The Snow Boa is a result of the combination of two recessive traits, albinism and anerythrism, to create a new lineage of boa constrictor known as the snow boa. The first snow boa was produced during the 1996 breeding season by Pete Kahl. Pete started this project five years ago by breeding an albino male to an anerythristic female. Anerythristic boas do not produce red pigment in the skin, a condition similar to albinism in which no black pigment is produced. The offspring from this litter are normal in appearance, but are heterozygous gene carriers for two recessive traits, albinism and anerythrism. These offspring are commonly referred to as double hets or double heterozygous for snow. When these double hets are bred to each other, the resulting litter of babies will be comprised of four different color phases. On the average, 9/16 of the litter will appear normal, 3/16 will be albino, 3/16 will be anerythristic and 1/16 will be a beautiful snow boa. 

    The appearance of the snow boa is whiter than that of an albino boa and lacks all red pigment, replacing it with a silvery shade of white. At birth, the pattern is faintly defined as a lavender color, giving the snake a mystical appearance. Pete has already started to breed several different bloodlines of albinos and anerythristics to ensure that breeders and enthusiasts establish proper genetic diversity in their collections.

    The snow boa has become one of the most popular boa constrictor color variants available to herpetoculturists. The snow boa is, in a sense, the first truly domestic lineage of boa constrictor. The genetic variation of "snow" is a man-made condition never observed in nature. Its creation is the most tangible evidence of the successes of herpetoculture.

Article compliments of: Peter Kahl

Photos compliments of: Peter Kahl