballornothing

And here he is in all his glory. I am surprised at just how well the camera picked up his colors in such bad lighting


So I have been looking a lot and the closest thing I can find is on more scaled scaleless snakes, the scales on the back in between the dark will lighten up. here is an example of what I am talking about (photo from House of the Serpent)-

But that is pretty much the opposite of what is happening so I am still confused


Honestly, it could be several things. As you know, rat snakes tend to color up as they get older. It could be a color/pattern aberration, it could be a small area of paradoxing that wasn’t noticeable until now, it could be something akin to vitiligo. That said, do you have any other full body photos from when he was younger, as well as now, so the areas can be more accurately compared?


It’s possible that’s a lucy paradox spot but let’s see what @t_h_wyman thinks

Edit - I missed the part where it wasn’t born with it. @caryl is pretty sharp with pigment stuff she might have some input too.


Here is one from a while back.

And big tip for everyone, if you are trying to type more than a single letter then don’t have a chicken sitting on your hand. One of my chicks jumped onto my phone 4 times before I finished a single word :roll_eyes:


I suspect you are seeing something akin to vitiligo. It can happen spontaneously with some individuals with age


Do you think it will continue to spread like it has from his last 2 sheds?


It might spread, it might stop, it might even reverse.


I know you’re asking a serious question, @logar, but this…

seriously cracked me up! :hatched_chick: :skull:
I would concur that Elmo is showing something like vitiligo. Since it wasn’t present when he hatched, it is less likely to be paradoxing. I have been trying to figure out where the lightened area is on his body in the “before” picture. I can’t tell precisely where on his body this area is. It will be interesting to see what happens with the spot.