What snake would work? Help?

I was looking on MM as usual today, when my daughter came up to me and asked me what colorful snake has not been worked with much yet for colors and patterns.

Apparently she would like to be one of the first to selectively breed for these traits. A pioneer, so to speak.

It has to be colorful to breed selected color traits, have patterns for potential abnormalities

(and not cost a zillion dollars-me. lol)

I told her… well… to be honest- I didn’t know what to tell her!

I mean, I’m familiar with corns and some others that have been extensively worked with, but as to colorful with patterns that have potential for new ???

Any opinions would be awesome! As her dad, I want to support her as much as possible.


All opinions are respected as there is no right or wrong since we’re all friends here!

I gratefully and thankfully appreciate your help!


The thing with morphs and such from my understanding, is that most of them appeared as random mutations, so it’s really difficult to say which species has potential as they all do in theory - mutations can happen randomly in any one. The more a species is worked with, naturally the more colourful morphs will appear, as the more babies are produced the more chance of a mutation happening, or the hzg form of a recessive gene showing up. It’s mainly just about being lucky and being observant of animals in your collection/for sale that visually stray from the norm even a little bit, and trying to prove that out. And of course it helps if the species is easy to keep and breed. I hope that makes sense :blush:


It makes a lot of sense!

As in any animal natural variations occur.

By selectively breeding these, colors can become more prevalent, patterns can be selectively bred and so on.

For actual genetic mutations to occur, one has to be extremely lucky.

For selective breeding- perhaps just a keen eye. :grin:

I fully agree that ease of breeding helps!

Have any snake suggestions?


I don’t think you’ll find much that fits those parameters. The thing is, the more colorful the snake, the more likely it is to be heavily worked with. If it hasn’t been, there’s likely a reason. Usually it’s because they don’t do well in captivity or breed easily. That said, there’s always something like garter snakes, or one of the lesser kept rat snake species.



Have looked at garters and have seriously considered them. Problem is the ones with nice colors are $$$, unless I’m missing something.

I’ll continue to look at those. :+1:

I’m game to look into a different rat snake type though, if you know of any. :man_shrugging:

I’ve also looked into sand boas.


Btw, I found Fisk’s House Snakes intriguing, but haven’t found any for sale.


See, that’ll also be one of your big issues. Anything that isn’t worked with as much will have a higher price tag, because there just aren’t as many animals in the hobby.

If you’re looking at garters and don’t want to do specific wild types bred for color (Florida blues, etc) I’d say go for Plains garters (T. radix) with hets. Then you can breed for morphs and go on to breed for specific traits in those morphs.

For rat snakes, there’s always Westerns, Easterns, my personal favorite is the Japanese rat snake, though those are more expensive.


Thank you for the suggestions.

I’ll check those out, too! :heart:


The cave dwelling rats are beautiful and not very common. I think they can be a bit feisty though. Maybe she’d like to pick an uncommon corn morph to refine or work towards an uncommon combo? She can browse the list at iansvivarium.com to get some ideas.


Thank you! I’ll check those out, too. :heart:


African rock python, viper boa, solomon island group boa, Angolan python, woma python, calabar burrowing python, rosy boa, dumurals boa, Argentine boa. Can you explain more what you are looking for in size and care range?


I’ll also note that depending on your state, some garters (and other species) might not be legal to keep, breed, or a permit will be required, since they may be a protected native species. It is really state/area/species dependent, so make sure to check on that sort of thing before you get invested!


I’m not really sure what you’re talking about since I know nothing of morphs or combinations of genes etc. but milk snakes come in some gorgeous colors and make great pets once they’re out of the musky, biting baby stage….

But if I am waaaaaaay out in left field I apologize! :pray::blush:


Awesome suggestions and I’ll look at them all! Thank you so much!

To answer your question, the length of a corn or smaller.

Preferably instinctive rodent eater or able to be switched to rodent easily.


Wonderful tip! Thank you!

We did see the red spotted that looks pretty. Do you know offhand if that would be limited by laws?


Absolutely no left field! Heh Your opinion is valued! :heart:

We did look at milks, and that is still very much on the menu.

It seems they have been worked with extensively, and she would like a snake not common or not overly worked.


We found the rainbow snake ( Farancia erytrogramm) and they had wonderful possibilities.

Unfortunately they pretty much are water snakes much of the time and eat eels.

Yeah, that kinda shut that investigation down fast. lol


Sunbeam snakes look sort of similar to rainbow snakes. They are mostly wild caught but once adjusted to captivity (or born in captivity) they are pretty easy and not too hard to breed from what I have heard.


Thank you. I’ll take a look at those. :+1:


Oh gosh those sunbeam snakes are gorgeous. Unfortunately I bought a wild caught one that ended up with some kind of parasite and the reptile vet gave her a shot and cream but she sadly passed not long after. She was such a sweet snake.