Sunday, February 26, 2012

Creature Feature: Return of the Burmese Pythons- Morphs + Hybrids.

One entry does not do Burmese pythons justice. Call me obsessed, but they really are cool snakes. I'm going to miss the dent in their population.

Specifically, the Burm ban prevents me from getting my all-time favorite snake: A Borneo Bateater.

The Borneo Bateater is a hybrid between a reticulated python (P. reticulatus) and a Burm (P. m. bivittatus). It was probably not found in the wild, and, if it was, it certainly did not consume bats.  Please; it's the hybrid of two large snakes. Bats would be a poor diet for it.

The Burmese python was one of the snakes that really got the reptile trade started. There was something really special about the first albino Burmese that came over approximately 20 years ago (anyone got a date on this? I used  to know it). It was the white tiger of the snake world, if you will. They were bred so often that, for whatever reason, albino Burmese have a higher fertility rate than their normally-colored counterparts.

Since then, the Burmese python has been bred with no less than ten different color and pattern morphs. These have been mixed and cross to the point where, not only can one have an albino Burm, one can have an albino granite, albino green, albino get it. They all look really nice. The leucistic once thought legendary also proved heritable, so expect to see more hypo crosses, soon. Codominant traits are fun because they show up in the first generation! The people in the business are currently working on dwarf Burms, too, so size will not be such a big issue after a while.

I'll host it myself later...but that is a BEAUTIFUL eye.

Back to the Bateater. This hybrid has to be the most identity-challenged serpent on the face of the planet. Not only is it a hybrid, but it has the pattern and facial markings of a wildcat. Weirder still is that it is capable of breeding back to either parent, creating "jungle Burms" (3/4ths Burm) and "jungle retics" (3/4ths retic). Both of them look substantially different from the original species. Goes to show you what a little bit of experimentation can do.

Burmese pythons can cross into a lot of things, in fact. There are cateaters, which are the ultimate horror story python: African rock x Burmese, leading to a huge and possibly aggressive animal.  Burmese pythons have also been able to mate with ball pythons, leading to this:

Freaky. Trippy. Can I get it in lavender? :D

As for my actually getting a Batater? Too expensive right now. I'd love to have one, but I'm a responsible owner. Current means will not allow the author of this blog to possess a giant snake. Yet.

1 comment:

  1. I had this thought of various hybrids being to expensive, so I am going to get the snakes to breed the hybrids I want at a fraction of the cost of by the Hybrids I want. The time spent with these snake is part of the fun and the experience will be very rewarding as well.
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