While the genetics involved in creating all these new morphs of Cornsnakes are fascinating (at least to us and a few others), the terms involved are not particularly attractive to consumers. A motley hypomelanistic amelanistic triple recessive cornsnake is a very attractive snake, but it is a lot easier to sell when called a 'Sunglow Motley'. As a result, there is now a plethora of trade names for all of these mutations and combinations of mutations. It is so commonplace that many breeders do not even know the actual traits they are dealing with (Actually, fewer yet will admit it). We've attempted to list all of them, along with the genetic makeup of each (where known or suspected). Please remember that new ones are made up each year, and old ones are changed to fit the marketplace as needed. If you hear of one we forgot, send us what you know about it - we would like to research it and add to our list.
Naturally Occurring Variation In Cornsnakes
Having wide natural range, the cornsnake exhibits a lot of variation in the wild. Some types are more or less 'standardized' in appearance, with breeders attempting to further refine and purify these strains. Often these distinctive types are used to alter the effects of other mutations resulting in some rather distinctive lines of Cornsnakes.
Note that these naturally occurring variations are not single trait mutations, but rather a polygenic appearance derived from innumerable small alleles all having a minor impact on the overall appearance of the snake. Thus, specimens cannot be heterozygous for these traits. It can be best be compared to raising champion race horses, breeding the best specimens together will generally result in the best appearing offspring - but none could ever be listed as heterozygous for "Secretariat" or "Sea Biscuit"
Classic aka Normal, Wild-Type, or Red Rat
Genotype: -+-+ An early name for the normal Cornsnake, Elaphe guttata guttata, was Red Rat. This name may still be found in literature, especially of European origin. see Cornsnake Variation.
Genotype: -+-+ & selected appearance. Previously considered a distinct subspecie. see Cornsnake Variation.
Genotype: -+-+ & selected appearance. see Cornsnake Variation.
Genotype: -+-+ & selected appearance. see Cornsnake Variation.
Subspecific Variation and Hybrid Cornsnakes
Several subspecies are currently recognized, a few of which have recently been elevated to full specie status. In their restless pursuit to create the next 'hot' cornsnake, breeders have frequently utilized the unique appearances of several of these forms to alter the appearance of their Cornsnakes. Some (such as Creamsicle Corns) have become so commonplace in the trade that many keepers are not even aware they are crosses between two different species or subspecies.
Note that these naturally occurring variations are not single trait mutations, but rather a polygenic appearance derived from innumerable small alleles all having a minor impact on the overall appearance of the snake. Thus, specimens cannot be heterozygous for these traits.
Genotype: aaaa An amelanistic example of the Emory's Ratsnake. Yellowish blotches on a creamy white background. Formerly used for yellowish examples of the Creamsicle, now properly applied to the genetically pure race of amelanistic Emory's' Ratsnake originated by Don Soderberg.
Genotype: unknown. A new mutation collected in Kansas and being developed by Don Soderberg. Probably melanistic, the entire snakes is suffused with a deep brown coloration - almost producing a solid appearance. Oddly, the dorsal blotches appear split into two smaller paired blotches. This may prove to be a new pattern variant as well.
Cinnamon or Burgundy
Genotype: hhhh and intergrade effects. A hybrid between a Hypomelanistic (Standard Hypo) example of the cornsnake and the Emory's Ratsnake or the Mexican Cornsnake. Rather variable, but ranging from cinnamon brown blotches on a pale cream background when bred as as 50/50 mix to pinkish red blotches on a creamy pink background when bred with a bit more of the cornsnake. Motley specimens are also known to exist and have proven quite attractive.
Classic aka Normal or Wild-Type
Genotype: -+-+ This is the typical cornsnake, boldly checkered belly and solid red dorsal blotches outlined in black and white on an orange ground color. An early name for the normal cornsnake, Elaphe guttata guttata was Red Rat. This name may still be found in literature, especially of European origin. see Cornsnake Variation.
Genotype: aaaa and intergrade effects. A hybrid between an amelanistic example of the cornsnake and the Emory's Ratsnake or the Mexican Cornsnake. Generally orange blotches on a creamy pink background when bred as a 50/50 mix of the two. As the mix is shifted more towards the Emory's Ratsnake, yellows are more prominent. More evidence of the cornsnake emphasizes red coloration, these examples are sometimes called Red Creamsicle or Butterscotch.
see Cornsnake Variation.
see Cornsnake Variation.
see Cornsnake Variation.
Genotype: -+-+ and intergrade effects. A hybrid between a cornsnake and the Emory's' Ratsnake. Generally brown to coffee blotches on a paler background. Usually produced as a by-product of the Creamsicle. Previously called Chocolate, but this name is now perhaps better applied to the pure race of Emory's Ratsnakes developed by Don Soderberg.
see Cornsnake Variation.
Single Genetic Trait Cornsnakes
To fully understand the genetic makeup of any given type, it is important to understand that there are currently ten loci known to harbor mutated alleles in Cornsnakes. Additional alleles/loci will most certainly be identified as time goes by and research is performed on suspected new mutations. To help clarify the relationships between the various trade names in use today, we have grouped them together by locus. All of the snakes presented in this section are affected by mutated alleles residing at a single locus.
A recessive gene causing a hypo-like look in Cornsnakes. Early breeding results indicate it is distinct from the four other types of Hypomelanism (Standard Hypo, Lava, Ultra and Sunkissed) so in all likelihood it will prove to be a fifth type. Work remains to identify which locus this allele resides at, or to designate a symbol for it (X seems logical, for X-mas).
Albino (A) Locus
- A+A+ = Wild-type
- A+aa = Wild-type, heterozygous for Amelanism
- aaaa = Amel
- A+au = Wild-type, heterozygous for Ultra
- auau = Ultra
- aaau = Ultramel
Amelanistic, Amel, Red Albino, or Albino Cornsnake
Term used indiscriminately for any amelanistic example of any of the naturally occurring phases of cornsnake. There is so much variation among Snow corns that several trade names may be seen for specimens selected for particular appearances: Albino Miami Phase are amelanistic example of the naturally occurring 'Miami Phase' cornsnake. Both are difficult to establish as cleanly patterned individuals. Breeders are striving for dark red blotches on a pale pink or white background. Parallels the Candy Cane projects and in many cases may be derived from it. Candy Cane Cornsnakes are amelanistic example of the Cornsnake tending towards clean red blotches on a white to pale pink background. Difficult to establish as cleanly patterned individuals. Originally, breeders used the naturally occurring 'Miami Phase' Cornsnake to help emphasize this appearance. Albino Okeetee Cornsnakes are amelanistic example of the naturally occurring 'Okeetee Phase' cornsnake. The best have solid deep red blotches surrounded by a thick white border on a solid bright orange background. Formerly called Reverse Okeetee. A variant derived from the Albino Okeetee is often sold as Fluorescent. The amount of white present is greatly increased, sometimes virtually filling in the red blotches, at least posteriorly. Sunglow corns are a popular variant in which all remaining traces of white have been removed. Early projects attempting to create this appearance often involved Hypomelanism and many snakes sold under this name today may still be carrying that gene.
In early days, this name Ultra Hypo was used to denote a hypomelanistic cornsnake selected for very bright coloration. Starting in about 2003, a suspected new form of Hypomelanism was discovered and somehow this same name got attached to it. This allele for this new form shares the same locus as amelanism, and caused early breeding efforts to have some confusing results until this was understood.
Since the alleles for both Ultra and Amelanism reside at the same locus, it's possible to create snakes possessing one copy of each gene. With no normal gene present at that locus to offset the effects of these alleles, a snake with appearance of Ultra Hypo is created. It appears that Ultra alleles are therefore dominant to Amel alleles.
Anery (An) Locus
- An+An+ = Wild-type
- An+ana = Wild-type, heterozygous for Anerythrism
- anaana = Anery
Anerythristic aka Anery, Anery A, or Black Albino
An anerythristic 'Type A' cornsnake. Sometimes erroneously called melanistic. A black on grayish brown snake, usually develops traces of yellow on the neck regions. Occasionally, very light colored specimens will appear in various bloodlines, These are sometimes labeled as Pastel or Pastel Pink, creating confusion with various Ghost Cornsnakes also being marketed under those names. This is most common in the Motley pattern variation which tends to lighten overall appearance in itself. see also Ghost.
Buf (B) Locus
- b+b+ = Wild-type
- b+Bb = Buf, heterozygous for Wild-Type
- BbBb = Buf
First identified in Europe, Buf is unusual among cornsnake alleles in that it is dominant to normal or wild-type. Thus, specimens with even a single copy of this allele present take on the unique yellowish coloration named Buf, similar in appearance to Caramel. Having a somewhat reduced effect on coloration when compared to Caramel, they have been produced in combination with Amel. Amelanistic examples are very orangish looking examples. We believe, although it's not been proven, that these can trace their ancestry back to early Miami lines and are the source of the mysterious 'Orange Candy Canes' derived from these lines. Luckily, VMS has been maintaining pure lines of those for 20 years now along with the normal and hypo version 'Oak' Phase Miamis' which should make breeding trials pretty simple.
Caramel (Ca) Locus
- Ca+Ca+ = Wild-type
- Ca+cac = Wild-type, heterozygous for Caramel
- caccac = Caramel
Develops lots of yellow pigment as it matures, and exhibits strongly reduced red pigmentation as well. many hatchlings will look like Anerythristic Cornsnakes with only faint traces of yellow between the dorsal blotches. Many keepers report snakes that are heterozygous for this trait are somewhat more yellowish than normal, and can be visually identified. Our experiences have indicated that some hets are indeed more yellowish, but others are not.
Charcoal (Ch) Locus
- Ch+Ch+ = Wild-type
- Ch+Ch+ = Wild-type, heterozygous for Charcoal
- chcchc = Charcoal
Charcoal aka Anery B, Muted, or Pine Island Black Albino
An anerythristic 'Type B' cornsnake. A black on silver snake, develops very little or no traces of yellow on the neck regions. Developed by Bill and Kathy Love from specimens collected on Pine Island, Florida.
Cinder (Ci) Locus
- Ci+Ci+ = Wild-type
- Ci+Ci+ = Wild-type, heterozygous for Cinder
- ciccic = Cinder
An interesting recessive gene originating in Upper Keys Cornsnakes. Hatchlings look like brownish Anerythristic corns, but develop reddish pigmentation within the dorsal blotches with growth. Breeding results indicate it is heritable in typical recessive fashion and appears to be coupled with a change to the blotches giving them a narrowed jagged appearance. Originally labeled simply as 'Z' Corns, two names have since been proposed for this mutation, Ashy and Cinder. Cinder appears to be the most widely accepted, thankfully preventing us from getting stuck with the 'Z' designation forever!
Diffuse (D) Locus (includes Bloodred)
- D+D+ = Wild-type
- D+DD = Wild-type, 'heterozygous' for Diffuse
- DDDD = Diffusion
Once breeders began out-crossing Bloodred Corns to other color types, it immediately became apparent that only part of the appearance of true Bloodreds was based on a simple genetic trait, a lot was based on selection. To distinguish the genetic traits from the selected ones, the new term 'Diffusion' is gaining favor for describing corns affected by the "Bloodred" mutation, but without the intensive red color selection process. One of the most distinctive traits involved is the Plain Belly appearance, which may appear to some degree in specimens only heterozygous for Diffusion. Breeders have decided based upon this and other factors that Diffusion does not behave in typical recessive fashion. However, these breeders would be wise to consider that so much of the appearance of Bloodred is caused by selection, that virtually all lines of these snakes will be affected by this to some degree. Specimens exhibiting 'Bloodred' traits to a lesser degree could reasonably be expected in the first generation, similar to crossing Okeetee and Classic corns and receiving a blend of appearances in the first generation.
Sadly, it appears each color type to be crossed into the Diffusion line will require an intensive selection process to achieve the same uniformity of appearance as the original Bloodred corns. For example, a "Butter Bloodred" does not immediately appear as a solid yellow snake, instead it will take generations of selective breeding to refine it to that point.
An apparently related trait was proven heritable in the summer of 2005 in which large clearly defined white patches appear along the lower sides of Bloodred corns. Termed Pied-Sided, it is thought to be controlled by a single allele, although it is as yet unknown whether it is an allele sharing the same locus as Diffusion, or a different locus. Future breeding trials will determine if this trait can be separated from the diffuse trait to answer this question. see also Cornsnake Patterns
Addendum (January 2010):
I approach this subject with a little trepidation, as I'm sure there are those out there who will disagree - but here goes the conclusions I've drawn over the last couple decades. Examples of the 'Blood-Red' morph lack all traces of ventral patterns and also have greatly reduced to completely absent lateral blotches. Additionally, many will have either absent or greatly reduced and malformed head patterns. With growth, the 'best' of them will become suffused with red pigment throughout, eventually achieving a near solid red appearance. Obviously, this does not happen in specimens lacking red pigmentation, such as anerythristic or charcoal.
It has been demonstrated that the plain-belly trait, the head trait, the blurring of side patterning, and the red suffusion trait may in fact all be inherited separately. The trade name Diffuse had already been put in use for specimens exhibiting the blurred side patterns and plain belly traits, which so often are passed together in recessive fashion (almost as if they were one).
In truth, Blood-Red corns must be viewed as a polygenic morph, comprised (I think) of the following alleles:
- Plain-Belly (evidently a codominant allele, as many 'hets' exhibit an 'intermediate' or modified belly pattern. Possibly trait-linked to Diffuse side patterning)
- Diffuse (herein referring to the blurred side patterns only, although in common use 'Diffuse Corns' includes plain-belly as well, other breeders have begun using the term interchangeably with Blood-Red, tossing a turd in the churn for those trying to sort this mess out. Possibly trait-linked to Plain-Belly)
- Faded Head (appears to be a typical recessive)
- Suffusion (herein used to describe the extensive development of red pigmentation through the body. Appears to be inherited as a recessive, but is clearly improved upon through the process of selective breeding. Obviously this one is not very apparent in mutations not exhibiting red pigmentation)
The concept of true Blood-Red corns being a polygenic morph, in part heavily influenced by selective breeding, really should come as no surprise to any reader familiar with their history. This morph was not created from a single mutated snake, but was instead slowly developed over a long period of time by a breeder living in Florida, who had easy access to large numbers of Cornsnakes. Logically, any corn exhibiting a possibly useful appearance was incorporated into the breeding program, until the 'Blood-Red' corn was born.
This process continues today, although the waters have been muddied by the sale of many poorly marked specimens as true Blood-Reds, hence a lot of confusion exists with regard to what actually constitutes a good one. But us old-timers who had access to the early Blood-Reds, before they were genetically 'thinned out' by outcrosses to other mutations, can attest to the fact that most of today's 'Blood-Reds' are pretty poor examples.
Dilute (Dt) Locus
- Dt+Dt+ = Wild-type
- Dt+dtd = Wild-type, heterozygous for Dilute
- dtddtd = Dilute
Yet another hypomelanistic appearing cornsnake mutation. This one differs from others in that it seems to affect the depth of pigmentation. A very new mutation, the dilute allele is responsible for a unique appearance. Extreme fading of colors, almost as if the snake is in shed all the time. Others have described it as the colors are buried under some layer. But along with this, lighter pigments such as pinks and yellows are enhanced. Whether this is the result of less melanin obscuring the lighter pigments or if they are truly more pronounced is not yet known. Originally discovered in combination with Anerythrism and Motley in a line of corns being marketed as "Blue Motleys" but now understood to be a separate allele. Specimens exhibiting the effects of the Dilute allele in combinations with Motley, Anery and Caramel, along with Dilute Classics, have all been produced in our collection thus far, so it would seem this mutation will be combined with just about everything soon by eager breeders.
Hypo (H) Locus
- H+H+ = Wild-type
- H+hh = Wild-type, heterozygous for Hypomelanism
- H+hs = Wild-type, heterozygous for Strawberry
- hhhh = Hypo
- hhhs = Hypo-Strawberry
- hshs = Strawberry
Hypomelanistic aka Standard Hypo, Hypo, Hypo A
A hypomelanistic cornsnake. Greatly reduced black pigmentation. Gives the appearance of a rather bright cornsnake. Occasional specimens may have nearly translucent areas where the black pigmentation should be. Specimens exhibiting the effects of crosses to Miami phase corns are called Crimson and display clean dark maroon blotches on a pale background.
The Strawberry gene has recently been proven allelic to hypo. While superficially similar to hypo, they tend to have a more 'contrasty' look with brighter reds as this trait apparently does not affect the reds, or may even increase them. Since Strawberries have been masquerading around as hypos for decades, large numbers of them exists and may form the basis for a bunch of pinkish colored lines of various morphs. Already, some lines of Coral Snows have been proven to be "Strawberry Snows". A very similar line, called Christmas, may in the future prove to be Strawberry or possibly even a new allele at the Hypo locus.
Being allelic to hypo, we have a situation similar to that of Ultra and Amel, in which specimens carrying one mutated allele of each type at this locus take on an intermediate appearance between the two 'pure' types.
Kastanie (K) Locus
- K+K+ = Wild-type
- K+kk = Wild-type, heterozygous for Kastanie
- kkkk = Kastanie
The Kastanie mutation was discovered by German breeders, and proven a simple recessive trait. Subsequently, it was discovered to be present in American collections as well, mostly associated with a common line of "Rosy Bloodreds" widely marketed in America. It shows remarkable similarities to some Caramels, both in the adult coloration and in the similarly dark (almost Anerythristic looking) hatchlings.
Albino specimens have already been produced in Germany and marketed under the name Mandarin, although they bear no resemblance to the Ratsnake of the same name....
Lava (V) Locus
- V+V+ = Wild-type
- V+vv = Wild-type, heterozygous for Lava
- vvvv = Lava
A hypomelanistic cornsnake strain that has a more pronounced effect on black pigmentation than other Hypo types. Sometimes called Transparent Hypo, although this name may have been used in earlier years to denote specimens of Standard Hypo with faint grayish traces remaining where black borders previously existed. To eliminate confusion, this name should be dropped.
Lavender (L) Locus
- L+L+ = Wild-type
- L+ll = Wild-type, heterozygous for Lavender
- llll = Lavender
No one seems to be sure exactly what these are, but they fit the name in color exactly. While many breeders feel this is a type of anerythrism, our best guess is that these are in reality a tyrosinase-positive form of albinism. Whatever, they are beautiful! An earlier name for Lavender was Mocha. It's still used occasionally to describe the more brownish or orangish examples of the Lavender trait. Many specimens also possess "ruby eyes"
Motley (M) Locus
- M+M+ = Wild-type
- M+mm = Wild-type, heterozygous for Motley
- mmmm = Motley
- M+ms = Wild-type, heterozygous for Stripe
- msms = Striped
- mmms = Motley, heterozygous for Stripe
A pattern variant rapidly being crossed into all known color varieties. Belly patterning is completely absent. In most examples there is a complete dark line along the edge of the ventral scales. Lateral pattern is either absent or has been reduced to faint irregular striping along the lower sides. The dorsal pattern may consist of either widely spaced elongated blotches, often fused at the sides to form a ladder pattern, or nearly full-length parallel stripes. Extremely variable. Specimens in which the dorsal pattern is fully joined laterally, leaving the ground color present as little circles along the mid-dorsal line are termed Hurricane. These markings apparently reminded someone of the 'eye of the hurricane' symbol on weather maps and the name stuck. The Motley allele is thought to be dominant when paired against a Striped allele. Thus some specimens appearing to be Motley can be carrying a single allele for each trait, resulting in some confusing results in breeding trials. Additionally, many Motley corns appear as nearly fully striped and inexperienced breeders can easily confuse the two types unless familiar with their subtle distinctions. see also Cornsnake Patterns
A pattern variant rapidly being crossed into all known color varieties which creates four lengthwise lines of varying consistency along the sides and dorsum. Sharing the same locus as Motley, Striped corns are thought to be recessive to Motley. A pattern variant of Striped cornsnake in which the dorsal blotches are separated and squared off in appearance is often seen labeled as Cube cornsnake. 'Busier' patterned specimens are sometimes called Chaos corns. Many oddly marked Motley Cornsnakes may also get sold as Cube or Chaos Cornsnakes, and only breeding trials can prove out their exact genetic nature. see also Cornsnake Patterns
Sunkissed (S) Locus
- S+S+ = Wild-type
- S+ss = Wild-type, heterozygous for Sunkissed
- ssss = Sunkissed
Sunkissed aka Sunkissed Hypo or Hypomelanistic B
A hypomelanistic appearing cornsnake strain that originated within the Okeetee bloodlines of Kathy Love. Virtually indistinguishable from Standard Hypo in appearance. although some specimens may be lighter or have unusual patterning.
Terrazzo (T) Locus
- ?+?+ = Wild-type
- ?+?? = Wild-type, heterozygous for Terrazo
- ???? = Terrazo
A recessive trait affecting pattern. Specimens homozygous for this trait have a unique speckly striped look. Still very uncommon in captive collections, watch for them to appear in greater numbers with each passing year.
Tessera (?) Locus
- ?+?+ = Wild-type
- ?+?? = Tessera
- ???? = Unknown, possibly non-existent
This startling pattern mutation creates a snake with a very thin but strong and dark-edged mid-dorsal stripe, often the full length of body and tail. The side pattern is broken up into large numbers of densely jumbled 'squarish' blocks. Many folks have mistaken them for garter snakes upon first sight, with the realization they are actually Cornsnakes slowly dawning on them after a few moments.
The first known dominant mutation in Cornsnakes, with all adult specimens proven heterozygous for this allele!When bred to a completely normal Cornsnake, a Tessera will produce a clutch of half Tesseras and half completely normal babies. Tessera to Tessera breedings have thus far produced only what appear to be Tesseras and completely normal Cornsnakes. Such clutches have also resulted in a moderate egg failure rate, which leads one to the conclusion that the Tessera allele may be lethal in the homozygous state, a situation well known in other species such as Merle dogs. A large number of Tesseras from such clutches will need to be grown up and test bred to confirm or deny whether homozygous specimens may simply be identical to heterozygous.
Multiple Genetic Trait Cornsnakes
All of the snakes presented in this section are affected by two or more mutated alleles, and are the result of captive breeding projects. Such combinations of mutations are often called 'designer morphs'. Many have become common enough to have well-known trade names. Other trade names are fairly new, and will hopefully be used regularly enough to become established. Many multiple trait Cornsnakes are simply called by the combination of traits involved. Examples of this are Striped Albino or Hypo Lavender, although there are of course dozens more! We won't bother listing such 'combination' names, since these are pretty self-explanatory. Frankly, we prefer to use these wherever possible, to eliminate confusion. We wish folks would quit simply making up new names for combos - they often serve only to confuse the newbies.
Genotype: hhhh·caccac A Hypomelanistic (Standard Hypo) & Caramel double recessive cornsnake. Varies from straw to greenish yellow, developing lots of yellow pigment as it grows.
Genotype: DdDd·aaaa·anaana A Diffuse, Amelanistic & Anerythristic triple recessive cornsnake. aka Snow Bloodred. see notes on Diffuse and Bloodred
Genotype: aaaa·chcchc An Amelanistic & Charcoal double recessive cornsnake. Essentially pure white, although many specimens show very faint yellow blotches - evidence of the iridophores usually hidden by black pigment. Specimens selected for the purest and most solid whites are sometimes sold as Solid White Blizzard.
Genotype: aaaa·caccac An Amelanistic & Caramel double recessive cornsnake. Looks something like a slightly yellowish Snow corn at hatching, but develops lots of yellow pigment as it grows.
Genotype: aaaa·caccac·anaana·hhhh An Amelanistic, Caramel, Anery & Hypomelanistic quadruple recessive cornsnake.
Coral or Coral Snow
Genotype: hshs·aaaa·anaana or hhhh·aaaa·anaana or aaaa·anaana This name was originally applied to any Hypomelanistic (Standard Hypo), Amelanistic & Anerythristic triple recessive cornsnake. aka Hypo Snow. Many of these snakes exhibit enhanced red pigmentation, becoming similar to pale Amelanistic corns as adults. It is unknown whether this is the effect of hypomelanism, or merely the result of selective breeding. Most early lines of them involved Hypomelanism, but many later lines are simply derived from selective breeding. Recent breeding trials have deduced that many of the 'hypo' lines used in these were in actuality Strawberry! This has led to a situation where the name is now in use for everything form very pinkish orange selectively bred Snow Corns to Hypo Snow, Hypo-Strawberry Snow, or Strawberry Snow Corns...
Genotype: chcchc·vvvv A Charcoal & Lava double recessive cornsnake. The combination of Charcoal and Lava yields snakes similar to Phantoms in appearance.
Genotype: DdDd·aaaa A Diffuse & Amelanistic double recessive cornsnake. aka Albino Bloodred. A brightly colored variant is being marketed as Cayenne Fire. see notes on Diffuse and Bloodred
Genotype: hhhh·anaana A Hypomelanistic (Standard Hypo) & Anerythristic double recessive cornsnake. Essentially a very pale anerythristic cornsnake, with greatly reduced black pigmentation. May take on overtones of pink, yellow, tan, gray, or lavender. The palest examples are rather pinkish and are often sold as Pastel or Pastel Pink Cornsnakes. Stonewashed is an older trade name used for Ghost Cornsnakes selected for dark mottling in the pattern. Heavily marked specimens resemble granite in appearance.
Genotype: aaau·caccac An Ultramel & Caramel double recessive cornsnake. Some breeders are also offering Ultra & Caramel Corns under this name.
Genotype: DdDd·anaana A name recently applied a Diffuse & Anerythristic double recessive cornsnake. aka Anery Bloodred. The name Granite was also previously in use for another morph. In view of the potential for confusion, it is recommended that Anerythristic Bloodred specimens simply be called Anery Bloodreds. see notes on Diffuse and Bloodred
Genotype: ssss·caccac A Sunkissed & Caramel double recessive cornsnake. Similar in appearance to Ambers, but most specimens are noticeably lighter.
Ice aka Ice Ghost
Genotype: vvvv·anaana A Lava & Anerythristic double recessive cornsnake. Essentially a very pale Ghost cornsnake, with greatly reduced black pigmentation.
Genotype: DdDd·aaaa·anaana·vvvv An Amelanistic, Anerythristic, Lava & Bloodred cornsnake.
Genotype: aaaa·vvvv An Amelanistic & Lava double recessive cornsnake. The combination of Amel and Lava yields Amels which are visibly different from those without the Lava. Some breeders are calling these Lavamels to distinguish them.
Genotype: aaaa·kkkk An Amelanistic & Kastanie double recessive cornsnake. Amelanistic Kastanie corns hatch out looking like Snows, but with age the oranges fill in and they grow to resemble rather odd pale orange Amels. Pure corns, not related to the Mandarin Ratsnake.
Genotype: anaana·llll An Anerythristic & Lavender double recessive cornsnake. Very subtly different than either type, be careful to purchase these from knowledgeable breeders only.
Opal aka Albino Lavender
Genotype: aaaa·llll An Amelanistic & Lavender cornsnake. A double recessive cornsnake which is best described as a very very pale rosy Red Albino. Very white specimens are sometimes called Pearl or White Snow
Genotype: aaaa·bbbb A Buf & Amelanistic cornsnake. These snakes hatch out looking like bright orange Amels, retaining the look through adulthood.
Genotype: ssss·llll A Sunkissed & Lavender double recessive cornsnake. Essentially an extreme version of the Hypo Lavender cornsnake, often with concentrated orange coloration between the saddles.
Genotype: aaaa·ciccic An Amelanistic & Cinder cornsnake. A name being applied to some lines of the double recessive Albino Cinder cornsnake.
Genotype: DdDd·chcchc A Diffuse & Charcoal double recessive cornsnake. This double recessive animal is an almost solid gray in color, with only traces of pattern present as an adult. Like other Bloodred Cornsnakes, there is no ventral pattern. Some specimens may also be heavily speckled with black, earning the name Pepper to distinguish them from paler specimens. see notes on Diffuse and Bloodred
Genotype: hhhh·chcchc A Hypomelanistic (Standard Hypo) & Charcoal double recessive cornsnake. Essentially a very pale Ghost cornsnake, with greatly reduced black pigmentation. Unlike the Ghost, it has no yellow pigmentation and tends towards silvers and lavenders in overall appearance.
Genotype: DdDd·llll A Diffuse & Lavender double recessive cornsnake. aka Lavender Bloodred. see notes on Diffuse and Bloodred
Platinum aka Charcoal Ghost
Genotype: hhhh·anaana·chcchc A name being used for Hypomelanistic (Standard Hypo), Anerythristic & Charcoal triple recessive Cornsnakes. Hatchling specimens purported to be this combination have so far been visually identical to Phantoms. Since our test breedings indicate Anery masks Charcoal, there may be some serious identification errors out there involving these snakes.
Genotype: chcchc·aaaa·anaana·hhhh A Hypo, Anerythristic, Amelanistic & Charcoal quadruple recessive cornsnake. Specimens purported to be this combination have so far been visually identical to Blizzards. Since our test breedings indicate Anery masks Charcoal, there may be some serious identification errors out there involving these snakes.
Genotype: DdDd·aaaa·anaana·chcchc A Diffuse, Anerythristic, Amelanistic & Charcoal quadruple recessive cornsnake. Specimens purported to be this combination have so far been visually identical to Whiteouts. Since our test breedings indicate Anery masks Charcoal, there may be some serious identification errors out there involving these snakes. see notes on Diffuse and Bloodred
Genotype: aaaa·caccac·ssss·hhhh An Amelanistic, Caramel & Sunkissed triple recessive cornsnake.
Genotype: ssss·ciccic A Sunkissed & Cinder double recessive cornsnake.
Genotype: anaana·aaaa·llll An Anerythristic, Amelanistic & Lavender triple recessive cornsnake. Specimens produced here have been indistinguishable from Snow corns as hatchlings, but later have developed a very subtle odd purplish coloration.
Genotype: aaaa·anaana An Amelanistic & Anerythristic double recessive cornsnake. Extremely variable, based on natural variation of the original stock used to create it. May be pink, tan, yellowish green blotches on a white to cream ground color. There is so much variation among Snow corns that several trade names may be seen for specimens selected for particular appearances: Bubblegum Snow and Strawberry Snow are variants selected for pink coloration in the mid-dorsal blotches. Green-Blotched Snow is a variant of the Snow cornsnake selected for greenish coloration in the mid-dorsal blotches. Pink Green-Blotched Snow is a variant of the Green-Blotched Snow cornsnake selected for a pink ground coloration with greenish dorsal blotches.
Genotype: DdDd·aaaa·caccac A Diffuse, Amelanistic & Caramel triple recessive cornsnake. aka Butter Bloodred. see notes on Diffuse and Bloodred
Genotype: vvvv·caacaa A Lava & Caramel double recessive cornsnake. Essentially an extreme version of the Amber cornsnake, with greatly reduced black pigmentation.
Genotype: auau·caccac An Ultra & Caramel double recessive cornsnake. This one wins the award for being the absolute worst name ever devised. Currently in limited use for double homozygous Caramel and Ultra specimens, which are near indistinguishable from the typical Amber corn (Hypo & Caramel).
Now it seems to me that these should just be called Ultra Caramel, as the use of Amber implies the presence of Hypo (an Amber corn is double homozygous for Hypo and Caramel, so an Ultra Amber should be Hypo, Caramel, and Ultra - right?). Alternatively, why not just call them Golddusts, the name already in use for Ultramel Caramels - and which many of these supposed Ultra Ambers probably actually are?
Genotype: DdDd·aaaa·chcchc A Diffuse, Amelanistic & Charcoal triple recessive cornsnake. aka Blizzard Bloodred. see notes on Diffuse and Bloodred
Genotype: aaaa·anaana·caccac An Anerythristic, Amelanistic & Caramel triple recessive cornsnake. Specimens purported to be this combination have so far been visually identical to Snows, although a few develop slightly more yellow than the typical snow. Since our test breedings indicate Anery masks Caramel, there may be some serious identification errors out there involving these snakes. Considering we've also seen many Snow corns with far greater yellow than many of these Xanthic Snows, care must be taken when purchasing specimens.
Genotype: aaaa·???? The Amelanistic Terrazo cornsnake has somehow been given the trade name 'Zolatone', a seemingly nonsensical name that is alreading fading from popular use for plain old Amel Terrazo.
Miscellaneous Cornsnake Mutations
The cornsnake has a rather complex pattern development cycle, and several mutations have taken place in the pattern. Some are single allele traits and are described in the section 'Single Genetic Mutation Cornsnakes' above. Others appear to be controlled by multiple alleles and hence are difficult to reproduce consistently. Still others may simply be the result of developmental anomalies during embryo development. Most are poorly understood, but just about all create such a dramatic effect on appearance that they have received trade names. Most of these Cornsnakes are simply called by the combination of traits involved. Examples of this are Zigzag Albino or Frosted Creamsicle, although there are of course dozens more! We won't bother listing all such 'combination' names, since these are pretty self-explanatory.
A number of other mutations have been listed here. Most have yet to be proven heritable and some may simply fade away. Others are expected to prove heritable with future breeding efforts and can be expected to enter the trade in the future.
A pattern variant rapidly being crossed into all known color varieties. Essentially a very wildly patterned Zigzag, in which the Zigzag look is broken up into random scattered patches, giving the snake a very 'busy' look. see also Cornsnake Patterns
A base genetic trait in which scattered patches and freckles of white develop as the snake matures. This mutation was present in cornsnake colonies in the 1980's (and presumably is still around) but possessed a number of factors rendering them unfit for mass propagation. First, the pattern mutation did not become evident until the hatchlings had reached very near sexual maturity. This caused the cost of raising specimens to be sold as visible calicos to a very high point, making them economically unviable. Second, the mutation appeared to be combined with a blistering effect of the scales underneath the white areas, making close-up views of the snakes rather unattractive and causing many buyers to feel the snakes were unhealthy. As a result, the mutation has now almost completely disappeared, although it is likely some breeders are quietly maintaining a few. see also Cornsnake Patterns
Additionally, we have in our collection a similar looking Anerythristic Cornsnake, which is free of the genetic defects. It has unexplained white patches and speckles distributed more or less in conjunction with body markings over the body. A similar mutation is present in captive colonies of the Honduran Milksnake. Interestingly, one of the first offspring to be produced from this snake was a Paradox Snow, leading some breeders to feel these two traits may be related somehow. We've applied the name Snowflake internally to distinguish it from the old Calico trait, but heritability and distinction from the older trait are as yet uncertain.
Yet another Calico looking snake was recently field collected, this one having the majority if it's body white and remaining patches of color very randomized. An amazingly attractive animal, it remains to be seen if the condition is heritable.
Appears to be a pattern trait in which pigmentation is concentrated at the center of each scale, producing a pale speckled look especially within the dorsal blotches. This trait appears to be controlled by multiple alleles and snakes listed as 'heterozygous' for the trait cannot be expected to produce offspring exhibiting the trait in a fashion consistent with other traits which are controlled by single alleles. Several color mutations have been produced with this appearance, and specimens may just appear at random within established colonies. see also Cornsnake Patterns
A recently collected Cornsnake exhibiting coloration similar to Caramel has been given this name. Future breeding results will be used to determine if it is in fact the same mutation as Caramel or something new entirely.
There are no known examples of this mutation, although many beginners will use this name for Black Albino (Anerythristic) specimens erroneously.
Essentially a very cleanly marked banded pattern type cornsnake in which the side blotches have fused with the dorsal blotches, creating a banded appearance. Originally derived from Miami Phase stock. Some exceptionally marked specimens are sometimes seen labeled as Banded or Saddleback. see also Cornsnake Patterns
It is not known what this is genetically. Light-colored mutations Cornsnakes are hatched which have unexplained black patches and speckles distributed more or less randomly over the body, including the ventral surface. A number of these snakes have been produced, but it's heritability is still in question.
A pattern variant rapidly being crossed into all known color varieties. Probably derived from the striped bloodlines through selective breeding. Could potentially be a new mutation on the Motley locus, although much work needs to be done to determine this before such claims can be made. Some specimens exhibit widely separated mid-dorsal spots and are often labeled as Spotted corns. see also Cornsnake Patterns
Not known for certain whether this is a genetically inheritable trait or not. Large patches of white are visible at birth. This mutation (or snakes appearing to have it) has cropped up at least twice over the last twenty years or so. One failed to thrive and the other never reproduced. Hopefully, Piebald specimens will appear in the near future and prove heritable, as this mutation is well-known (and very popular) in Ball Pythons. see also Mutations
A genetic trait which apparently removes or reduces dark pigmentation within the eye. It best known for cropping up within the Lavender bloodline, and many breeders assume it is related to the Lavender mutation somehow, but is an unrelated trait which can be passed to other color morphs (provided that morph does not have such a dark iris as to obliterate it's appearance). This mutation was present in Ghost Cornsnakes in our colonies many years before the first Lavender Cornsnakes appeared.
It is not known what this is genetically. Starts life as a more or less normal Snow cornsnake, but develops patches of intense red speckling. A number of these snakes have been produced, but it's heritability is still in question.
An astonishing scaleless specimen was hatched in Europe on October 4, 2002 from a pairing between a Cornsnake and an Emory's Ratsnake. This fantastic Rootbeer Corn survived and in conjunction with a respected US breeder was proven an autosomal recessive trait. The line in now firmly established in herpetoculture.
Specimens exhibiting a very wide mid-dorsal stripe, with pale center have been labeled as 'Wide Stripe'. We've been working with a small colony of these snakes for a few years and it has already provided a few surprises. First, it has proven itself to be 100% heritable (when two specimens exhibiting this appearance are bred together all offspring exhibit the trait) Second, it has proven itself to be codominant (at least against Anery and Snow corns) in limited test breedings. Surprisingly, when we quietly began asking if others were familiar with this trait, we were told of a second line of snakes exhibiting this appearance. Oddly, this line appears to be more of a selected appearance, not reproducing with consistency. Clearly, much more work remains to be done with these two lines to sort out what is really going on with them.
A pattern variant rapidly being crossed into all known color varieties. Creates a broad very wavy stripe along the dorsum, often with breaks or incomplete sections which are normally patterned. This trait appears to be controlled by multiple alleles and snakes listed as 'heterozygous' for the trait cannot be expected to produce offspring exhibiting the trait in a fashion consistent with other traits which are controlled by single alleles. An older rarely used name for this trait was Zipper. Several color mutations have been produced bearing this appearance. see also Cornsnake Patterns