04/30/14 VPI Boas 2014
Approximately 17 years ago in 1997, we started working on a project here at VPI with one baby female boa and her siblings. That original baby female has been been alternately described by two different names, initially we labeled it as a "T positive" albino, and more recently we named the appearance and genotype as the "VPI Caramel Albino." We did that because there were multiple lineages of snakes that popped up that all were being described as "T Positive." It seemed most appropriate to label the lineage of snake to distinguish it from other animals that were similar in appearance, but were unrelated to the VPI animals. To this day I only know of two crosses that have been done with the VPI lineage and another "albino" lineage, 1) Kahl x VPI and 2) Sharp x VPI and both were proven to be different genotypes from the VPI Caramel Albino. We did both of these breedings here at VPI and produced all normal offspring from each cross in multiple breedings.
The first VPI Caramel Albinos were born in 2000. The original Caramel Albino that was raised here was bred to a randomly selected sibling male. Well he wasn't completely a random pick, I picked him because he had a nice light brown color for a normal and stood out from the other male littermates. The female had 9 babies, 6 of which were Caramel Albinos and three were normals. It was hard to believe that I randomly picked a 100% het so a lot of people thought it must be a dominant not a recessive genotype. No one was interested in the normals, so I kept them.
When I bred the "possible" het male to one of its sisters and produced Caramel Albinos, that determined that the genotype was recessive.
At some point I realized that one of the baby Caramel Albinos had a lot more pink on it than any of the other snakes. When we bred that male to normal looking het or possible het sibling females, roughly half of the babies had that pink like the dad. It didn't have to be a Caramel Albino, it could be a het or a possible het and in those snakes they had light color, but mainly there was brown on the bands vs. black. At some point we named that look "Pink Panther." But the name has been confusing for many people. One of the reasons is that this was done a long time ago! A lot more people now are interested and familiar with the VPI Caramel Albinos because they are a part of a lot of cool projects, but not the origin of the "Pink Panther" name.
Once we realized that this "Pink Panther" kept cropping up, we started looking at the animals we had been breeding more carefully. What we noticed was the original sibling male that we picked because he was light colored to breed to the original female Caramel Albino, was himself a genotype that was not only 100% het for Caramel Albino, but also a dominant or incomplete dominant for what we named "Pink Panther." So in fact the name refers to a pretty normal looking snake, not a blown out Caramel Albino. In combination, this pretty unassuming light brown look with the Caramel Albino makes a Pink Panther Caramel Albino, and that is the snake that people are really liking.
When we breed a Pink Panther Caramel Albino to another one, some babies are over the top pink and we call those "Double Dose" Pink Panther Caramel Albinos. This is not analagous to breeding a motley Boa to a motley and producing normals, motleys, and super motleys. The fact is we have never bred what we identify as a "Double Dose" Pink Panther to an unrelated normal snake, but it would be interesting to see the results.
We might do it if we are successful with a litter I am expecting (if all works well) in about 100 days. Finally I have bred two "normal" Pink Panther x Pink Panther, hopefully we will see some interesting results. You would think we would have done that by now, but for one reason or another we have just not gotten that cross done. Hopefully this is the year! I'm pretty excited to see the results from breeding this pair of fairly "normal" snakes.