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Tessera (????)

E` una recentissima scoperta, ed è il primo gene dominante scoperto nei Pantherophis guttatus. E` un gene che modifica il pattern, ma non è ancora stato provato se vi siano differenze fenotipiche nelle forme eterozigote ed omozigote. Prende questo nome dalla struttra “a mosaico” del pattern laterale.

©Graham Criglow – Strange Cargo Exotics

©Graham Criglow – Strange Cargo Exotics

©Graham Criglow – Strange Cargo Exotics

Di seguito, vi è la storia originale della scoperta di questo nuovissimo morph, scritta dal suo scopritore Graham Criglow. www.scexotics.com


In March of 2007 I purchased a trio of young odd looking “striped” cornsnakes that my friend KJ Lodrigue had seen for sale online. These animals had almost a striped-motley pattern, but still contained a fair amount of black within the striping. When they arrived, the 1.2 trio turned out to be a 2.1 reverse trio.
Working out-of-town for weeks at a time, I decided to send a majority of my collection to KJ (KJUN Snakehaven) on loan- including the “Striped Okeetee” project. We gave extra male to my friend Don Soderberg (South Mountain Reptiles). In 2008 our female wasn’t large enough to breed, but the male was bred an unrelated okeetee at KJUN Snakehaven.
Don, impressed with the unusual amount of black present on the “Striped Okeetee” male, bred it to multiple female okeetees in his collection. We expected “hets” from our breedings. Only a few (4 or 5 if I remember correctly) of KJ’s eggs hatched that year- all were “normal” okeetees. It wasn’t until a phone call from Don that we knew they were something special. Don was ecstatic- his clutches from the breedings contained ~50% normals and ~50% of the strange “Striped Okeetees”. Those results sparked this entire project. We decided to call these odd looking animals “Tessera” Cornsnakes. “Tessellate” means “to form a mosaic pattern” and “tessera” is one of the Latin roots for it.
Knowing that these were either a Co-Dominant or Dominant gene, in 2009 we bred our adult pair together to try and figure out another piece of this exciting puzzle. This small clutch produced mainly Tessera Corns and a few normals. Although there was no obvious “super” form, continued breedings will confirm this. For now we are calling these a Dominant gene.

What’s makes a Tessera different from other striped/striped motley corns?
KJ Lodrigue posted the following well written answer on an online forum:

“1. The black lines were obvious. These are never present on striped corns and are so rare on motleys that they can almost be ignored. The new snakes are more of a “lined” corn than a striped corn!
2. Lateral patterns were heavily checkered in a mosaic-like pattern. The best way to describe the lateral pattern is that is strongly resembles digital camouflage patterns. Normal stripes and motleys have the dorsal pattern absent or modified into a partial, thin, stripe.
3. Ventral scales were usually edged in black (similar to many “het bloodred” cornsnakes but darker and more obvious) and many had partial checkers over much of the ventral surface
4. Overall coloration was that of a NORMAL cornsnake. Striped and motley cornsnakes have a hypo-like appearance. These do NOT. They retain the beautiful coloration of a normal cornsnake while having a striped-motley like pattern with intricate sides.
5. The dorsal stripe was almost always complete from head to tail, and it does not yet seem to turn into a true motley or striped pattern when outcrossed. In most cases, the “stripes” above the spine are, at most, broken in only 1 or 2 small places.”


We consider ourselves very privileged to be working with this exciting new gene. This is the FIRST dominant gene to ever be discovered in cornsnakes. The future combinations are endless. I won’t mention much, but particularly amazing looking “striped Tesseras” have hatched from a few clutches. We only have a handful of these animals- looking like a Tessera (with black pigment along the dorsal striping) but they posses a clean/patternless sides. Hopefully this will ignite new interest in the colubrid hobby!