In the interest of being open and honest with our customers, we have decided to make it a matter of public record when we are aware that a morph has an issue that some people may consider a detriment.
We want every one of our customers to make an informed decision when purchasing from us.
The candy gene is an amazing recessive mutation. At birth, they are yellow and white, with deep ruby eyes. As a juvenile through adulthood, they are a deep brilliant yellow lined with deep lavender. As they get older, the lavender turns tan and the yellow turns cream. Such an amazingly beautiful mutation, but it does have a secret.
The candy gene and the toffee gene (they are thought to be different lines of the same gene), has a strange compatibility with the albino gene. When a snake has a single candy gene (het candy) and a single albino gene (het albino), the snake has a similar appearance to a candy! It is thought that the reason for this is that both the candy and the albino mutations share a single allele (the location in the DNA where the mutation occurs). The non-mutated gene (wild-type) has the strongest result, thus explaining why het candies and het albinos look wild-type. The candy gene is a less damaged mutation, thus explaining the presence of some pigment, and the albino gene being the most damaged, resulting in no pigment. When two damaged genes sit together, the least damaged gene seems to take over, in this case being the candy gene.
It's still early for the candy/toffee + albino mix (referred to as candinos and toffinos), but so far it appears that the albino mixes color up more slowly than the pure genes. A candino at 1 year will not have as deep and dark lavender as a 1 year old candy. However, it is still too early to know for sure if this is a definitive way of distinguishing candinos from pure candies.
The candy and toffee projects took a hit when this news was revealed to the world. It was kept secret and covered up by the top leaders in the project (the founders of the toffee and candy genes) and turned a lot of people off from the project. That is unfortunate, because the gene is quite simply one of the most amazing mutations available today. We plan on keeping our candy project pure, so you can rest assured that any candy or het candy babies you buy from us are what we say they are.
The champagne morph is an awesome pattern mutation. It dominates most other genes, but does have some really interesting interactions. The champagnes are very beautiful and a great gene to work with. It does have a problem, though.
There are some genes that, when combined with the champagne gene, are considered lethal. That means when the baby gets both genes, the baby usually ends up dying before coming out of the egg or shortly after. The combos are just not viable. The spider gene is one of these, as is the super form of the champagne. The woma and hidden gene woma genes also seem to cause problems.
As far as we know here at Cape Fear Constrictors, those are the only lethal combos with the champagne mutation. This is unfortunate, but we choose to work with the champagne mutation for its beauty, and it's easy to avoid making lethal combos.
The coral glow / banana gene is one of the most visually stunning base mutations available today. Deep purples, bright oranges and yellows, and black speckling makes for one amazing looking snake. This wonderful mutation (the coral glow and banana, in our opinion, are two lines of the same mutation) contains an enigma that breeders and geneticists are still trying to figure out.
Male coral glows tend to create coral glows of the sex of their parent coral glow. For example, if a female coral glow is paired with a non-coral glow male and that pairing results in a male coral glow, that resulting coral glow male will go on to produce primarily (not 100%) female coral glows. If a male coral glow is paired with a non-coral glow female and that pairing results in a male coral glow, that resulting coral glow male will go on to produce primarily (not 100%) male coral glows.
What this means is when you buy a coral glow male, you need to know what the parents are to know whether it's a male maker or a female maker. It does make a difference! Our male coral glow is a male maker, as its father was also a coral glow. Coral glow males resulting from our coral glow should go on to produce primarily male coral glows.
Please know that this is a highly controversial and debated theory. Though all of the evidence produced to date seem to verify the theory, there are those who vehemently deny that it's possible. It's also possible that the "male maker" issue will resolve itself after a few generation of males are produced. So far, we only have 3rd generation males (male cg -> male cg -> male cg) that have produced and they continue the male maker issue. It's still undetermined whether 4th generation males will behave similarly.
The desert gene is a beautiful mutation. Alone, it causes the typical yellow in the snake to be a very bright, clean tan. Where it really shines, however, is when it's combined with other mutations.
The desert gene makes everything better, period. It cleans up lines and brightens up colors to amazing effect! The combinations are simply stunning and will leave you with your jaw hanging open. It's unfortunate that the desert gene contains a problem that has set the project back.
Male deserts are perfect. They have no known issue. The problem lies in the females. They simply are not able to reproduce. Either they lay all slugs and infertiles, or the eggs they lay go bad, or worst of all, they die during the laying process due to egg binding. Right now, there doesn't seem to be much hope for desert females. There were several theories made in seasons past about ways to get a desert female to lay eggs successfully, but so far, none has succeeded.
There's not much hope of getting a desert female to reproduce. Many breeders are selling their female deserts at pet prices. They simply are not viable breeders and they should not be treated as such.
Please note: Do not confuse the dominant desert gene with the recessive desert ghost gene. While named similarly, the desert ghost females do not share any of the breeding problems.
The hidden gene woma gene can be confusing to some people. It's visually similar to the standard woma gene, but reacts differently with other genes. It produces such beauties as the soul sucker and the inferno.
The problem with hidden gene woma is that it makes lethal combos. The super hg woma, the spider hg woma and the champagne hg woma combos are all lethal (meaning the babies containing both genes don't survive).
We don't believe this makes the hidden gene woma a gene to be avoided. You just need to be mindful to avoid pairings that may produce one of the lethal combos.
The spider gene is a staple in the ball python industry. Nearly every combination becomes much better with this simple dominate gene. That being said, the spider gene is not without its problems.
The problem the spider gene contains is usually referred to as a "wobble." This is a behavior issue where the snake seems to have neurological issues. They may tilt their heads or "corkscrew" when they get excited, usually around feeding time. They will sometimes hold their heads sideways or even upside down. It can be disconcerting to some, and may even be diagnosed as IBD or some neurological problem by a veterinarian that is unfamiliar with the spider gene's side effect.
While the wobble seems to effect nearly every spider and spider combination to some degree or another, it does not seem to be much of a detriment to the snakes. They eat and breed fine. The wobble doesn't seem to stress them out and in fact, in a lot of cases, the wobble seems to give the snake more of a personality. It's cute when a spider ball pokes out of the tub and tilts its head at you. Kind of like a puppy.
In addition to the wobble, when combined with hidden gene woma or champagne, it can produce lethal combos (meaning the babies containing both genes don't survive). There is also speculation that the super spider is a lethal combo. Care must be taken when pairing up animals with the spider gene.
We here at Cape Fear Constrictors love the spider gene and work with it extensively. We personally don't think its issues are big problems and hope you don't either!