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Chat Transcript
Steve Osborne 1/22/99


Jeff Barringer - Steve is working on a number of neat projects including albino ballpythons gilas and the famous/infamous hyrid king/milks
Steve Osborne - Thank you very much, Jeff, for the guest chat invitation and I'm happy to answer all questions

Jeff Barringer - this chat will be moderated form here on in. I will ask each of you in turn to ask steve a question and we will follow the name list on the right. OK first question goes to amazoa.

unknown - Steve when do see the price on albino balls to start to drop?
Steve Osborne - This year, approx. 15-20 albino Ball Pythons were produced nationwide. The pent up demand is still very high in the $7500. price structure and it will take several years of 50 or more albinos produced before I expect a price variation

Amazoa - Steve will you be at the orlando expo?
Steve Osborne - Yes, I will be at Orlando this year. We have been exhibitors every year since the first Orlando Expo, which was in 1990.

ATHERIS - steve, anyone breeding an albino boa to a hogg isle, for a smaller albino boa, maybe one that changes color at night?
Steve Osborne - I'm not aware of the albino boa x hogg combination, but it's highly likely someone is developing this.

billyb - u have any special ball python projects that u can talk about here? and where did the emerald(pied) come from?
Steve Osborne - Currently, we are working with the albino and piebald gene and attempting to combine these with the gold striped, ghost, and jungle phases. We have already completed the first high yellow albino with jungle breeding resulting in 3 hatchlings in 1997. The jungle trait partially showed through in all 3 hatchlings
Steve Osborne - Regarding the piebald Emerald.... This gene trait occurred in West Germany in 1989 by a private breeder named Volker Franz. It was a one-time event and the newborns would not perform on growing, I do not know if any genetic material still exists

CrotalusCo - What techniques do you use to get the different species to mate?
Steve Osborne - Some of the specie hybrid crosses require no special inducement to breed while others require a receptive female for the same species as the male for the male to align with and receive positive scent feedback, then you place the back portion of the male's body onto the back portion of the female that you want bred and ideally the tails lign up for copulation

FCREPTILES - Steve, first hello, I really like the tarahumara TYPE 11 mnt kings and arizona mnt. kings however I hear they are like gray-bands very difficult to get to eat! Is this true and are you working on an albino knoblochi or pyro ?
Steve Osborne - The Tarahumara Mtn. King Type II trait originates from a single wild caught female that I collected near the type locality in 1987. She was the first female I know of to produce this subspecies in captivity, which occured in 1988. One of the big attractions to the knoblochi is that a relatively high percentage of the babies readily feed on live or split-head pinkies. I am working on hybrid albino knoblochi x ruthveni and woodinixruthveni. The first knob

FCREPTILES - What exactly is the Lavendar Brooks phase that you are working with?
Steve Osborne - The lavender Brook's originates from 2 wild caught specimens purchased from a pet store in Louisiana and traced back to the Lake Okeechobee area of Florida. The first lavender albino wads produced in 1994, only one, a male. Since that time a total of approx. 20 lavender Brook's have been produced....Does this answer your question ??
FCREPTILES - Did the 2 purchased show any traits?
Steve Osborne - No, the original adults were normal Brook's. The trait breeds true like other albinos and shows a fairly wide variation of color in the adults
FCREPTILES - Thanks, I have been interested in them
Steve Osborne - Also of interest from our Axanthic Brook's lineage is the occurance of an identical match to the licorice Rat Snake only it is a pure Brook's. Only one hatched out of the clutch, Axanthic to normal Brook's, and it is a male.
FCREPTILES - wow, I'll need to e-mail you on that one

Goyno - I am brumating some generic Pyros but I live in Vegas and this winter has been very odd warm-cold-warm-cold etc. I brumate in an upstairs bedroom and the temp has been averaging app.58F Is this sufficient for Pyros and if so, what is the shortest brumation period sufficient for successful breeding? I feel like winter is fast disappearing and they may have to come out soon. Also Steve, do you do Asian Rat snakes of any type?
Steve Osborne - The 58 degrees temp. can work with the Pyros, but 52 to 55 degrees is better insurance and has worked well for many breeders. It's best not to test the minimum cooling time, sine we know that 3 months definitely works. Not a lot of data exists to be able to answer successfully what the minimum time actually is
Goyno - Thanks Steve, I was wondering if you had any experience w/Goynosomas?
Steve Osborne - To Goyno.... Not working with any Asian Rat Snakes at this time, but habe worked with Elaphe t. taeniura in the past and know of some pure leucistics of this type that have occurred recently
Goyno - Thanks for your time - do you know of anyone who is working w/Goynosomas?

Ron Billingsley - With all these states making new Herp laws, where do you see our hobby in 5 to 10 years?
Steve Osborne - A little background.. I've been involved in pro-active legislation for herpetoculture since 1982, mostly in California at the state level and a few years ago at the federal level for Heloderma. The best plan of action in any state is to formulate workable herpetoculture regulations on the state level BEFORE a controversy or negative legal action in that state occurs.
Ron Billingsley - I am from Indiana, and I have been knee deep in it for some time
Steve Osborne - Generally, public officials legislate along the lines of safety and perceived public trust. Unfortunately, I think it is going to be incresingly difficult to interrupt the tide against larger constrictors, with the standard " 6 foot rule" probably becoming more and more common on the city and state level.
Steve Osborne - In regard to field collecting, I think it is very easy to target herp collectors along the lines of increasing environmental protection by regulating agencies.

snakeman - Hi Steve, I bought a gila from you this fall and the animal is doing fantastic. Have you started a waiting list for this year's offspring, if not do you notify prior year's buyers?
Steve Osborne - Hi snakeman... glad to hear about the Gila !!! We generally begin the reservation list a year prior to hatching time, so for the Gilas that started back in September 1998 for 1999 babies. Expecting about 30 hatchlings this year, about 20 are reserved now.

TomC - snow san diegos, what recessive mutations are required to produce this snake and do you sell the aner's or axanthatic animals? any history you wanna share? the only aner. gophers I knew of were pacifics. These a hybrid? which I support myself but we probly better stay off the thin ice huh? so any info on the annectans will be sufficient unless we can beat up on my friend KJ...just kidding. He's a great guy. I'm hoping he's hiding in here somewhere....
Steve Osborne - Hi TomC, glad to answer...... I have not followed this recent development with the snow San Diegos, so not sure what the background is. Similarly, I have not heard about a true Axanthic annectans, only the catinifer. I was involved in the ground floor development of the Albino Sonoran Gophers back in 1976-78. Really a special animal the albino affinis and we still have 1.1 in the "favorite" collection here in Whitefish
TomC - amell annectans are a fav fo mine to

t-rick - Hi Steve,I think I used up all my questions last night,But what other interesting hybrid projects have you heard of,or are you working on?
Steve Osborne - Hi Rick..... The only hybrids that I have worked on involve the albino Lampropeltis ruthveni crossed with L. m. greeri, L. m. thayeri, L. alterna, L. p. woodini, L. p. knoblochi, and L. t. campbelli. All of these have excellent developments going on with backcrossing to improve the appearance of the albinos. I am interested to see what a chondro x jungle carpet would look like, mostly curiousity

Amazoa - Steve describe a Jungle Ball Python. How were they developed? Also I have a female Boa that is 40% through her gestation period. Am I stressing her out by leaving the male in with her? He is showing no attempts to breed he did that prior to her ovulating. How soon after the babies are born do you get the mother out of their?
Steve Osborne - The Jungle Ball Python is best described with an accurate photo, but the basic description is reduced pattern with distinct black bars, light colored mark on top of the head, and gorgeous yellow or gold coloration especially vivid in babies. We believe this trait combined with the albino will lead to the most brilliant albino phase, since the black will not be a factor inhibiting the jungle contribution, which is a problem in jungle adults
Steve Osborne - Amazoa.... no problem leaving the male Boa with the female, just to ensure that she is gravid now. Don't worry to much either about the mom injuring the babies, mom knows what's going on

CrotalusCo - Do you know of any cases of Gene therapy or artificial infertialization to produce new color morphs or hybrids?
Steve Osborne - I am not aware of any gene therapy, and the only artificial insemination work I am familiar with in snakes was at the Houston Zoo in the early 1980's ( Greg Megden ) without much success and with American Alligators in Florida with reasonably good success

FCREPTILES - Steve, I have 3 small questions. but first I promised Amy Zerkle that I would say hi for her ,and Rob!#1 what is your favorite type of albino colubrid? are there any known albino scarlet kings? and what type of substrate do you use to incubate your eggs in? vermiculite/perolite/?
Steve Osborne - To FCREPTILES.. Thanks for the greeting from Rob and Amy....1) favorite albino colubrid is: multiple favorites within the hybrid ruthveni projects, especially L. ruthveni x peach thayeri, L. alterna x ruthveni, L. t. campbelli x ruthveni, and the new developments we are doing in refining the look of the albino Honduran with the Super Hypo. I know of the existance of the albino Scarlet Kings. We exclusively use vermiculite now in varying moisture ratios

Amazoa - I have a Gray band male alterna light phase that had not eaten since hatching in August. The breeder out in Las Vegas gave me a good price on it since it was a non-feeder. I have tried all the pinkie tricks and have resorted slipping feeder fish down its mouth. He has been on them for 5 weeks now and has shed twice and gaining weight and size. I know this is not the usual method but am I doing any harm by getting him over this hump
Steve Osborne - No harm, Amazoa, although a unique application. You may want to consider fuzzie or larger mice tails instead
Amazoa - how small to cut the mice tails?
Steve Osborne - One inch lengths to start.

Jeff Barringer - thank you for being our guest chatter tonight steve....
Steve Osborne - You're welcome Jeff. And thanks to everyone for the great questions. It was very enjoyable


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