Aztec Corn Snake

Years ago at one of the Mid-Atlantic shows, I was presented with a couple pairs of animals from Bob McIvor and Sam Mandolesi. They were very oddly patterned and they referred to them as 'aberrants'. They were offshoots of a line of Zipper or Zig-Zag corns that was started by John Albrecht and continued on by Dan Thomasco. Apparently, some would develop a completely broken up dorsal pattern that had no rhyme nor reason, no two ever really looking like the other. Every bit as different as finger prints. Generally the way it works is I will have animals for months and eventually a name seems to become applicable to them, based on any number of reasons. Perhaps in this case I had recently read a National Geographics magazine about the Aztec culture and possibly the patterns of their artwork stuck in my mind. But for whatever reason the name 'Aztec' was what I started to refer to these animals as. Somewhere along the line, I mentioned this name to several people and everyone I talked to seemed to like the name. I'm sure not everyone agrees, but that is to be expected.

This is NOT a genetically recessive trait. It is very unpredictable and doesn't appear to follow any rules at all. I have had occasions of breeding Aztec to Aztec and getting mostly normal looking animals. I have also bred Aztec to another cultivar and gotten Aztec looking animals in the first generation. Many times Zig-Zags or Zipper corns will also result from your breeding efforts. These are all possible from any given clutch of eggs, as well as another peculiar looking variant that has a broad stripe down the back, that appears now and again. You will NEVER know what is going to hatch out of those eggs from this particular line.

Coloration seems to follow two distinct paths, possibly because my original animals came from two distinct sources. One line is very Miami Phase in color with very contrasting red to orange-red patterns on a grayish background. The other line tends to me more of a red-orange on a dark orange background. Of course, everything in between is also possible since I tend to breed both lines together. As should be expected, projects are in place to produce this pattern along with the various genetic color variants available, so expect to see some interesting looking animals in the future based on this cultivar.

Copyright © 2001 by Rich Zuchowski/SerpenCo
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