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Q: Black rat snake genetics question
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I'm not very familiar with snake genetics (yet) and I'm just wondering if anyone knows what will result from a normal black rat snake X white sided (licorice stick) black rat snake pairing. Would it be 50/50 normal and white sided or is there anything unusual about the white sided trait?

Points: 100
Topics: Copulation
Tags: Genetics
Species: Other Colubrids > Ratsnakes > Elaphe obsoleta
Administrative: Show/Hide

Accepted Answer 10/27/2008 4:58:29 PM


OK, it has been a long time since I kept any Ratsnakes, so I had to do some searching, and I have found - as I am sure you have as well - that Google is NO help here!!  So, I went to Kingsnake.  I found a thread discussing this morph, and I thought it was interesting:  http://forums.kingsnake.com/view.php?id=1602976,1602976


The short answer would be that the morph appears to be Simple Recessive. 


This means that  a white-sided black rat X normal black rat would give you 100% normal-looking black ratsnakes heterozygous ("het") for white sides.


That also means that a white-sided black rat X het white side black rat would give you 50% white-sided black rat offspring and 50% het white side (that's 50% of the offspring, but KNOWN hets, aka "100%" hets)


Also, het white-side X het white side would give you {statistically} 25% white-sided, 50% het, and 25% normal - but since you cannot visually detect which normal-looking offspring are hets and which are truly just normal, these would all get labeled "66% Possible" hets (as 2/3, or 66% of the normal-looking offspring can be expected to carry the white-sided allele) - and in my opinion, that is too much of a marketing headache.  :)  Many people disagree with me there, but I LIKE the morphs myself, and have bought the homozygous recessive to enjoy for myself and breed to hets - I like knowing exactly what I am producing (or GOING TO produce anyhow, *sigh*).  I heard a breeder comment once, and I can only heartily agree: "life is too short for possible [hets]."  They can be good to buy if you don't mind that you could end up with a normal instead of a het.  Anyhow, my unsolicited 2 cents there.  :)

I hope this helps.  :)


Author Comment 10/27/2008 5:11:17 PM

Thanks so much amarilrose! You're absolutely right that Google was of NO help to me (which is why I finally tried here, and I'm glad I did! :D).
That is exactly what I wanted to know and very clearly written to :) I love the white sided black rats and was thinking about getting one in the future (I currently have just one male normal). I was curious to see if pairing them would result in a few white sided offspring and thus would be worth going to the hassle of trying to track down a female white sided but seeing how I'm not yet in the hobby for the breeding aspect I may just pick up a whitesided no matter what the sex :)
You've helped a lot, thanks!
Member Comment 10/6/2009 3:24:24 AM


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