iHerp Australia Issue 6 - Page 9

ing. The first one was my original albino Darwin female which had one jet black scale - not very dramatic I know, but still a Paradox nonetheless! I paired her one year with a male Zebra and produced a healthy clutch of 100% hets. One of those male hets has produced two Paradox animals in two separate clutches. One of these has about three black scales clustered together and the other has approximately 5-6 scales that are a smudgy- brown colour. A different male het was sold to a friend and produced three Paradoxes in one clutch (see comments from Neville Reibelt), all of which exhibit quite a lot of black pigment compared to my animals. I have been able to acquire one of these snakes and will be pairing it back to one of the hets from my original albino female. disease etc. - it’s not a genetic trait with a straight mode of inheritance, but its lurking in the back- ground somewhere. Another interesting thing I’ve noticed with most of the Paradox albino Darwins and the Paradox T+ Children’s Python is that the pigment they do tend to have (or gain) is often totally jet black and frequently in greater quantity than you would expect if that particular patch of the animal was normally pigmented. There are obviously some that do display the ‘normal’ colour- ation in the areas where they are pigmented, but I would almost put these in a differ- ent class. I think this goes to show that there are several types of Paradox and they produce different visual appear- ances. Chimeras are generally obvious, with fairly clear differences between one animal and the next, but the albino Darwins, T+ Children’s Python and the Paradox albino Spotted Python produced by Snake Ranch are all something else. Anyway I could ramble on about this for ages and still not actually figure anything out! ‘It’s not a genetic trait with a straight mode of inheritance, but it’s lurking in the background somewhere.’ Dave, why do you think that some animals seem more likely to throw the odd Paradox? I think if you are talking about chimeras then lines which tend to produce more twins will just simply give you a higher chance of getting fused eggs, but if you are talking about a leaky gene, or spontane- ous gain of function, or whatever else is causing it, then I would imagine that some animals are just more predisposed to develop the condition. Like if you have a family history of breast cancer, or heart The leucistic Burmese Python they have at Australia Zoo is a good example of what I believe to be a ‘spontaneous gain of function’-type paradox. Left: suspected chimera Paradox T+ Marble/normal Children’s Python. Above: Paradox T+ albino Children’s Python. Images by Ben Thompson..