Is there really a "best" line of axanthic or is it all just truly subjective?

Something I think we all see get debated pretty frequently. I just like hearing everyone opinions.

Plenty of people claim certain lines brown out worse than others but in my opinion it all depends on what you add to the axanthic.
For example, add fire to an axanthic and it will look nearly the same as an adult.

I personally prefer the VPI line, how about everyone else?
I’ve seen quite the price increase in TSK line whereas VPI used to be the most expensive.
Or maybe each line can be as high quality as the next, and it just depends on your breeding stock?

Obviously there are more than just the two lines of axanthic I mentioned, those are just the ones I brought up, Id love to hear about others.

Lets discuss.

Well there are more than just 2 lines but to me the top two are TSK and VPI, after that it is a matter of personal taste.

One of the reason TSK has gained popularity in the past couple of years is because for the first time we have someone that has focused his work on Axanthic (TSK line) and has made amazing animals


I’ve just got to say WOW! on his ‘storm trooper’. That snake is absolutely ridiculous.


It was even better out the egg…imagine that…and I tink its all subjective cause the MJ line makes the best lightning pieds but doesnt react as well to other morphs as VPI…the entire hobby is subjective especially when you start makimg your own stuff…


A decade or more ago, VPI was always hailed as “the best”, mostly because Tracy put a lot of work into her animals and it showed. But once they started getting out from her and into the hands of other we started seeing the cost of the “world’s first” mentality as people started trying to cram as many genes in an animal as possible and the overall quality of them began to run the range of good to poor.

The flip happened with TSK in the past few years. The morph had a broad range of quality and then John stepped in and actually applied really tight selective breeding to his stock, the results speak for themselves.

I think that most lines of Axanthic have potential to make stunning animals if properly bred out, but it is not going to happen if you just take any two random hets/visuals and slap them together. You have to look at the other (not necessarily morph) traits your breeder animals have and anticipate how they will work for/against the outcome you want. Too few people in this hobby seem to realize that there are probably 30,000-odd other genes in these animals other than the one that is responsible for the morph they are buying and a good number of those genes also affect phenotype in ways big and small


I had been thinking about this thread for about a day now and what was mentioned about his breeding stock. So I have a few questions (maybe the more seasoned breeders will know)…

*Using this as an example

Did you go out and buy three snakes (1 male, 2 female) and breed them together. Did he kept his hold backs, and when they were of age breed the same male to the now-of-age female snakes, or any males snakes back to the 2 original female snakes, and then just kept that going for years.

Can you inbreed snakes without issues? <- I guess that’s my real question here.

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Yes as long as you introduce new genes as well every few generations.

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I do not know exactly what he did but I have a recollection of a podcast he was on where he said he purchased the best examples he could find to start with and then began holding back the best from the clutches to roll them forward into the next stage of the project.

Up to a point you can, yes. That said, you will need to introduce newer blood into your group at some point because you will begin to see inbreeding-depression issues creep in after a time

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What does that entail?
When I think of depression I think of what I have, and I don’t think snakes can get that.


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Crawd’s link is a good overview.

Basically it is the accumulation of negative genes within the closed population that leads to reduced health/viability/fitness


I work with VPI. My friend has TSK and another one does Black Axanthic. Honestly… I have seen many adults in each line and I wish I would have invested into black axanthic. Amazing animals and they get jet black with maturity. The color cycle reverses. They hatch somewhat brown and turn black. It is crazy! But the others are great it just really depends on selective breeding with that looks better as well as availability is your area.

Honestly, I don’t really know if black axanthic is even a true form of axanthism. It might be a form of melanism since they get black with age, sometimes the melanin pigment has to take time to develop, so I think that might be what is happening with black “axanthics”. Is VPI your favorite out of the other axanthics?

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