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Black Rat is Brown, Morph or Natural?

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Posted by: Ameron at Sat Jun 13 13:06:31 2015  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Ameron ]  
   

Just over a year ago, I rescued a Black Ratsnake from a state-sponsored reptile rescue south of Seattle. The rescue owner recalled little about the snake's original donor, except that he lived near Kelso, Washington.

However, my snake is NOT black. He is very chestnut or chocolate brown. The upper third of his sides have high white speckling, and his belly has a salmon color like an Emory Ratsnake.

At first, I thought that he is a naturally occurring hypomelanistic specimen. Later, I learned more about George Miskimmons and his line of morphs. I now wonder if my snake is the result of a bad attempt to breed an Albino, or a High-white "Licorice" snake.

Main clues:

1) We are on the West Coast, nowhere near his home range.
2) Black Ratsnakes are uncommon in the pet trade, seldom sold online unless as an Albino or Licorice variety

Experienced herpers please reply and let me know which of these scenarios YOU vote for:

A) Wild-caught hypomelanistic snake that was later moved to the West Coast?
B) Captive-bred morph with Albino or Brindle genes?

Thanks for voting and sharing your opinions!

Desert Don
Vancouver, WA
 
1.0 Pantherophis obsoleta obsoleta
1.0 Lampropeltis getula splendida
1.0 Terrapene carolina carolina

(Photobucket link photos include some of when he temporarily got loose and raided local bird nests. My housemate got distracted and lost my snake in our yard, but he was later found. Long story, please don't ask. You have probably lost at least one snake yourself.)
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