If you don't see the information you need in the FAQs section below please use the "inquiries" button located in the button cluster at the top left of this page to pose your question(s). The FAQs section will be updated as new relevant topics arise.
||Is the gene responsible for hypomelanism a simple recessive? And what about the genetics of the pattern variation?
|A:||The gene responsible for hypomelanism has proven to be a simple recessive. The pattern variations are linked to the hypomelanism gene but we are not certain what conditions lead to the expression of the various pattern groups. Consequently, we are unable to predict pattern outcomes at this point. This is likely to change as more hobbyists come on board to work on the puzzle.|
|Q:||Will the VRHD hold their colors?
|A:||There is little point in mentioning specific examples but, more often than not, color related mutations
in many species available today produce very brightly colored juveniles
with adults becoming quite a bit more subdued colorwise as they age/grow. The
exact opposite occurs with the VRHD. The VRHD are one of the uncommon instances
where older, larger animals are several orders of magnitude more colorful than the
|Q:||How large do these animals grow to be?
|A:||VRHD, like other Pituophis,
are large, muscular colubrids as adults. They tend to be relatively
slender as juveniles and subadults. Once they hit about 4 ft. they
begin bulking up to become relatively stout adults. Typical large adult
length would be 5 to 5.5 ft. Some robust and particularly well fed
individuals may eventually approach 7 ft., but that is not the norm
with specimens kept under healthy captive conditions. Our largest and
oldest deppei is a male measuring about 6 ft.
|Q:||What is the deppei temperament like?
|A:||As with their coloring and patterning, the temperament of deppei varies quite a bit. Some deppei
can be fearful and others quite calm and inquisitive. The are usually
never bellicose but will expel air and rattle the tail when they feel
threatened. Striking out is kept in reserve for the most dire
situations. When grown under good husbandry practices and handled
properly, these snakes can be a joy to work with. Our outreach snake
for the last 20 years has been a large (6ft) male that is very inquisative and seems
to enjoy human contact.
Durango Mtn. Pines do not appreciate high temperatures. Temporarily warm temperatures for digestion are fine, otherwise they like it on the cool side, ie, human comfortable room temperatures. Kept too warm, these animals grow very restless and may panic. They fare best under captive conditions practiced for most other montane colubrid species.
|Q:||Are the VRHD some kind of albino or partial albino?|
|A:||There is often some confusion
the terms albinism and hypomelanism are used. The VRHD are not albinos - partial or otherwise.
|Q:||Can you tell which VRHD will produce the pattern that I am interested in?|
don't claim to understand the inheritance rules governing
VRHD pattern expression at this point in the adventure. It will be
interesting to watch as hobbyists decipher VRHD pattern inheritance rules
which will undoubtedly happen in the next few years. Thus far we have
been merely observers, not orchestrator's, of
the profusion of patterns associated with this snake.
|Q:||Are the VRHDs the product of hybridization with other Pituophis genre/species?|
|A:||An easy one. VRHD are pure, unadulterated Pituophis deppei deppei. Our
deppei collection has been sealed for many years and is limited to the
original Los Mimbres collecting locality.
|Q:||Can I breed a VRHD to another deppei locality and pass along the VRHD gene?|
|A:||Most likely. This has not been tested, however.|
|Q:||Will Vivid offer heterozygous VRHD?|
we will produce heterozygous VRHD in order to keep the strain
genetically robust but these will not be available in the near future.
|Q:||Will Vivid offer payment plans for the VRHD?|
offer a net 30 day, interest free payment plan. Payment plans will
require a minimum 25% deposit to initiate the plan. The deposit is
non-refundable except under conditions of non-performance on the part of Vivid Reptiles.
|Q:||Does the VRHD genotype/phenotype occur in the wild?
|A:||Two or three decades ago I would have confidently answered, "no way" to this question. However, I have seen many strange things from the wild over the years, including hypomelanistic specimens. Heterozygous hypo deppei could exist as a subset to the main local population with occasional heterozygous X heterozygous pairings being inevitable. The deeper question here is whether or not the genes associated with hypomelanism play some kind of role in the long term survival of the species.|
|Q:||What is the product of crossing a Summer Phase with a Winter Phase?
|A:||This crossing has produced offspring
of both types. Oddly, we are
not seeing much by way of intermediates. However, I wouldn't read too
much into this as it is still very early days.
|Q:||What would you recommend in pairing these animals?
Vivid approach usually
involves breeding to maximize diversity as diversity is what makes the
magic happen. This is also the approach that exposes traits not seen
before. We have taken this approach with many snake genre over
the last three and a half decades and it has opened many doors that
would probably never have opened using single trait line breeding. It
gets down to personal choice of course and whether or not variation
floats your boat.