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What makes an animal appealing?

Posted by Paul White at 2/22/2012 8:30:12 PM

What is it that draws people to certain species? I understand this is highly individual, but figuring out what tends to appeal to you is part of growing as a herp keeper. 

Do you favor bright colors or earth toned?

Or is your interest driven more by an animal's behavior than it's appearance?

Or are you drawn to animals from a specific region?

Does (perceived) intelligence matter?

What is it that floats your boat?
For me, I prefer animals that are at least fairly active and I like mostly vibrant tones.   But I'd take a drab colored but active snake (like a coachwhip) over a chondro any day due to the behavioral differences.  But that's all personal choice. But learning what tends to draw you into an animal is important.  So look at your pet(s) and figure out what it is that really draws you in.  The way your retic follows your movement while you're in the room? The way your chondro just perches there?  The way your kingsnake usually comes to the opening when you get into his cage? Or how red and black your rainbow boa is?


Think about it. What draws you in to your animals?

 Comments: View Oldest First  

Pope of iHerp and Bread,
Posted At: 2/22/2012 8:39:17 PM  

The hognoses that I keep have a personality like no other. On most days, the good days, they cruise the cage without a care in the world. They are very personable, and their facial expression is so open and honest. Most days they appear to be smiling. And in the blink of an eye they will curl up, upside down, and play dead. But not until after they've projectiled pudding all over you. And since I know women who charge money for that service, it's to have something that will do it for free.

The corn snake are a draw due to their seemingly limitless color and pattern potential. Now, I realize the same could be said of, say, ball pythons, but corn snakes don't look like ducks. And ducks are evil. Therefore balls must be evil.

And of course both of these species are fairly easy to maintain and breed.

Abby McDufford,
Posted At: 2/22/2012 8:47:08 PM  

I've always loved all animals, so this question is about impossible for me. I see something awesome in every critter... If I was rich I'd probably have two of everything out there... Except monkeys. Not a fan of monkeys. Too close to people. :p although primative monkeys such as lemurs are pretty dang awesome. 

Pope of iHerp and Bread,
Posted At: 2/22/2012 8:49:14 PM  

In the spirit of Abby's '2 of everything' attitude, I'd like to say that instead of having just one Abby (Malvestuto) in a cage, I would now like the other Abby (McDufford) to go with her. Kind of like a kidnap one get one free deal.

Posted At: 2/22/2012 9:01:41 PM  

I like several different aspects of animals. Visually, I like bright, bold, crisp colors, and symetry. I like animals who are alert and in the case of my blue tongues, i LOVE that they watch me and explore and amuse themselves during the day :)  I also like bigger animals. My sand boas are an exception, but my new redtail is my new favorite snake. Hes got a lot of personality and will sit and snuggle but will also explore. They have to be hardy animals, as even my cresties make me worry i'm going to somehow hurt them or make them drop tail.

Posted At: 2/22/2012 9:03:54 PM  

 I am drawn to animals with vibrant colors and sometimes contrast. Patterns also play a huge part in them. Also size and personality, my big corn snake cruises around his cage all day long and he is so funny to watch. I love snakes from all region, probly cause I'm still a noob with reptiles so I haven't found a species I just love yet. I don't know if I ever will, I love all reptiles equally. I do have to say, for some reason even though albino isn't an extremely high end burm morph, I just love the yellow and white.

Posted At: 2/22/2012 9:07:49 PM  

I think genetic possibilities are one thing that really draws me to certain species.  If a species has little to no morphs, I usually don't have much interest.

Now as for the duck thing, I have 2 pet ducks, they are dumb as dirt, they stand out in the middle of the yard at 12am quacking as loud as they can, it's like they are begging an owl to come and eat them.  Somehow they are still alive though, but my ball pythons are sweet as peas and not dumb as dirt, lol

Aaron Florian,
Posted At: 2/22/2012 9:23:49 PM  

The morelia face is just about the damned sexiest reptile face out there.

I do like the exclusivity, the rarity... whether it's a superficial ego-stroke or whatever, the path less traveled has always been one I've enjoyed. Chondros, boeleni, rough scaled.. all morelia that arent (werent) common. I've always liked ringed pythons (a lot) and now that they are expensive again and not many people are working with them, would consider another group of them (their high-maintenance is a killer for me right now).

Although there are days I wish I'd have just gone full bore something popular so I could turn it into a moderate income stream. Also something hardier that doesn't die at the drop of a hat.

But then again, I truly to love all of these dumb ass animals that I hate, so all is well.

Aaron Florian,
Posted At: 2/22/2012 9:23:59 PM  

Monkeys are awesome.

Dave Pierson,
Posted At: 2/22/2012 9:25:44 PM  

It really depends.  I can be drawn to almost anythng.  The carpets, its a combination of intelligence and "personality",  & colours and patterns, especially with the wide variation in natural "wild-type" phenotypes before selective breeding.   With the chondros, the colours and appearence are definitely the seller.  But, I also like to appreciate the animal for where it is from, and what it represents in its natural ecology.  Obviously that is not actually happening in it's enclosure, no matter how natural I make it.  But for anyone who likes wine, the animal is representative of it's "terroir".  (If you aren't familiar with that term, look it up, you'll get what I mean.)

Dave Pierson,
Posted At: 2/22/2012 9:32:57 PM  

+1 to Aarons first comment.  All morelia are sexy damn beasts, along with liasis, aspidites, and leiopython.


-1 to the second.  No monkeys, I agree with Abby.  Gibbons maybe.  But no monkeys.

Michael ,
Posted At: 2/22/2012 9:50:50 PM  

Yep  there is something about the heat pit's in a Chondro ..  It's not how they just sit there  it's about how  the trurn into blood thirsty Freaks after dark for me !!  Plus  They look amazing !

Jennifer White,
Posted At: 2/22/2012 9:54:42 PM  
It depends for me. I haven't really met a snake I didn't like. Color, attitude, patterns it doesnt matter. I like the laziness of the BPs. I just love everything about Hognoses, carpets and green trees. I even like the pissy attitude of my bull snake.
Don't tell my daughter, but I even like her crazy rat snakes (although they do make a mess with they thrash around).

Jennifer White,
Posted At: 2/22/2012 9:57:02 PM  
Nate, my Hognoses have never done that. But I do love their personalities.

Jennifer White,
Posted At: 2/22/2012 10:00:52 PM  
Michael, I agree with the heat pits. They are just so cool.
Aaron, morelias are sexy looking.

Sonja K. ,
Posted At: 2/22/2012 10:35:56 PM  

I am more drawn to the darker colored animals, and to me there is nothing more beautiful than a darker colored patternless snake! I love the iridescence! Thus my love for the Water Pythons, the Olives, and the WLPs - the Southern ones in particular. I also enjoy their activity level, and "intelligence".  I tend to gravitate towards the lesser kept species, too... over time, many of those have brought me a lot of joy... along with challenges... which I feel has helped me grow as a keeper.

Posted At: 2/22/2012 11:19:01 PM  

Aaron, and Jennifer I totaly agree The Chrando face/head is so cool. I also love the Irdecent propertys of my Rainbow, To awncer this question though is like asking how you know your inlove with a person. it just happens you cant plan or pick. Just my opinon. 

Michael ,
Posted At: 2/22/2012 11:19:22 PM  

Nat  is that where Abby is ?? under your stairs in a cage ??  Good man !

Posted At: 2/22/2012 11:38:02 PM  

This is a great topic, Paul, and one that I have been mulling over lately. I'm an Aussie python guy, primarily, and I do think that my fascination with the land down under plays a small part in that focus. Three other factors tend to influence my choices: captive husbandry requirements, behavior, and aesthetics. Those are pretty broad categories, and they are weighted differently with different animals. I love inland carpet pythons, for example, because they are hardy and voracious (husbandry); because they are inquisitive and active yet docile (behavior); and because they are possessed of a subtle, earthy beauty (aesthetics).

Black-headed pythons appeal to me because they are challenging to breed and to establish as hatchlings (husbandry); because they are bad@$$ predators that handle like souped-up colubrids (behavior); and because they have striking patterns and those glossy, impossible deep black heads (aesthetics).

Cynthia Chaplin,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 12:28:06 AM  

Beautiful eyes always get my attention. That's how I ended up with the butthead Savu python I eventually traded for my JCP. For the ones I currently have, it was all about personality. The ones I took home are the ones that approached me with confidence when held. I like the muscularity of boids over the more slender colubrids. Red, solid black, blue, iridescent, or heavily patterned animals always get a second look.

Posted At: 2/23/2012 12:46:26 AM  

Don't know why, but I've fallen in love with crested geckos. I love the wide range of colors and patterns. The bold red ones seem to attract my attention the most...either that or high contrast pinstripes. I also love their personalities, the way they feel when they cling to you, and the way they make those clumsy jumps from one hand to the next. I own other herps, but for some reason, these are what really grab my attention and makes my heart start racing when I see them at shows.

Posted At: 2/23/2012 12:49:45 AM  

I love hognose faces. I also love how all that attitude is bluff. I could skip the poo'ing at the drop of a hat, but as long as you remember to never let them fool you, that no matter how long it's been they still have enough to stink you, then it's all good. I love waving at their cages and getting a flattened head in response. Nothing says love like *wave*...*puff-hiss!*

Generally I guess I like interactive animals that aren't too hard to care for as pets. :)

Posted At: 2/23/2012 7:07:29 AM  

This is an awesome question. I personally go for the species that I can (generall) reach in anytime and hang out with if I wanted. For snakes, it's balls and boas, and hopefully a hoggie in the near future. For tarantulas I really prefer the brightly colored ones. It's just a plus if they are a docile species :P Something about showing someone a greenbottle blue, or a Versi makes them think spiders aren't so creepy. You look at a P.metallica and even the biggest spider hater will go WOW that is one amazing spider...

Aaron ,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 8:12:13 AM  

For me it's something to do with Boa's head shape I think, combined with their chilled out puppy-dog temperament - My GTP's are gorgeous snakes but I'll always be a Boa guy.

L & A Lopez =0),
Posted At: 2/23/2012 8:35:48 AM  

The shape of heads. I know thats weird. But I'm less attracted to snakes that have little head definition (like rosy boas) , and highly attracted to snakes with much more head colombian boas, or burmese pythons.

The temperament is always a big one as well.

I'm always willing to step outside my box for new things though... because i have been looking at a rosy boa in the local pet shop lately LOL.


And Leah... You're right... I really don't do Ts... AT ALL. they give me the heebie jeebies... but my husband and I were looking at some online the other night, and some, heebies jeebies aside, are pretty damn amazing in appearence. (still won't buy it. but respect it.)

Psycho Dragon,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 8:42:28 AM  

I love how geckos are always "smiling." It's all the funnier when I get savaged by my tokay  because she looks like she's smiling the whole time. Gotta give her credit, though, she is very tolerant of petting for a tokay.

Vivian Eleven,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 9:17:40 AM  

I definitely tend toward slender snakes.  So far I've also gone with good temperaments, but my helpless love for Tanimbar pythons and Southern-phase white-lips will, as soon as I can lay hands on one, totally trump that.  I do want to get those species as babies, though, so I can socialize them heavily and make them handleable.  I like to be able to play with my snakes.


Apart from the corns, I do seem to be into the Australian pythons.  But I also have an irridescence Thing, so if I got to stop moving around all the damn time, I would also probably want to add a BRB.  In addition, I am a sucker for a hard-luck case.


Not so much into morphs, either.  I like corn morphs, but with everything else I seem to prefer wild-type (and I like wild-type corns too, though I don't have any).  That's not quite the case with the Tanimbars-- I do want at least one axanthic patternless, and axanthic in general is much more appealing to me. But I believe the axanthic patternless, despite being double-recessive, is currently the most common phenotype found in the wild.  So I don't blame myself too much for this preference. 


And cresties are adorable, and that's gonna happen one day too.  First thing to worry about, though, is getting my beautiful carpets over here to England to join me.  I miss them!

Emily Milton,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 10:19:35 AM  

Seeing as how I wanted a snake since I was two years old, it has to be something I can hold.  And will enjoy being held.  

Banana is silly - extremely silly.  Where does she go first?  My face.  Why?  To take off my glasses.  

I HAVE to be able to snuggle a reptile, and it's really nice when they snuggle back and get all goofy on you.  Even when Banana's in her home she's silly.  

And to continue previous statements, I do not like monkeys either.  They freak me out a little bit.

Posted At: 2/23/2012 10:28:44 AM  

The thing that is most important to me as a pet owner is behavior. I like a pet that doesn't mind being A) Handled often (once a day), and B) Doesn't mind being shown off some. I get really attached to my animals. If its something that can't be handled (For instance, fish) I want them  to have interesting behavior with eachother, like cleaner shrimp, Shrimp gobies and pistol shrimp. I also love to take care of challenging animals.

Master Gator,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 10:37:47 AM  

It's a "go big or go home" kinda thing for me.  Probably stemming from my obsession with dinosaurs as a child (and as an adult).  There's nothing like seeing a 20' + reticulated python or a giant Nile crocodile.  Don't get me wrong I love all kinds of smaller species too but things that get my adrenaline flowing is what I love to work with.  I love the fact that ultimately I'd be powerless if something ever goes that strange??

Step into an enclosure with a 7ft pissed off alligator.  Sure it's not big as far as gators go, but this animal matches you in weight and obviously "height"....except it's a lot stronger.  It has to be pulled out to clean the enclosure and you're the only person for the job.  So get the job done without losing a hand.  That is what I love!!!

But I must say, the classic reticulated python pattern can't be beaten.  I love those natural colors!!!

Tim Cochran,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 10:39:52 AM  

For me, it has to be the ability to blend in with the surrounding environment that intrigues me the most.  The better the blend the more attractive to me!  A few of them favorite snake would tell the whole story.

Ever see a Gaboon on a pile of leaves?

A chondro in the trees?

A sawscale in the sand?

A speckled rattler basking on rocks?

All these are awesome examples that make smile every time i see it!

Lisa ,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 11:39:32 AM  

I like the deeper colors when patterns is bold and more solid color when the color is light.  I like a robust snake, the little ones are adorable but I like the fluffy ones (prob what drew me to my Red Blood  I think BP's are sooo cute, I happen to like the shape of their head.  And my BP's are "active" so they are not boring and lazy and they never cease to amuze me. 

Shannon ,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 2:19:47 PM  

This is a hard question to answer. When I first got into reptiles, I loved the larger boas and ball pythons. Now, for those who know me, know that I am an amazon tree boa fanatic. Kind of a big difference :-P

What attracts me to them is the limitless potential with colors and patterns, the sleder body, they way they pose for photos, their willingness to bite (and eat, MOST of the time, haha), the unpredictablity and variety in each litter...everything, really. Looking back, I never would have seen myself getting into such an aggressive species, but I love it. I still have a few snakes I can handle without having to worry about donating some blood, and I do like the sweet ones, but there is something about the way amazons keep me on my is just...exciting :-D

Brandi ,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 2:38:46 PM  

I'm a sucker, so 3/4 of my snakes are rescues. But when it comes to my pets I look exclusively for temperment and personality. Does looking for personality count as anthropomorphisizing? Perhaps. But we're all guilty of it at times. At least I'd hope. To recognize certain characteristics in an animal that touch you as a human, that is bonding. No matter how beautiful an animal is, I'd have trouble bonding with it if I can't hold it and form that spiritual and physical bond. I'm kind of offended by those who look for ideal physical features in animals. I don't love any of my animals more or less due to their morph and genetics. To me, if you are most interested in the looks of an animal, you're being superficial, and it says a lot about you as a person. Would you treat a person better and of more worth because they're attractive? I really hate the elitist realm of the reptile world. Some people have the audacity to perceive their pets as better than my pets because of how they look? If you're only interested in morphs/genetics etc. you aren't really into the animal as a pet, but more-so a trophy. There are too many animals who don't have homes, or don't have proper homes, to turn an animal away because it isn't elite. They're not objects! If you want to collect something go collect an inanimate object, not an animal. They're living creatures who deserve love and respect regardless to how they are visually appealing. And I don't care what backlash I may get for my opinions. Two quotes I'd like you all to ponder....

"To see beauty is simply to learn the private language of meaning which is another's life--to recognize and relish what is."

"Beauty must be defined as what we are, or else the concept itself is our enemy."

Brandi ,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 2:41:58 PM  

To summarize ---All living creatures are beautiful!!!

Posted At: 2/23/2012 2:53:33 PM  

Brandi, I foster and rescue. I tried to adopt a blind ball python, but she died before i could. I currently have a neuro red tail boa. I have a soft spot for special animals, and just because i PREFER a certain look over another look does not mean that i'm after a trophy. Realistically, I love my animals all the same. Just because I prefer to have morphs doesnt mean that I dont love them as a pet. My special Suriname could be a "regular, old normal" and i'd still love him the same. However, as an artist, I prefer to surround myself with beauty in many forms, and if I can have the choice, all other things being equal, then yes, I would pick the coral albino over the normal boa constrictor. However, I didnt pick my cat for beauty...I rescued him off the street as a 6 week old kitten. To others, he looks like a mutt, but to me, since hes my PET, he is the most beautiful cat in the world.

I'm actually kind of offended that you would bash others for their preferences...i certainly wouldnt bash you for rescueing, or prefering animals because of personality vs. looks. Also just assuming that because we prefer the looks of some animals over others means that we dont care about personality just doesnt make sense. 

Each person has their own definition of beauty. I love bci/bcc morphs, but to me, my normal male ball python is the prettiest ball python morph in the world. Also, it seems like you are almost saying that morphs shouldnt be picked at all if there is a normal available, and feel free to correct me if that is NOT what you are saying...but those morph animals deserve love too. 

Lisa ,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 2:57:20 PM  

YAY BRANDI!!!!!!!!  I agree.  Some see BP's as simple, boring, blah..blah..blah  But I think they are adorable and just as amazing as any other snake.  And it upsets me when some people have the "oh, it's just a BP"...That's kinda high school, not part of the "in crowd" because your dressed wrong, address is in the wrong neighborhood..etc..same thing I think. 

Posted At: 2/23/2012 3:11:45 PM  

Lisa, that could very well be the case with some people, but I know I personally like other snakes over BP's just because to me, BP's dont do anything. i love my ball, but lets be honest. He curls up in his hides all day long every day. hes great to hold, but thats it. I like snakes that are interactive, crawl around and explore, and watch you while you do your housework. But thats just my personal opinion. Some people are really into Balls because of the reasons I find them boring. And that is totally your right. If we all like the same thing, life would be really, really boring. And if everyone only liked what I liked, there would be no Jersey Shore or Big Bang Theory, and there would be millions of Boa constrictors and Kenyan Sand boas in the world! :)

Lisa ,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 3:35:42 PM  

Alyy,  I only meant that someone should not make someone feel that they are "wrong or less than",for lack of better words, because they like a certain species such as a BP or a Corn or a Common Boa...I am not a Corn snake person,  They are beautiful but I am drawn to the thicker bodied snakes.  But to the person who loves Corns,  I am excited for them when they get a new one, or have a clutch born.  I would never blow it off like "big deal, it's just a corn" and some people give off the "big deal" attitude.  I think all snakes are special and amazing. 

And I think there is something wrong with my BP's then.  Mine roam and explore.  Butter Ball comes out every morning and watches me get ready for when I get home and go to change, put stuff up etc...he is out again watching  Jax will come out and roam around too, sometimes she just hangs out by her door just looking out and if I go open her door she will climb out into my hand and up my arm...I guess they don't know they are not suppose to do those 

Brandi ,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 3:46:08 PM  

Alyy, you don't strike me as one of the people I'm talking about, nor did I propose any one person strikes me as such. I was more or less mentioning the topic in general. Of course all morphs need love! I certainly didn't mean to imply that one should love a normal more than a more rare morph. My point rather was that normal or not, they're still a beautiful and unique animal. I applaud you for being interested in rescuing and in "special" animals. Everyone has preferences, but to souly and idealistically base your judgement on looks is another story. I think my normal BCI, my normal Kenyan Sand Boa, my Ghost Corn, and my Snow Corn are just as beautiful as any other morph you can throw at me. I didn't pick them however because they're "normal", I took them in because they needed homes and had great dispositions. When I got my first snake I had no idea what a morph was really, haha. I guess what I'm getting at is that there is too much elitism in this reptile world, and we should all appreciate the beauty that is life, regardless. As an artist, as am I, you and I both know beauty is all perception, but when rarity, names, and cost come into play, worth goes up or down. I don't think this is fair. Art and living things are all beautiful for their individual looks.

Emily Milton,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 4:28:50 PM  

I've read every reply here, and I just realized that I didn't mention one visual distinction when regarding a snake, or any other herp for that matter.  It could be solid white.  Or solid black.  Or plaid.

As long as it likes to be held and has a good personality that's about all I care about.

I suppose "never tries to murder me" is also a factor.

Paul White,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 4:34:36 PM  

Brandi, I buy what morphs I want over normals because I prefer the way they look. For me the aesthetics are a big part of what appeals to me. I mean, I dig behavior too...but morphs, as a rule, have the same behavior as regular specimens. So if I can get something both looks neat and exhibits behavior I dig? Oh hell yeah.

L & A Lopez =0),
Posted At: 2/23/2012 6:56:08 PM  

Em... The day you find a plaid snake, is the day we're MILLIONAIRES! (yes...i said 'we'.)

I agree with an above mentioned statement about how geckos are always 'smiling'. I love their little smiley faces as well.

I have a tokay that to me, if one of the most beautiful geckos i've ever seen. He's just a normal Tokay....but DAMN he's gorgeous. An incredible hunter (he can back flip, catch a bug, and land on his feet to munch.), a grouchy ass hole, and a great boyfriend to his girl. He has literally attacked me from across the cage because my hand got too close to his girl. It's awsome. I wouldn't trade that fool for ANYTHING.

Emily Milton,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 6:58:53 PM  

Ok, I can go in half!  I've never bred one and you probably have.  If I find it, then you breed it!  We'll have Plaid Pythons!

I wonder if we could do a Burberry signature pattern...........

Brandi ,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 7:06:33 PM  

I think people are taking what I'm saying as you should just stick your hand in a pile of snakes, and pull one out that doesn't bite you, haha. Of course aesthetics play a portion of picking an animal for some people. But if you souly revolve your choice around aesthetics, that's pretty sad, in my opinion. Like Lisa said, I'm more so talking about people who act like some animals don't have merit because they're not a rare or sought after morph, ya know?

Jeff ,
Posted At: 2/23/2012 8:49:30 PM  

I'm going to be like some of the ladies are out there and say I like em Big.....Size matters   lol

Don't get me wrong. I've kept some very diversified collections in the past but I'll always love the giant snakes. Right now with my current living situation I can't keep anything too large so I've had to keep my tastes within limits. Bold contrasting colors will always catch my eye like black and yellow snakes.

L & A Lopez =0),
Posted At: 2/24/2012 12:04:27 AM  

I have a weakness for the runts. I always tend to buy what I convince myself to believe that others won't.

I had a girl contact me locally, who had an albino burm, and offered it to me with enclosure for $400. I had never seen the snake, nor the enclosure that it was in. I passed on the offer and saw her post it on a local 'craigslist' type site for this town. I watched the ad get posted atleast once a week. Id periodically check it and read what she wrote.... at first she was saying that a roomate of hers moved out and left it, and she couldnt keep it around her kid...but it was a sweet snake? Anyway.... she then, two months later, takes it to the local pet store and puts it up for consignment... but a man took it in. His story was that he wasnt allowed to keep it in his rental place.

This snake, i muckluck you not, was about 6 foot long and as big around as a 3ft ball python. It was dehydrated and in a nasty 40 gal breeder tank with nothing but newspaper. We must've arrived right as they left because my husband assisted the owner of the store with cleaning the tank, setting up a water tub, and giving it heat.

That snake was severely underfed and dehydrated. The owner refused to sell it (even on consignment) until it was up to weight and healthy. The snake died two days later.

No animal deserves that. not one bit.

My burm was actually listed on the very same site about a month before i bought her. Although her enclosure was too small for her, and she's slightly smaller than what we'd like her to be, he at least continued to feed her and keep her socialized until she was purchased. He did the best he could with working two jobs and having a new baby. He loved her, but knew he couldnt keep her because his time for her was limited.

That albino burm that died sticks in my mind everytime I see someone desperately trying to sell something quickly...because had we just purchased it months before, it'd probably still be alive. I know I can't save the world...but if I have the time, room, and resources...why not save at least one at a time?

Paul White,
Posted At: 2/24/2012 12:50:32 AM  

that is sad :(  I've seen some nasty assed stuff and it never stops amazing me.

Mystic Exotics ,
Posted At: 2/24/2012 4:14:44 AM  

Great topic!

I'd have to say for Cornsnakes, my favorite morphs are some of the "classics", Miami's & Alabama's are a couple of my top choices, of course put that in Tessera form & it's even better. :)

As far as other snakes, I love, love, love the dragon heads on the Carpet Pythons.

As cute as the duck faces are on the BP's they don't do it for me, regardless of morph. Sure, I can appreciate the beauty of them, but they don't appeal to me. I'm only using them as an example, there are many other reptiles that just don't appeal to me. Morphs, rarity & price have nothing to do with it.

Another one that I love the look of, are Indigos. They are incredible animals!

You can't help but love those gecko smiley faces. :)

Ironically, (back to BP's) it's funny that the snake that looks most like a duck, Nate has. :)

Posted At: 2/24/2012 8:11:17 AM  

Ummmm I got my male orange ghost ball because of the way he looks, and he's a total prick. Does he deserve any less love and affection than my puppy dog normal? I got most of the snakes I got simply because of how they look, because of the amazing morphs that they create when bred together. I love them all the same, including my male and female normals. If I based my choices simply on how sweet or cuddly they are, I own at least 3 balls that wouldn't have a home with me. I love them all the same, and just because I plan on breeding for visual purposes doesn't make them any less of pets. Am I sad?

Emily Milton,
Posted At: 2/24/2012 8:16:47 AM  

My python is a very rare morph.  Definitely not a normal.  I think she's classified as "the strange and funny Banana" morph.  

You guys should find one ;)

Posted At: 2/24/2012 12:28:34 PM  

Morelia are snake perfection. From the elegance and the bright colors of the chondros, to the gorgeous, blocky heads and incredible pattern variation of the carpets, right on through the intensity and reactive nature of the scrubs and their incredibly fabulous head scalation. 

I often tend towards a natural pattern, though I like to see it refined for either brighter or cleaner. Obviously the chondros are a bit of an exception for me -- let the paintbrush go nuts and the less green, the better!

The jag morph does it for me, but with few exceptions, I have no use for the albino morph. Leucistic, now that I can work with. I would love to have a huge, black-eyed white Burmese python, but that is far more something that I like the idea of than something that will ever happen.

Adam ,
Posted At: 2/24/2012 1:18:48 PM  

I'm a visual person, so "the look" is what first draws me in: the color, the proportions, the patterns. Then what keeps me interested in a species is their natural history.

Like, I love how ball pythons just sit and wait for their next ambush. Just sit so patient, so still, almost lazy in appearance. Then with a single tongue flick, they EXPLODE into action, coiling around their poor oblivious victim. Their "look" adds to that appeal for me, those black eyes and heat pits scattered throughout their lips. I can just imagine their big fat body concealed within African debris.

My new Children's python is blowing my mind too. This thing looks so delicate, so pewney, but the POWER in those little coils is astonishing. It's "look", though, is what got me: those beautifully scattered brown spots, strewed about the body, the cream colored belly, with those golden eyes and heat pits, those little slits just below the eye that form the heat seaking missle for any unfortunate rodent. Just, awesome.

And hardyness/ease-of-care is ALWAYS a factor with me, probably the most important aspect for me. That's what usually sells me on a herp. I LOVE frogs and tried them out for a while... needless to say, it didn't last long. That's the main reason I haven't gotten into Chondros.

Aimee ,
Posted At: 2/24/2012 8:57:58 PM  


Aimee ,
Posted At: 2/24/2012 9:05:15 PM  

there are different things about each species I keep that appeal to me.

I like the cresties because it's entertaining as hell that they all make me think of Lisa Simpson. their eyes are amazing, and they're really easy to keep.

I like the day gecko because what could be cooler than a fat green slug with sticky feet?

I like the leachie because she's really goofy-looking, but also she seems to be a little more awake. the vocalizations are hilarious, and she's very cute and wrinkly.

I like my BP because he was the gateway drug, and there will never in the world be a mellower outreach snake than my Henry.

I like my Savus because they're so unique and different. they're fun to keep because they're very active, and just gorgeous.  

my Fuscus - like with Sonja, I'm totally down with iridescence.  like, it doesn't get any better than L. fuscus in the sun!

I like my IJs for their fabulous coloration and patterning, their variable personalities, and their visual appeal - the arboreal thing means I get to see them a lot. 

and Pig gets her own category. she is the coolest snake on the planet, although possibly not the prettiest.  

L & A Lopez =0),
Posted At: 2/24/2012 10:58:45 PM  

Em... what happens if we create a plaid ball python with yellow and white coloring.... now we can't call them 'banana balls'.

Dave Pierson,
Posted At: 2/24/2012 11:02:39 PM  

Aimee, is there a monkey in the Liasis genus?  :)


And to Lindsey's Runt attraction, I actually find myself liking the angry, evil, biting animals.  I just see them as scared.  And I mean anything.  There is a local dragon breeder here, and, needless to say, there aren't allot of morelia people going into their store.  They are looking for puppy dog cute.  But I always like the ones that attack me :)  For whatever reason I enjoy calming and taming the restless ones.

Rami B,
Posted At: 2/25/2012 5:02:58 AM  

One of the biggest things I look at are care requirements. I have a love for animals that live in temperate zones in particular, like the crested geckos, and I'm finding that I love Aussie geckos quite a bit more than anticipated. If a reptile is relatively easy to keep, I'm all ears and investigate whether or not its a species I want to work with.

I have to have animals that I can touch or hold. Ye though I keep tokays, I am not afraid of my two and I can hold them any time I want without fear of bloodshed. My fat tail geckos are slow and easygoing, very calming to hold, and my crested geckos are zany little clowns that never cease to bring me joy. When I had them, I could hold my mourning geckos, as tiny and sporadic as they can be.

Aesthetically, I like variety. I like contrast. I like bold markings and complimentary colors. I have a bright vibrant spectrum of colors in the animals I keep. I like that jolt of, "Whoa, that's pretty!" and so the critters I have are ones where that feeling never goes away.

I prefer slender reptiles to fat ones(corns to balls, etc), african fat tailed geckos being the exception. If it gets heavy in the middle and tapers off in a blink, it's not my thing.

Hissy pissy animals crack me up, I love a show of attitude in a reptile. More than once I've gotten the "You're nuts!" look from people for enjoying a snake stating its opinion and try to murder everything around it, ahaha. It's not that I don't respect the reptiles, I simply appreciate that they don't lie there and suffer whatever comes.

I do not have an interest in owning large reptiles. I appreciate them for what they are, I admire their beauty and respect the people who work with them, but they just don't do it for me. If it gets more than 5' and wider than 5", I'm just not into it. The same goes for most small species of geckos. Aside from two or three species, smaller reptiles just make me nervous that they're going to get hurt.

To Brandi: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as can be seen here in all our varied standards. We all have preferences, aesthetically and otherwise. And when we go with these preferences, ultimately we find animals that suit us, animals we don't want to let go and whom we want to provide the best of care. Yes, I choose my animals partially on looks, but don't they desere a good home too? I treat them the best way I can, and they are downright spoiled and well looked after. I chose some of them for their beauty, and then I fell in love with their personalities too, after I had the time to learn about who they were and what they like, etc. I understand where you're coming from, but choosing pets based on aesthetics is NOT a bad thing. ;)

Aimee, everybody loves Pig, ahaha. My non-reptile friend kept going on and on about how cool Pig was. He treasures his pictures I took with him and Pig! :D

Rami B,
Posted At: 2/25/2012 5:03:46 AM  

Oops didn't mean to novelize, ahaha.

Aimee ,
Posted At: 2/25/2012 7:20:30 PM  

that's awesome, Rami. he was an awfully nice guy. I always love it when people who aren't familiar with snakes fall in love with Pig!

Tanner Stainbrook,
Posted At: 2/25/2012 11:36:41 PM  

This is an awsome post! Welll, I must say my favorites are old world rat snakes, Even though currently I only have 1. I love the color differences, the attitudes, the challenge they pose keepers and the rarity of the species. Come on guys we are talking about some of the rarest most sought after snakes in the reptile world: Gonyosoma oxycephalum, Prasina, Rhino rats, Melendorffs rats, Beauty snakes, coxxi, mandarins, king rats!! AWSOME animals!

Posted At: 2/26/2012 10:57:42 AM  

I just really love all animals and love to learn about new and different things... I like them all, but I'm not quite sure what drew me to chams (first herp I owned as an adult) in the first place.  MAybe it was their color, or their eyes... or how misunderstood they are in the general public... THey are just cool!

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