Patience is key with breeding snakes. One of the projects I really wanted to get started on was the motley boa project. Motley boas are a great example of a true codominant. It is neat on its own, and the combination potential is unreal. Of course a super motley is a dream, especially if you like solid black snakes-or solid white, or solid red! The super form of the motley really is a "patternless" snake in every sense of the word. It is one of the dream mutations which an entire endless set of projects can be based.
The male breeding in the photograph below was a snake we aquired in 2004. It was a young snake, two years old, but huge for its age. He was not happy at all after moving from his former home, and really tried to bite me whenever I came near him. This was extremely unusual, because really none of our boas are aggressive at all. Yes, they feed agressively, but they are not mean. I took this extreme behavior as evidence that snakes absolutely recognize their keepers, and this male knew I was not his keeper! After all, I did not raise him from a baby, the snake was raised by a gentleman on the east coast-now he was in the middle of Texas!
The first thing I did was put this snake on a diet. He had rolls of fat on him and in my opinion overweight for breeding. Now this is definately a point of contention and I have heard a range of strategies employed by very accomplished breeders where male boas are 1) small and lean or 2) the bigger the male and well fed the better. In fact we have seen great male breeders that are big (our male import caramel albino is just a tremendous male) and small (our number one male pink panther caramel albino is tiny). Both are tremendous breeders--so as usual a variety of approaches can work well.
The first time I put this motley male in with a female I'm not sure he knew he WAS a male! I have never seen such disinterest in another snake. After multiple observations over a two week period I realized that this male needed an adjustment period and it would benefit him to wait for any breeding trials until the next season. Tracy