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Chat Transcript
Brian Sharp 12/15/99

Jeff Barringer - Our subject tonight is Brian Sharp - Albino Boas and Pythons'
Brian Sharp - Anything in that general area will be just fine.

amazoa - Our albino's and hets alimentary canals more fragile then normals? I'm talking about the babies.
Brian Sharp - Yes, I used to breed a lot of albino burmese, and I noticed that they, too had more oddities occur than genetically normal animals.

BG - What do you think albino boas will be at this year in Daytona? your strain and the original strain?
Brian Sharp - Wow, let me get out my crystal ball. There will likely be a drop in both strains, although I have not produced babies from my strain since 1997.

CudaMan - Whats is going on with the price of Albino Ball Pythons?
Brian Sharp - Like anything else, people selling albino ball pythons will have varying circumstances under which they are selling their animals, and if they have urgent financial needs, prices may be dropped accordingly. I think the albino ball is an incredible animal with tremendous potential.

gordie - You've stated the albinos are more susceptible with med problems etc...what othe alleles are linked with albinism?
Brian Sharp - I'm not sure of other linkages, but it has been well known regarding most albino morphs that they tend to be somewhat weaker in most respects than their genetically normal counterparts.

JChlebowy - Brian, ya know there is some confusion about the topic if Albino boas are pure imperators, any points that ya can give?
Brian Sharp - Any adult albino boas out there now are in all likelihood, albino imperators. I have heard of one or two albino Surinames going to Europe, perhaps. I think the idea of intensifying the colors of an albino boa by bringing in some Suriname influence is interesting.

JustinM - Hi Brian, What do you think of the Hogg Island Boas? Do you think that they will ever be as popular as the Colombian? Also I have seen some rather large Hogg Island Boas out there, do you think they may come from a different lineage than the smaller ones?
Brian Sharp - The Hogg is a neat animal, although I have also seen some pretty good sized ones. They will have to go a long way to overtake the Colombian in popularity. "Hoggs" that have been imported have probably been collected from more than one island, and may reach different max lengths. That may be one of those animals I was just referring to. It may have come from other than Hogg Island, but still has a very similar appearance (pattern and color).

Robpulay - Brian, what other morphs of reasonably priced balls do you like that are proven genetic?
Brian Sharp - I don't know how reasonably priced they are, but I really like the ghost balls as well as the albinos. That's probably why I'm working with those two morphs.

RyanG - Do you prefer to incubate ball python eggs maternally or artificially? what temps and humidity levels do you use for each?
Brian Sharp - I definitely prefer artificial incubation. I do all "regular" python eggs at 89 F, and with high relative humidity. I use vermiculite and mix with water until it is moist and clumps in my hand. I've never found it necessary to measure the humidity.

scrubpython - Do you deal with suriname red tails and do you consider it a true red tailed boa (because i know a lot of people who don't)?
Brian Sharp - Yes, the Suriname is my favorite boa, and yes, in my estimation, it certainly is a true red-tail. I think it may be the prettiest of all. I have several in my collection.

SRAT - Is albinism a single or double recessive gene, it is my understanding that if it were single, you couldn't breed two albinos and get a normal colored offspring, in other words would it be Aaa in a punnet square rather than Aa..?? this is the only way that I can figure that something can be labled 66% chance het....
Brian Sharp - To my understanding, albinism is a simple ( or single) recessive gene. As long both breeders are of the same strain of albinism, you will get all albino offspring. The 66% chance het label comes from a het to het breeding where 2 out of every 3 of the normal looking babies will be hets, like the parents.

TobyH - Albino Rosy many localitys are there, that are albino?
Brian Sharp - Don't get mad at me, but I've never kept a Rosy in my life, and know very little about them. I tend not to regard them as traditional boas.

JeffB - Is anyone working with true locality boas?
Brian Sharp - I think it is much tougher to try to accurately identify "locality boas, in that there are many areas of overlapping range, and boas have been known to "raft" along river systems from one area to another, further confusing things. The information on most boas being imported these days is hazy, at best.

amazoa - Since the Hypo gene pool is a codominate gene showing up in the first generation. When an Albino boa and a hypo are mated does the degree of coloration in the Hets for sunglow vary substantially if a F1 or F2 gen. Hypo is used?
Brian Sharp - I have not produced any thus far, and have only seen one or two such hets, so it would be largely speculation on my part. However, I would have to think that there would be individual variation among babies, as there is in other litters of offspring.

BG - What is the largest imperator in your collection?
Brian Sharp - The 1991 female albino boa that started my strain is now closing in on nine feet. I do have a captive bred Suriname female that is almost 11 feet.

caolan - Hi I was wondering if you were working with Dumerils boas because I am haveing trouble finding info on breeding can you give me any pointers? If not can you point me in the direction were I could get info?
Brian Sharp - I worked with Dumerils several years ago, and found them to be pretty straightforward to care for and breed. I really didn't "cycle" them any differently than any of my other boas. I do believe that they take a year or so longer to reach sexual maturity.

DeLay - What Retic projects are you working with now that you see a bright future with?
Brian Sharp - Boy, am I glad you asked! I'm working with two female albino retics that were collected almost two years ago. Unlike the other albino retics collected from Malaysia, these two girls are from Indonesia and have a different look, as well as, I think, a smaller ultimate adult size. Both have solid yellow heads and the smaller one has dark blue eyes as well.
DeLay - Cool, I know Bob's turned out polymorphic, any thoughts on yours being compatible with his line?
Brian Sharp - I'm sure they are not compatible. I personally looked at Bob's babies at the Expo, and thought they were beautiful animals. I wonder if they are truly polymorphic, or if the differences in the babies might be attributed to the varying influence of the normal females he used to produce his first hets.

gordie - Do you feel that part of the problem with predicting the outcome of breeding projects involving the mutations is because the various traits are found in several loci and therefore there is a huge variance in what is recessive, codominant etc.?
Brian Sharp - I think there is much that we don't yet know about inheritance in reptiles. I certainly wouldn't presume to be an authority on such matters. Most of what I've learned about genetics came from direct involvement with the animals, not from a background in Herpetology.

JChlebowy - Brian, what do ya think about the "new" tyrosinase+ albino boa strain Barkers work with?
Brian Sharp - It is interesting. That "strain" was started by a woman who owns a pet shop in Texas and produced two "albinos" from a breeding between two normal boas, which were not known to be hets. I have seen any recent photos of those boas and how they have developed into adulthood.

CudaMan - I heard you have a Calico Ball, What are your plans? Do you think it will prove out? Do you have any other unproven morphs you are working with?
Brian Sharp - That ball is on loan to me from a friend. It looks like a pied, but a little dark pigment from the underlying pattern shows through some parts of the white area. I don't know what to expect from the breeding. Hopefully, I'll find out this next year. This sort of thing helps keep all this madness fun. I'm also breeding a male Brazilian rainbow that started acquiring white blotches all along its back.

littleme - If the albino's have more defects in general, do you also notice any personality differences? Like more or less aggressive?
Brian Sharp - Good question. I'm reluctant to generalize, but I would have to say that the albinos generally may be a bit touchier. However, the great majority of them are totally cool and easy to handle. For that matter, I think Peruvians are generally more aggressive than Surinames, etc.

PeMiller - I have never really been much of a Boa constrictor guy , but i am growing more interested in the different color morphs. I now have a trio of F2 hypos that are screamers. what can i expect from their offspring? will these color intensify? also my male has an arabesque pattern, will this have much influence on them?
Brian Sharp - The babies from you F2s should probably be a bit nicer than their parents. It usually works that way. I know that happened with the ghost ball pythons I produced this year. The "arabesque" pattern, like any other pattern should influence some of the offspring. I'm trying to breed the male hypo Savannah to a normal female this year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

JFORKS - Jeff and I would like to thank Brian for being our guest tonight on chatweek99, OUTSTANDING job Brian, very informative....we can't wait to have you back!
Brian Sharp - Thanks, everyone. This has been fun!
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