Snake Articles (mostly Cadmium Morph news)

The articles on this page will cover my Cadmium Morph breeding project as well as other snake related experiences I have.

What I did this summer

What I didn’t do this summer was post about my snakes. (I’m getting pretty bad about that)

So let’s talk about the 2019 breeding season. I have 3 sets of adults left for breeding, pairs from (2006, 2010 & 2012) . My 2010’s didn’t breed this year and I’m not sure why but it’s good, for the health of the female, to skip a year every now and then.

My 2006’s did well but the babies all look pretty normal.

2006 female

2006 female

2006 male

2006 male

The first baby to hatch was a chunk and it occurred to me that I’ve never weighed hatchling snakes.


So, I broke out the kitchen scale and weighed each hatchling as they emerged. Out of 28 snakes from two different clutches they were all between 12 & 14 grams (except for one that was 16 and one that was 8…I’m going to do a follow up and compare these two siblings in the future.)


The 2006 clutch was lots of healthy good looking snakes but pretty unremarkable. Since it takes a year + before they start to show any real color (and since I’m not dealing with 60 snakes) I decided to hang on to them all to see how they look next summer.

Roadie was not impressed by the babies.

Roadie was not impressed by the babies.

My 2012’s gave me ALL MORPHS! I don’t know what’s different about these snakes but it’s cool.

2012 female

2012 female

2012 male

2012 male

There were only a dozen babies but everyone displays broken patterns, broke stripe through the eye, light ground color and faded centers of the dorsal markings. This is my 3rd year with this pair breeding exclusively and this is what they give me every time.


The reason I bring this up is that their offspring from past years all develop mixtures of yellow and red turn a wonderful lavender color in most animals.


Summer is coming

So, I apologize for not keeping things up to date around here but my company bought another company and now yada yada yada. It doesn’t matter. Lets talk about snakes!

There was some snake breeding. My 2006’s and 2012’s did great. I got 40 good eggs and zero slugs. My 2013’s (the blind ones) did not produce again….the female really looked gravid but their physical problems have convinced me to scrap that line.

The big surprise is my 2010' female hasn’t laid yet. She should lay any day now so we’ll see.

In case you were wondering here’s pics of some snek secks


My 2018’s are starting to show some colors and I did probe them the other night. I have 8 males and 6 females so we’ll see who wants pairs and who wants a lone male or two just because they have extra rats laying around.

FYI: I will be updating my Snakes For Sale page in the next few days

This brings me to something controversial I want to talk about. Who I sell to.

I’ve had some weird interactions with people who email me looking for snakes. Several people emailed that they want snakes and then ghost me without saying “Sorry, I changed my mind” but I’ve had a few other weird inquiries of people who insist on sending money orders and don’t really ask about the snakes at all or groups of people all emailing at once without me posting or doing anything to stimulate the interest. So, I did something recently that may have been awkward, but I’m glad I did it.

I got two inquiries on April fools day at almost the same time and I asked both people if they would link me to their social media or websites where I could see that they were actual, experienced herp keepers/breeders. As soon as I did it I felt like I’d screwed up but both guys were forthcoming and proved credible. I sold snakes to both of them and I hope they are happy with what they got. I think I’ll make this a policy going forward to at least ask potential buyers about their experience and other interests. It’s definately awkward but I think it will be worth it.

I’ve had some good conversations with people who have emailed me about snakes and while I don’t spend a lot of time socializing and I’m slow to respond to people, I feel better knowing these animals are going to people who at least take their hobby seriously. It makes me confident people will be happy with the animals they’re getting from me.

That being said here’s some pics of my 2010 & 2012 males. Good looking guys if you ask me.


Didn't see that coming

Back in 2017 my 2013 male developed milky eyes. This happens sometimes if snakes donm’t properly shed their eye-caps. In young snakes it can be a big problem because there’s a gap for bacteria to grow and cause infections and it’s aporblem that can compound itself with each additional shed. trust me, I’ve peeled a bunch of eye caps in my day. A towel soaked in warm water and a pair of tweezers will fix them up real quick. This guy didn’t seem to have retained eye caps. So, I let it go for 1 shed cycle to see what happened. One eye cleared up a lot but the other stayed about the same.

At this point I started to re-evaluate this snake. He has some bad ribs on one side (hey! I ain’t raising race horses) I chose him originally because

A) he had great colors

B) I had a female from the same year with the same dad

C) he was SUPER calm. Like, kitty-cat-wants-a-saucer-of-milk calm. He damn near purrs…


His half sister was the same way and I was interested in calm babies, so it made sense to add this par to the breeding pool.

But the other day I was cleaning his cage and noticed something.

He never strikes. He never jumps. He never recoils. He never makes a jerky motion (without being touched) AT ALL. I thought about this for a minute and then did some tests with waving things at him and making quick gestures around him. he never reacted. I tried shining light on hm and blocking it out. very little pupil activity and no snake reaction.

I tried these same motions and gestures with other snakes. All of them flinch or react at some point except him ….and his half sister…..

They do not follow fingers or food without their tounges guiding them.

....I have a pair of blind snakes…..and it may have a genetic component……

so now I face the ethical question: Do I breed them?

I tried last year but got nothing. Maybe they are infertile as well.

There are a lot of “maybes” to this one but I thought about it and decided to give them one more go.


So, what happens if……

A) they have beautiful, healthy babies that make me glad I spend the money I should be investing for my retirement to feed snakes? (easy answer)

B) they have blind babies each requiring a specially trained dogs to help them navigate public spaces? (I guess I’ll need to get a bunch of handicap placards and install an ADA toilet)

C) They don’t have any babies again?

Well, my faithful fans, I was raised on a farm and you don’t feed what you can’t eat or doesn’t work. I know it’s heartless and cold blooded of me but this may be where this branch of the family tree ends.

We shall see.

The family tree has more branches than I thought.

I sold some more snakes recently to a very nice lady who, at one point, asked me how related all these animals are. Despite having put together a comprehensive conspiracy-theroy-esque wall to track lineages I realized I couldn’t work backwards from current animals more than one generation so……..


I started working it out for specific animals and found out I had missed something…...another male had gotten his snake goo into my perfectly in-bred line of weirdos.


Specifically, as I was going back through old spreadsheets I discovered I was wrong about where my 2007 animals came from.

spread sheet screen shot.jpg

My whole Texas rat snake breeding program kicked off because some white trash kid quit his job and moved out of the trailer park in the middle of the night, His boss called me the next day to say something like “The kid left a mess and I have to clean it up but the landlord won’t go near the trailer because it’s full of snakes.” (I might be mis-remembering this but it’s close enough) The point is, one of these snakes was a skinny, ugly Texas rat snake with a weird white spot on his back. I never could determine whether he was piebald or it was just some sort of injury. I bred him a few times but had no real interesting babies so I forgot about this…until I went back through old spread sheets and realized that some of his progeny are in my in my breeding program.


In previous posts I did a breeding family tree that mislabeled at least one 2007 female as being the offspring of my original 2002 male when, in fact there are two 2007 females who came from this guy that are part of the current bloodline. What follows are the updated breeding family trees.

Worth mentioning, I have confirmed that all the offspring have the same maternal origin. One Eve and two Adams. (Insert joke about my divorce here later)


So, in 2013 the family tree looks more like this:


In the last couple years I’ve been focused on the 2010 & 2012 bloodlines since they are throwing pretty constant traits. The 2010’s are yielding lots of broken patterns (including something kind of mosaic)


The 2012s have lots of reddish/lavender colors (which I kind of like)


but I now I have to look back on years of unimaginative, poorly managed snake breeding and wonder what could have been?

Or not.

It’s pointless to wonder “what if I hadn’t been so stupid in the past” once you realize that future you already knows all the dumb stuff you’re doing right now. Let’s try not to disappoint our future selves by being smarter today!

So, what is the state of my breeding program?

Well, I have four pairs of breeding adults:

1) The 2006 male & female who gave me all the 2010’s and 2012’s (grandma & grandpa to my hopes & dreams)

2) A 2010 male & female (predictable and comfortable like an old pair of shoes you can’t buy any more)

3) A 2012 male & female (still young enough to party but old enough to go to bed at a reasonable hour)

4) And a 2013 male & female!!!! The hope of the future….{cue up record scratch}

uh oh…..The 2013s I chose to keep for breeding are both from the 2010 & 2006 lines with no link back to my missing-link snake.


So what am I going to do?

Well, as it turns out I do have two 2016s that are from the alternate blood line. They both have the same 2012 father but their mothers are sisters so let’s consider them genetic brothers with different great-grandfathers. That’s the best I can do.


cleaning cooling cages

So I haven’t been posting this winter while the snakes are cooling but a few people are actually reading this stuff and I suppose they deserve some content.

Comment #1 I bought a new phone that takes much better pics. I know that seems counter intuitive. For the last century if you wanted better pics you bought a better camera or lenses…...welcome to the future


comment #2 red phase snakes! Last year I noticed that I had some babies that looked very red indeed (scroll back through past posts for examples of this) but it wasn’t until people started buying them that I realized that they all came from my 2012 snakes…..this made me go back and look. my 2002 snakes gave me my 2006 snakes that gave me the awesome looking hypo melanistic very yellow 2010 snakes.


Those same 2002/2006 snakes gave me a bunch of 2012 snakes


These 2012 snakes are yielding a bunch of very red/lavender snakes. Should I call this another morph? I wish I had great pics of them but in lieu of that…how the hell do I know? FYI: all of the best baby snakes from last year are from 2012 pairings so we’ll know more by July. In the mean time here’s the last of my 2015 snakes who is also the offspring of a pair of 2012 snakes.


This brings us to the last interesting snake of this post. I’ve seen hundreds of baby Texas rat snakes and they all pretty much look the same. But this gal looked weird when she hatched. The margins of her markings were unusually clean and for some reason I kept her.

Now she is an amazing lemon yellow with orange popping up at the head. I have no idea what she’ll yield when I breed her but she’s basically just like her grandfather who started all this.


I wish I had more technical info to give you about which genes cause what in these snakes but I’m basically a post-paleolithic sheep herder keeping the sheep I like and hoping the lambs are like their parents. I guess the unknown is half the fun.