Palmetto is Incomplete Dominant [DONE]

Although I agree that Palmetto is incomplete dominant, the heterozygous form is not always very easy to identify (and thus far, impossible or nearly impossible to identify on amel-based and hypo type morphs). What I keep seeing in ads is people listing poss het palmettos as Palmetto, since I’m assuming there is no option to choose poss het since it’s incomplete dominant? I’m wondering if adding a poss het Palmetto button could be an option. Or is it already an option and people just aren’t using it correctly?

“Palmetto is in fact coded as an inc dom, not a dominant. Our database makes such a distinction.”

That’s great that there is in fact a distinction in the coding and the database. Thanks for sharing that info John. I think if I had a vote though, I would not vote for “keeping the number of colors down to a reasonable number”. I’d suggest that consistency between the colors of tabs, the coding, actual fact, and the database is worth striving for, as that would be the best way to avoid confusion or unintentional misinformation. That is, more detail is better! Likewise, I also agree with Solarserpents that for Inc. Dominant mutations like Palmetto in which the “Het morphotypes” can be difficult or impossible to identify visually depending on what other mutations are being expressed, that a “Possible Het” button makes sense. However, hopefully most breeders will include details of possible hets in the text description.

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The same thing happens in other animals in the hobby, we see it a lot in ball pythons where people cannot tell if an animal has YB or something because of all the genes in the combo. In these situations it would probably be more prudent for sellers to just not use the trait button but to mention it in the animal description.

Of course, that means that the sellers themselves have to recognize that is a better option than to use the button. It is not really something we can force anyone to do


I don’t keep corns, so I don’t have any experience with Palmettos, but if Palmetto is inc-dom, then should we be referring to the three phenotypes as “normal,” “Palmetto,” and “Super Palmetto”?

And then these problematic “poss-het Palmettos” would just be “poss-Palmettos.” In the hognose world, sometimes we see “poss-Arctic” since Arctic is inc-dom and the het phenotype can sometimes be difficult to determine.

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That is how the traits are listed on MorphMarket (Palmetto and super Palmetto). However, when Palmetto was discovered, we didn’t know it was incomplete dominant, so the super form was just named Palmetto. Because the het form is often very subtle (and in some cases, impossible to tell), I would feel weird calling them Palmetto. And it is often an uphill battle trying to get names changed in the hobby! But yes, even if the options on MorphMarket were poss Palmetto, Palmetto, or super Palmetto, I think that would be a decent solution. For the poss arctic hognoses, is that an actual trait option on MorphMarket , or do people just list it in the title or description?

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There is not set rule for labeling inc-dom morphs. Look at the RedAxanthic trait in ball python: normal, het Red, Red Axanthic. So it is fine to have normal, het Palm, Palmetto


Need everybody’s thoughts on this. I’ve been working with corn snakes most of my life. From speaking to a few other breeders they think the same as I do that the Palmetto Gene is a recessive gene and not an incomplete dominant. I do agree with this, but what are your thoughts on this?

There ya go @ripley500. Moved your post here. Have a read :relaxed:

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While het babies are not always easy to ID from what I understand, in some pairings or lines at least, the hets are visually identifiable. If you can ‘see’ a het at all, it’s incomplete dominant and not recessive, even if you can’t see it in every single example.

Could you post some pictures to illustrate your point of view?


Thanks to everyone for their replies on this. I was just having an idiot Monet to be fair. Ive been working with snakes for years but never worked with Palmetto. I completely understand it now.


Nothing idiotic about asking the question, this is how we learn. :+1:t4: :+1:t4:


Apologies up front, but I feel like this topic needs to be brought up once again. People are mistakenly listing Palmettos as “Super Palmettos”. I take some responsibility for this as its was me who pushed for having Palmetto reclassified as an Incomplete Dominant mutation, but then again, Palmetto IS an Incomplete Dominant mutation and the real issue causing confusion here are the incorrect “trait tags”. I know the audience here is well-informed and I don’t necessarily need to point out the obvious, but just so everyone that may read this later is on the same page… Incomplete Dominant mutations don’t have “Super” forms. A “Super” is an individual that is homozygous (i.e., 2 copies) for a Dominant mutation, and that will pass that mutation on to all of its progeny. Dominant and Incomplete Dominant mutations are not the same thing, but because they are combined in the trait legend, we have folks selling “Super Palmettos”, which because Palmetto is an Incomplete Dominant mutation, is not actually a thing that exists. Please MorphMarket , in the interest of accuracy, I’m sure I’m not the only one who who be grateful if you would create separate trait tags for Dominant and Incomplete Dominant. That is to say, Dominant mutation trait tags should include “Visual” and “Super”, and Incomplete Dominant mutation tags should include “Pos Het” “Het” and “Visual”.

And just to anticipate a comment I know is likely to be made… yes, there are incomplete dominant mutations for which people refer to the homozygote as “Super” …Conda in Hognoses for example. However, just because the term Super is being misused elsewhere, does not mean we should “sanction” that misuse by continuing to misuse the term for other mutations. IMO, the term super should be reserved for homozygotes of dominant mutations. No matter your opinion on that, we still desperately need separate trait tags for these very different categories of mutations.

I believe you are quite confused here

They do. “Super” is the hobby-coined term given to homozygous Inc-dom and dom traits. This has always been the case and not a issue in the way the traits are listed.

If anything, Dominant traits don’t have a “super” as their homo-form isn’t visual.

And also Incomplete Dominant traits…?

They are. Just the homo Dominant looks the same as a the het. That’s the only difference between the two terms.

I think you are mixing up Inc-Dom with recessive.
Inc doms are visual in their het form

We do with literally ALL super inc-doms, except Het Red Axanthic.

Why? .


The problem is that simply, Incomplete Dominant and Dominant mutations are NOT the same. They function similarly on the genetic level, but their phenotypic expression is quite different. The trait tags should not be combined, in part because there is effectively no such thing as a “possible Het” with respect to a Dominant mutation, which is always visually expressed when present. In contrast, and as you pointed out, an animal that is Het for an incomplete dominant mutation sometimes, but not always visually displays some part that phenotype (e.g., Het Palmetto, which can be hard to spot when masked by other mutations). Hence the need for a separate category for Incomplete Dominant and the addition of a “possible Het trait tag” associated with Incomplete Dominant mutations. Just adding that tag to the currently combined category of “Inc./Dom” would be wrong, as there is no need for a “possible Het tag” wrt Dominant mutations. The trait tags should be based on genetics, not on “hobby practices”, assuming we are all interested in moving the hobby forward. Finally, the term “Super” is used in different ways, but IMO, again if we are interested in having our terms reflect genetics, and as originally coined, Super is just a much easier way of saying “homozygous for a dominant mutation”. Super should be the term reserved for those animals that will pass on their visual phenotype to 100% of their offspring. That is of course not the case with with a individual that is homozygous wrt an incomplete dominant mutation (e.g., pairing a Palmetto to a Normal does not produce 100% homozygote Palmettos). Whereas, pairing a Super Tessera to a Normal produces 100% Tessera offspring.

They are genetically the same. Visually, dominant traits only have one phenotype, whereas incdom have two.

A het incdom trait is visual…
A homo incdom trait is a different visual

A het dom trait is visual
A homo dom trait is the same visually as the het

The het in both the above are visual. There isnt really a need for “pos het” in incdoms, except in allelic pairings, like YB x Gravel.

A het rec is non visual
A homo rec is visual

That is exactly the case with incdom trait.
A super enchi (homo inc dom) will produce a cluch of all enchis… just as a super pinstripe (homo dom) would produce a cluch of pins.

I really believe you have confused recessive and inc dom with one another here


I am NOT confused about the difference between incomplete dominant and recessive mutations. If you pair a Palmetto, which is incomplete dominant to a Normal (with no Hets), you get 100% progeny that are not white with random flecks (i.e., what we call Palmetto). Yes, those het Palmetto young look a bit like Hypos, in most cases, but NOT in all cases, because levels of expression of the phenotype are naturally variable (this is true of most mutations in our hobby). Therefore, individuals that are het for incomplete dominant mutations are SOMETIMES very difficult to discern. I realize that is not the case with all Incomplete dominant mutations, and is certainly not the case, EVER, with dominant mutations that always display the same phenotype (in het and homo forms). The essential difference between dominant and incomplete dominant is that the individuals who are het for an incomplete dominant trait INCOMPLETELY display that trait (hence the name of that category of mutations), as opposed to individuals that are homozygous for an incomplete dominant trait that FULLY express the phenotype (e.g., Het Palmettos that look like hypos and homo Palmettos that are white with random flecks).

I don’t know anything about BPs, but it sounds as if you are saying that het Enchi’s are visually identical to homo Enchi? If so, then that mutation is not incomplete dominant, based on the accepted scientific definition of how incomplete dominant mutations are expressed phenotypically in a Mendelian sense. As you and I have both pointed out, numerous times now, only dominant mutations fully express the same phenotype in both het and homo form.


I feel like we are actually saying the same things, and agree about the genetics of all this. There’s no debate to be had. Anyone who wants to can learn this stuff from a basic genetics textbook. I think perhaps we have different ways of expressing that knowledge. The core of the issue here is that individuals that are het for incomplete dominant mutations are not always able to be identified by eye, even by the most experienced experts… hence the need for a “Possible Het” trait tag in the incomplete dominant category. But if you fix that, then the combined category no longer makes sense because a possible het tag would of course have no bearing on dominant mutations.


Ignoring the genetics discussion for a moment, I’m going to pop in here with my two cents and say I agree that, despite the official way it is listed now, Palmetto in the market needs a pos het option. I’m actually working with this gene and listings are a nightmare. There are breeders still listing pos hets, and it kind of muddies everything when these animals have the single gene tag. The issue is exactly as @snakesmiths said, because of masking from other genetics, unless you’re experienced, sometimes it’s impossible to tell the difference between single gene animals and normals, especially as hatchlings.

No one wants to claim an animal is het for something they’re unsure of, possibly setting up a scenario where a few years down the road, a pissed off customer messages you about mislabeled genetics. It also can affect the price of an animal, and if I’m paying for a confirmed het to be used as a breeding animal, I know I’d be more than a little put out to find I paid more for an animal that didn’t even have the gene I needed.

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Thank you noodlehaus. This is exactly the issue I hope to get solved here. If we revisit the genetics/breeding and labeling side of things again… Imagine taking this scenario another step forward and pairing a Het Palmetto with a Normal (with no hets). The progeny would be a ~50/50 mix of het Palmettos and Normals, and telling them apart could perhaps be quite tricky. Throw a hypo mutation in to that mix and good luck sorting out which ones are het Palmetto. In the interest of labeling animals correctly, it would, IMO, be useful to have a “Pos Het” tag for Incomplete Dom.

I suppose sellers can always clarify things in the text descriptions of their animals, or perhaps just use the “Other Possible Trait” tag in cases like we have described above, but it would just make a lot more sense, IMO, to have trait tags that actually describe the full complement of phenotypes and genotypes that we are working with.

…and not to further muddy the waters, but those of us who work with the mutation Buf in corns, can attest to how insanely variable its phenotypic expression is and how difficult it can be to discern whether it is visually expressed at times, and that’s a dominant mutation! I can only imagine that with species like BP’s for which there are so many mutations and combos of them that it makes my head spin, that there are not a few similar examples of incomplete dominant and dominant mutations with highly variable expression (or expression masked by the presence of other mutations) that might benefit from the addition of a possible Het trait tag. So… perhaps Incomplete Dominant and Dominant do not need to be split, but the addition of a Pos Het tag for that mutation category would be a very welcome addition.