Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I have always loved Fires as a base morph, more so because they have an amazing super, as well as a really awesome potential to brighten everything up. 

I am so glad to be able to be working with them now, and I have to say that I really love looking at them and watching them brighten up as they get older. 

Now with Fires come the combos, and I am truly blessed to have found a great example of a Firefly that now resides in my collection.

I have yet to name him, but here he is. I can't WAIT to use him in the next few years in terms of breeding potential. I have SO MANY PLANS! 

He is absolutely fantastic, and what I love about him (and find it kinda interesting) is that his first half is FIREFLY!!!! (in your face bright and on fire) and the second half is striped.

He fits in the striped section so well that I am tempted to put him in with a Genetic Stripe and see what happens. Maybe even one of my not genetic Striped females... Ooooohhh... Stripey Super Pastel Lesser Fire. That would be AMAZING!

So I am really looking forward to using him, if you couldn't tell. I absolutely adore the Super form of Fire as well, so I can't wait to use him for that as well.

Sometimes I wonder if he isn't a Super Pastel Fire, but I think I am getting my hopes up. He's just so BRIGHT!

Anyway, enough gushing over my Firefly.

Have a fantastic day, my friends!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Reproducing is hard

For some, reproduction is not all its cracked up to be. It takes a while to get used to the fact that you can do it, what to put where, and when it comes time to actually get it done, sometimes its a struggle. 

This is certainly true for my beloved Spotty McGillicutty.

I watched him hatch out from his egg in 2009, and was so proud that I finally produced my bumblebee. 

I had great plans for him to be with females this year, but as you may recall, he was not having any of it. 

Until recently.

I have to say, I am ecstatically surprised that he has finally gotten the hang of it. I was getting very worried that he would not get the clue this season, and my plans for bumblebee reproduction would be put on hold for another year.

This would have made things very difficult for me, considering I have several planned projects, including an Axanthic Killerbee project, that would have been pushed back another year due to his inadequacies.

Yes, I do realize I was putting a lot of pressure on him.

Maybe that is why he didn't get it. Too much stress to perform, perhaps?

Be that as it may, he is even paired up with females three times as large as him. I am very happy to see it, as amusing as it is.

And of course, its rather simple for the males to get it done. The females have much more work to do after the courtship and mating has been done with.

This female is a poss het Caramel Albino that I am hoping to prove out this year, and she is doing an excellent job of building and being overall pissy. I am putting Carmine with her as we speak. Lets cross our fingers for lots of eggs with lots of non-kinked Caramels. 

I have to say, to be a female and have to carry eggs, let alone six eggs, must be hard and uncomfortable. I have also never been pregnant before, as I'm sure that is difficult as well.

Kudos to you Human Mothers out there. But just think... at least you don't have to lay eggs!

With that, have a fantastic day, my friends.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Introducing Fluffy

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, this weekend, Joel and I went out to a rural area of Southern California to pick up a snake rack from a friends house.

We had gotten there late, so the rack was outside waiting for us, and our friend was gone.

To get there, we drove thru a dusty dirt road and out to the boonies. 

We loaded up the rack into the truck, and got ready to leave.

Suddenly, in the driveway, something started moving. Maybe it was moving before and I just didn't notice it, but Joel got really excited.

"Get a cup, Heather... There's one in the back seat" He said.

I ran to get the cup, cause I didn't really want to be near what he was interested in picking up.

What was it that was crawling so delicately across the driveway pavement?

Fluffy, of course.

We took it home, made it a little place to stay, and now we are trying to identify what kind of Tarantula it is. So far, I've been told it is an Aphonopelma spp and more than likely a female. I'm hoping it's a female, as I have been told males tend to die pretty quickly after becoming mature.

Fluffy is around three inches long, and looks very healthy. In the first 24 hours of being in our house, it has already created a burrow and started webbing.

Now as anyone who knows me well can tell you, I am NOT a Spider fan.  I have a mild to moderate case of Arachnophobia that tends to manifest itself around larger spiders. Fluffy is a larger spider.

But it does fascinate me. It is a wild caught local specimen that I did look up about, and there are no laws against collecting invertebrate species in California other than on Federal Land.

So, apparently we are keeping Fluffy. Joel has always wanted a Tarantula, and this one just fell into our laps.

So kudos to you, Joel, for being able to con your way into owning a Spider in the house, and kudos to me for being able to put up with it. I did name it though.

I will more than likely not hold it, but I will watch it and learn from it. It is very interesting to say the least.

So, add another species of critter to the list of what we have. Tarantula, 0.0.1

Hopefully there will be more tales of Fluffy soon.

Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Friday, March 26, 2010

YAY Ball Pythons!

I have to say, every time I see pictures of my animals, I am absolutely floored by how awesome these animals can be.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not trying to say that my photos or my animals are super awesomely better than anyone elses, I am just really excited when I see some of the animals in their glory that I get to share with the world!

And maybe I should be stoked that I have such quality animals.

I am!

This is my blog, and I'm going to be doing a YAY ME right now.

I try very very hard to create the best morphs and colorations, in my opinion, that I can.

I am proud to be a breeder with the stock that I have. Granted, there is always something else I would love to add to the group, but right now, I am very pleased with what I have!

Heather's Herps would not be where it is today if it weren't for the quality of the animals that I do have, and this blog is for them.

Thank you, Snakies. Thank you for being awesome. You know I love you all.

This is a great day to love your snakes. Your normals, your hets, your every snake!

Know that these snakes are awesome, and appreciate them every day.

Today is a day of snake appreciation. I try and appreciate what I have and the animals that make it all possible. If it weren't for my Normals, my Pastels, my Cinnamons, my Black Pastels, my Spiders, I would not be able to make the combinations I have over the past years. 

So even though they are base morphs, they are still amazing. Especially the Normals. You cannot forget about the awesome Normals.


So yes, love your snakes! YAY Ball Pythons.

Have a fantastic weekend, my friends!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Well, in any breeding of anything, the concern comes up in terms of inbreeding and how far one should go in terms of intermingling bloodlines.

It is said that with reptiles, it is not a big issue in terms of co-mingling tightly knit bloodlines due to the fact that people rarely see any negative consequences in terms of genetic abnormalities.

The problem with inbreeding is that defective genes may be carried by the animals you are breeding together,  but is not visual. If parents and offspring are inbred, there is a strong likelihood for the bad genes to become more concentrated in each subsequent generation. Statistically there is a greater chance of the genes to match, which means that the “bad” trait appears in more offspring.

Outbreeding prevents the genes from becoming concentrated, and therefore is very unlikely to spring up as a visual trait.

In humans, of course, it is a taboo to breed with people within your immediate family. The image of first cousins marrying and having children that have abnormalities comes to mind.

In reptiles, this is not the case.

Why? People tend to personify animals and place burdens on them that would never be issues within their own populations.

Do you think that Snake A, who is grown and wandering around looking for a mate distinguishes between Snake B and C, B being the one that is related to it? I don't think so. (Would be an interesting topic of study, however...)

Anyway, captive reptile populations tend to be relatively inbred to begin with, starting off the the first morph, bred into normals, those animals bred back to the father or mother, and so on and so forth.

As much as this is common place, should YOU, as a responsible pet owner and breeder, do the same thing?

My answer to that is "Maybe."

Heather, now you are just flip flopping like a pair of sandals.

Well, wait. Let me explain.

There are times where I believe that inbreeding is important. One such case is proving out a morph dinker project. You need to be able to find your Super or Homozygous morph form, and the quickest and easiest way to do so is breed Filial Generation One (First Clutch) back to its morph parental unit. I would like to point out, however, that you don't need to do it that way. You can wait longer and make it happen with more outcrossed siblings, for example Filial Generation One (First Clutch) with Filial Generation Three (First Clutches childrens children).

There are always options.

But in the case of morphs such as Albinos, Pieds, and the more common recessives, I would suggest trying to get some outcrossed bloodlines if you are concerned about inbreeding. With these morphs, however, the original morph has already been so outcrossed that you will more than likely never see any problems with them even if you breed sibling to sibling of your own group.

This is also true of co-doms.

Let us touch briefly on the genetic abnormalities that we do currently see in some morphs.

Spiders and Spider combos do have the head wobble. Why? I'm not sure, but there is a section of people that wonder if the Spider was inbred so much that it developed the wobble and then was bred out later. I disagree with this theory, but it would be interesting to find out.... I digress.

Caramels have kinking issues.

Super Black Pastels and Super Cinnamons have the duck bill.

Super Womas apparently have a fatal gene that does not allow them to live long. 

These are not inbred outbred issues.. They just seem to be issues inherent to the morphs in question. More research and breeding is needed to be able to conclude why these things happen, and if it is due to genetic inbreeding, or just a faulty gene in the morph itself.

We shall see as time goes on.

Anyway, I think I've made this topic clear as to how I feel about it.

I do breed siblings together. I do breed parent to child together. But, if I ever see a defect in the pairing, I never do it again. So far, I've yet to have such a problem. But, I try not to breed siblings together or parent to child unless it is absolutely necessary.

So there it is folks. The down and dirty.

And if you were wondering, No, I'm not breeding any families together this season.

Like I said, I try not to. If I don't have to in terms of a project, I won't.

With that weighty ending to the blog, I wish you all a fantastic day, my friends.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

FINALLY! And some plans...

I have finally been seeing some really exciting pairings, and I wanted to share the photos I got to take. Carmine the Caramel is working his magic with a yet to be proven female.

This is my Pee-Oh-Gee working his magic with a Spider yet to be proven het Hypo female. She better prove out, as I am really looking forward to owning a Humblebee.

Gee the Genetic Stripe is working his magic with a yet to be proven poss het female (one that did not prove out last year). I give females two years to prove for me, and then.. we label them as normals.

And as ugly as the stuck shed is on this gal... SPOTTY McGILLICUTTY is BREEEEEEDING!!!! Hallelujah!!! This is the FIRST time I have caught him in lock with anyone, so I am super stoked. I have to say though that he took his sweet ass time with this... Killerbees, here we come!

With some of these pairings, my plans are coming to fruition. I want to be able to get some Killerbees, more Genetic Stripes, Humblebees, and Caramels. But, I have a few plans that I am personally not able to create. 

I want a few new base morphs that I do not own yet, such as Spotnoses, Ultramels, Mystics and Calicos, maybe even a Champagne. I would also like to complete a few recessive projects, and am looking for Clowns as well as Lavender Albinos.

To be honest, I would really love to get into something new and exciting, but usually that means a lot of effort and funds. So, I will see what I can get when the time comes.

My plans of getting new things depends mainly on what I end up hatching out, but I do want to get a few new things that I do not have. So, we shall wait and see what happens, eh? Can't count my eggs before they hatch!

Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Everyone is in Shed

I was taking photos a few days ago, and it seemed like everyone smaller was in shed.  The trio above was not all in shed, but one of the females was. This is my trio of double het Albino Pieds. I am taking the longer route in terms of creating and using my own double hets, but I have to say I think it will absolutely be worth the wait in the long run. 

I love Albino Pieds, so it will be a great joy to hatch them out from my own visuals. 

The female in the top left was in shed, and the others were not. But the more I looked at, the more I found critters that were in shed. 

It is very difficult sometimes to identify morphs when they are in shed. The bumblebee was in shed and blue, and the Pastels (yes, those two above the Bumblebee are Pastels) are in deep shed. The pastels are usually very nice looking, although the top left pastel is less yellow than the one on the top right. 

So with shed, the color change can be drastic. Here is the Pastel on the top right after her shed. 

And the Bumblebee after shed. Now, the last pastel was not out of shed at the time of writing the blog, but she will look a lot better. 

Renewed and refreshed is usually how I like to put it. Deeper colors, more rich in tone, and vibrant.

Anyway, I'm looking for more important sheds, such as post and pre-ovulation sheds. Maybe I will catch one sooner rather than later. 

Have a fantastic day, my friends. 

If you have any suggestions on topics, let me know!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Enchi goodness

There are people out there in morph land that have no idea what an Enchi is supposed to look like. Well, Enchis can be difficult to pinpoint, so this is going to be a "what to look for" blog.

The first time I hatched out an Enchi, I thought it was a Pastel. (I did a who's your daddy clutch with a Pastel as well, so that is what I assumed was the father at that point) They are easy to spot next to normals if you know what you are looking for.

Enchis are known for their banded patterns, bright yellow sides, and brownish purple areas where normals would be black. The bands are atypical of Enchis, as well as the side stripes over the eyes, but not all Enchis have either. The most telling characteristic for me is the color. They are GOLDEN.

As they grow older, the golden turns into yellow, and the top of the animal turns more purple brown. The blushing on the tops stay there, and mellow out into a nice chocolate tone, as the sides stay bright yellow from the belly up, and from the top down into a nice tan.

The belly is something to also look for. It tends to be mottled in color, not just grey scales, but shades of yellow and purple on the sides as well.

Once you have a knowledge of what you are looking for, it is relatively easy to spot Enchis. The problem is, there is, as many other morphs have, very bad examples of the morphs out there.

Just because they do not exhibit all the typical signs of an Enchi doesn't mean it is not an Enchi. You just need to know the basics. Color, pattern, belly. This is true for many other subtle morphs as well.

Hopefully this has helped you, and maybe I will revisit this topic again soon to compare with other morphs in the same photos to help people see the differences.

Have a fantastic educated Enchi day today, my friends.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Things are still happening

So breedings are still going on, and I expect my first clutch to be laid in the middle of April.

This seems to me to be a late year, but we shall see how that ends up working out.

I am kinda excited for eggs now, cause it is a long time coming since last year, and the babies in 09' are all getting to be fatties anyway.

The Albino is handling his Het female, and doing an excellent job of it.

The Pastel het Pied is with his Het Female, and also doing an excellent job. I am looking forward to seeing some Pastel Pieds...

 This is one of my more exciting pairings (not that all of them aren't exciting), but I can't wait to see what comes out of this gal. Sterling male with my only Pewter female. He better get it done. Super Pewters are a must this season. Really.

And of course, some of my gals are not actually breeding anymore.

We have the fatties that are chilling in water bowls, as well as the gals that are glowing like lightning bugs.

The season is getting just a little more exciting, as time is coming near, my friends!!


Lets hope for some good stuff this season, please...

Gotta do the ball python breeding dance to the BP gods.

Have a fantastic day, my friends. Don't forget to dance for me!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Yellowbellies and a Special Surprise

There have been times where I see Yellowbellies out there and I think, Wow, that looks really nice!

And then I think, well, they kinda look like something Special.

And then I got the idea to take some pictures. This is my youngest Yellowbelly female, and she is beautiful in her own right. Nice and golden, with awesome flames up the sides, and a nice reduced pattern.

But in comparison to the Special, there is a significant visual difference to the trained eye.
Brighter colors in the Special, more busy type of pattern, and overall more eye catching compared to the Yellowbelly. 

Now, a Yellowbelly does not have a Yellowbelly. It just has side lines that tend to be mottled and off color, and can be considered yellow to some. 

So with that being said, let us compare bellies, shall we?

Can you tell which is which? 

The one on the left is the Yellowbelly, the one on the right is a Special. 

WOWEE!! Seems like they are somewhat similar, no?

Yes. They are somewhat similar. 

So it is really one of those odd ball morphs that is subtle. 
Hopefully I have helped some of you out there who are looking for that Special in your collection. 

Some say they look like Vanillas. Some say they look like Yellowbellies. Some, kinda like Fires.

To me, they look like Specials.

I know that isn't what you really wanted to hear, but... It's tough to describe. Hopefully it was enough for now.

Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Contrast and Color

A lot of people tend to appreciate the colors and contrasts of animals that don't fit any where close to the norm. Pieds being the ultimate example of contrast and color. 

How can you not love white on the back ground of orange and black? 

And those that are more difficult to identify in terms of just seeing them, Axanthics are one of those that are tough to call unless you have some colors to compare to. 

I say this to say if you showed an Axanthic to a person who had no idea about snake morphs, they would not realize it was something different.

It's easy, however, to point them out when they are close to a morph that has a high yellow or high gold coloration. 

I took this picture to show the colors of the Axanthic as well as a more developed and older Pied, but also to put a dream team together in terms of a breeding possibility. 

Axanthic Pieds, Babaaay!

And of course, the yellower the animal in terms of color, the more dramatic the Axanthics that come out of the mix when it is combined.

Pastel Axanthics are lighter and brighter than regular Axanthics, Pied Axanthics are lighter than regular Axanthics as well. 

I can't wait to have some to share with you all eventually...

Have a fantastic day, my friends!

Happy Saint Patty's Day! (I don't have any green snakes or I would have posted them)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm feeling Lucky tonight

I find it absolutely fascinating watching particular animals grow up and change over the years, and Lucky the Silver Bullet is the one I am going to focus on today. He hatched out SILVER, very bright, solid colored and beautiful.

It has been a little less than a year since he hatched out, and he has changed drastically in terms of coloration and pattern.

He has changed a lot since he was hatched, and it is clear that there was a lot of growing to do in terms of developing into his adult colors and form. 

He has developed light gray spots on his back and sides, but has kept his paradox spot towards the midsection of his body.

His belly has become a mottled gray as well, and his head and overall color has darkened considerably. 

He is still considered patternless, as there is no distinct pattern to discern, but he does have a mottled appearance compared to his hatching colors.

I find it very interesting how drastic his colors have changed, but I really believe that he is a great example of the morph, and a beautiful male to boot. I am looking forward to using him in the future for combos and such, and also producing a Super Pewter to compare coloration again in the next few years. I'm sure it will be just as drastic, but will settle at a lighter tone than Mister Lucky, the Silver Bullet.

We shall see soon, I would hope.

Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Well, this weekend, we finally got the new computer, and it is a Mac.


It is so much faster, cleaner, and nicer than my 5 year old Dell.

I have to say, I'm very pleased with having a new computer and it is really really exciting to have something like this to enjoy.

I am just enjoying the fact that it is FAST!

I can also finally do more with the photos I have, as well as not have to worry about loading things and it taking 15 minutes of my time.

This is not to say that because its a Mac that it is better than a PC, but I am really enjoying it. So, to those who told me to get a PC, I'm sure I'd be this excited to have it as well, as I had a really slow and old computer for the longest time.

So, this weekend has been enjoying the computer, transferring all the data I had on the PC onto the Mac, and so I've dredged up a few old photos to share while I go thru all the photos and organize them.

 One of my Crestie gals.

One of my Yellowbellies. I love this morph. Maybe I'll do a blog on them soon!

And Spotty McGillicutty. He is sporatically working it this season, so I will be surprised if I get any Bees this year, but I'm still letting him try!

So give me a bit to get my stuff together on this new computer, and as always, let me know if you have any questions that I can approach on a blog. 

Have a fantastic day, my friends. 

By the way, I greatly dislike Daylight Savings Time. Hopefully you all are doing better than I in terms of getting up and moving around. 


Friday, March 12, 2010


I love my family.

I really do.

I have a great Mother (who reads the blog daily and is one of my biggest fans- Hi Smoj), a proud Father (who tends to be computer illiterate and will not see this), and an awesome little brother (who will be graduating from Law School in May).

But what I don't have is a Sister.

I've never had one, nor will I.

I will have women I love like sisters, but never an actual one.
And that's okay!

But these gals right here have sisters that are right there with them.

And here they are.

These are the Pastel Lesser Sisters. They are sassy and bright and absolutely gorgeous.
And they know it.

And the Spider het Axanthic Sisters.
They are golden tan, well patterned and know how to work it.
And they don't have the wobbles.
Who could ask for more?

And last but not least... The Pied Sister Trio.

They are rough and tumble, will take on any thing (including decent sized rats), and like to get wet (they love tossing over their water bowls, as the pictures show).

These gals are fantastic.

So... even though I don't have a Sister (which is perfectly fine by me), I have all these gals to love and enjoy.

Who could ask for more??

Have a fantastic weekend, my friends.