I was really waiting for this clutch to hatch and it was everything it was supposed to be. In 2009 we hatched some fantastic animals out of a pair of snakes that really surprised me. We called the striped animals that came out of the clutch "VPI Slackline." The clutch revealed what appeared to us to be 3 different morphs. A more or less looking "normally patterned" animals(but a lot thicker markings than in the normal Red Blood), a elongated blotched version-that was reminiscent of the parents, and what we called the "VPI Slackline" a really neat looking hypo animal with a perfect body stripe with a cool bit of banding on the neck. We skipped 2010, and were back on in 2011. Here are the results, which we feel did repeat what we got in 2009 and made us feel more secure in identifying this new morph-and how you get it.
The question is how can we get 3 levels to a morph? We see something similar in the Borneo Python mutation known as "VPI Ultrabreit." We thought we had identified the codom of the Ultrabreit, and the Ultrabreit was the "super." It turns out that Ultrabreit x Ultrabreit makes a striped animal, and when that animal is bred back to an ultrabreit, or striped it makes an almost patternless animal.
When two animals with the elongated patterns breed (such as the parents of this clutch) we see the VPI slackline. Here are two babies-they are great looking and very hypo on the sides and a perfect stripe down the back.
These guys look just like the 2009 animals. As soon as I can I will photo these with the 2009 Slacklines!
Here is a pic with a VPI Slackline and two codoms. One may be what we call a "level 1 Codom" and the one with the elongated blotch may be a "level 2" codom. I'm not sure if you need to breed two level 2 to get the slackline or if you can breed level 1 and level 2 to get them.
Here is a level 1 Codom and a normal.
In the clutch there were 2 VPI Slackline; 4 level 2 Codoms; 2 level 1 Codoms, and 2 normals. If you were to tell me that you would start with essentially a normally blotched snake like the one at the top of this photo and end up with an amazing striped animal I would never have believed it. Now I do! This is a case where it was instructive to look backward in the breeding process to get an interesting story. We all have observed that striping in Blood pythons is dominant-meaning stripes bred to a normal make stripes and normals. Stripes x stripes makes even better stripes. But what I didn't know until I did this project was that stripes can come from absolutely normally blotched animals.