If you are interested in the Moray project, please feel free to read the information below. ( Update 24-02-2019 )
After finding the Stranger gene you think something similar could never happen again. Well, we were wrong. In September 2017 something similar happened again. Totally unexpected we found a gene which looked a lot like the Monsoon gene. But before rushing into things let’s start at the beginning.
Back in 2014 while we were working on several Clown projects we hatched 2 Fire females which could possibly carry the Clown gene ( 50% hets ). As possible is “nothing” we could sell them as Fire females but these females looked a bit different from the Fire look we were used to. Not having much experience with Clown back then, our first explanation was that it must be het Clowns. So we decided not to sell them but to keep them for future breeding and prove them out.
In season 2017 both females were breedable and we bred them. When making the breeding plans, it turned out that both girls were going to be bred to related males. One was 25% related and the other 50% related. We decided to do this as other unrelated males were already assigned to different breeding groups and we would not like to change that. This was more of a side project to prove the girls to be het for Clown. We bred them as planned and all went well, both girls gave us eggs, one week from each other.
At the 9th of September 2017 we cut the first egg of a 6 egg clutch, really excited to find Clown offspring… but this excitement went to flabbergasted in a split second. What is this? Hold on, let me check again, was this for real!? Yes it was! ….. We saw a baby ball python with a look we never saw before. It took some time to let this sink in and with shaking hands we continued to cut the other eggs. In this clutch we found Clown combos but also combos which clearly seems to have a related gene, which we never saw before. We cut this clutch at day 53 so it was still a week before they would come out of the egg. This was going to be a long wait.
At the 17th of September 2017 the first one came out and we were really flabbergasted. It looked like we hit some kind of “Monsoon type” Clown combo. Immediately posted it on Facebook and it got so much attention it was crazy. We even had contact with Dave Green, the founder of the Monsoon gene, that evening as lots of people thought we hit a Monsoon Clown. When talking to Dave about how we found this snake, what the pairing was and where the parents came from and even deeper where our collection came from, we could not find a relation between his collection and ours. So whatever the future would bring we could never call this gene Monsoon, so for the moment we called it “Monsoon type”. But we are rushing things again, back to the other clutch.
The good thing was, 1 day earlier there was the other clutch waiting to be cut. When we cut this 6 eggs clutch we also found 3 snakes which are clearly carrying the same gene as we saw in the other clutch. So at this point , looking at the relation between the pairings and the snakes, the gene we are looking at has to be recessive.
In season 2018 we did similar pairings. Both Fire females were bred to one of the males which started this project. This time we hit 1 “Monsoon type” ball python in each clutch. Less lucky then the year before but still very good from pairing het x het. At this point we own 8 visible “Monsoon type” snakes, 4 proven hets and even more 66% hets which we need to prove later on.
Our goal for season 2019 is to try to isolate the gene and find out which genes are in the snakes we own. All 8 “Monsoon types” are combos and from most of them we are not 100% sure what is in them. We have a good idea about it, but the gene changes the overall looks so dramatically, that it is hard to recognize all genes in them. We have to breed the males to Normals to let the genes fall apart and see what is in them. It’s a nice learning experience. Hopefully we are also be able to isolate the gene. Would be nice to see what the single gene looks like.
Season 2019 is getting closer and we think it is time the “Monsoon type” gene gets its own name so as of today the gene will be called, the Moray gene.
This does not say it’s a different gene than the Monsoon gene, but with all information we have today we just have to handle it as a different gene. In the future we will try to find out if it’s compatible.
When new information is available we will add it here.