Zena will be 3 this coming June and my wife and I just haven’t been able to pinpoint any specific morphology. We were initially told she was just a Normal when we picked her up, which was also before her first shed, but the older/bigger she gets I definitely feel like there’s some neat genetics there. We fostered a few Normals after she was about a year old and she just seemed to stick out like a sore thumb.
Unfortunately, the only local resources available are store front that are not to savvy on us bringing her in for them to see in person. Instead I’ve been reaching out to every resource I can find online and try to take the best photos I can. I’m still super new at keeping snakes and I’m by no means a photographer. Just want the best for my little anxious noodle.
First of all welcome to the forum! Zena is a very pretty name for a very pretty snake! I’m not schooled in the art of morphology lol! And I have never ventured any guesses because I’m afraid I will be way off! However I do know that sometimes what you think is more than a normal ends up being a normal only.
There will be others to come along with expertise to give you their opinions though……
You picked her up as a fresh hatchling as a normal…?
Which sounds weird when you say rescue as they’re usually already well past the first shed. How did you get this snake?
For any rescue snake the genetics always tend to be a crapshoot. If you DID receive this snake as a hatchling from a breeder, I would be inclined to just say, “yep, nice normal”.
I still think normal now as well. She has some nice color and blushing, but nothing that stands out to me as obviously abnormal.
Looks very nice in the pictures but hard to tell color accuracy. There’s nothing distinct enough to say it’s definitely a particular morph. It could mayyybe be something subtle like vanilla. But if it is something, without knowing the breeding history you’d have to put in the decade of breeding work it takes to prove a dinker out. After which point it could turn out to have been literally nothing.
Or maybe in 5 years there will be enough genetically mapped morphs that you could spend $150 to cast a wide enough net and hit a known morph with genetic testing if you really want to try and find out.
Until then just call it a normal and be happy you’ve got a really good looking snake!
Appreciate the response! My wife and I run a Non-Profit Animal Sanctuary focused on reptiles and small animals that would, more often than not, be turned away from shelters/care facilities or euthanized.
We established a partnership with our local Petco and Animal Control. Animal Control called one day asking if we could assist in fostering some snakes from a breeder that local PD had busted while they worked with the vet and Petco to facilitate care and housing. Got a call a few days later from Petco saying that Zena was the only one from her clutch to survive and if we wanted to bring her home we could, or they’d send her off to a different store due to insufficient space.
Now I have this wonderful ball of curiosity and realizing I’ve never even touched the surface of how many different morphs and genes exist. We’ve had some pretty cool Piebald, Gravel and Banana fosters but, Z has always just stood out to me next to all the Normals we’ve had come through. No one I’ve asked has really known much either and then I found this community and got stoked again lol.
That’s what my wife has been saying as well, maybe a little Vanilla, cause she’s been noticeably lighter than the other Norms we’ve had come through. I enjoy having her regardless, she’s a wonderful snake. Just find new communities every now and then that juuuust might have an answer I haven’t been able to find elsewhere.
Wild type ( normal) she is pretty
That definitely makes more sense! Hahah.
One of the topics that has come up more in the last year or so are people saying ‘rescue’ but actually meaning purchased with the intent for better care. I’m glad yours is still safely in the camp of actual rescue!
Thank you for the work you do! Hoarder/Overburdened breeder situations large enough to need extra hands on deck like that are never good.
She’s lucky though! She’s got markings like my adoptee from PetSmart. I call him my rescue as I adopted him out for medical reasons while I was working there. Severe burns from I think his heat pack shifted in shipping is the only thing I can think of.
When it’s a situation like that you never really know… She could be carrying an unknown het or something low expression in the fire complex, but unless proven otherwise I’d just stick with pretty, but wild type.