iHerp Australia Issue 6 - Page 7

The ‘spotted albino Spotted’. Vince Pintaudi runs Aussie Wildlife Displays in Melbourne. He also works at Amazing Amazon, and in his spare time still manages to squeeze in a couple of breeding projects. In January 2017 I acquired a pair of 100% het albino Spotted Pythons from Toby Whitthoeft in South Australia. They were originally from different sources and were about four years old at the time. Toby had bred them once, and I believe he got one albino and six or seven possible hets in the clutch. I started cooling the snakes in April, with a gradual reduction in heating from about 16 hours per day to around seven or eight, with no heating at night. Introductions commenced in May (as is standard practice with my Antaresia spp.) on a week-on, week-off basis, and plenty of courtship behaviour was evident in the second half of May and June. Ovulation was observed, and the female also frequently inverted her mid- section, in the typical fashion, as the time for laying approached. The clutch consisted of nine eggs in all; the female had no problems throughout and was eating again almost immediately. The eggs were incubated over water at just over 30 degrees. I usually wait for the first egg to pip and then slit the rest – I’m pretty much old school in that respect. The first one to pip was a possible het, but the eggs were still quite turgid, making them difficult to slit, and there were a couple that I left alone. I did slit the egg containing the Paradox snake though, and I saw enough to have a fair idea what it was. I kept it to myself until the hatchling had emerged from the egg and I was absolutely sure! In all the clutch consisted of two healthy albinos, another albino that died in the egg, four possible hets, and another possible het that hatched out but was badly kinked and died shortly afterwards. The Paradox snake is an incredibly vigorous animal. It is about four months old now and was a very good feeder right off the bat; it has shed three times already. I told Toby about it, and I don’t think he’s aware of anything like this happening in these lineages. The only other instance of a Paradox albino Spotted Python that I know of was bred by Snake Ranch a few years back. I sold the hets, and the two albinos have gone to friends, but the Paradox (which is a female) isn’t going anywhere. I have no idea if the trait is heritable, but the plan is to mate it back to its father. I will wait a couple of years and get some size on it – I’m not in any rush and I’m not power feeding it. Meantime, I will pair the parents again for the coming season – who knows? Image by Jack Hawkins.