Orangasm Gene Explanation and History

The History of the Orangasm gene
In 1997 Frank Martin bred an anery male to a “normal” female.  This pairing produced 17 babies, 5 anery and 2 “rusty” looking snakes (which later became knows as orangasm).  The rusty colored snakes developed a truer orange coloring as they got older. Then, Frank bred 2 of the paler female anery babies to an albino male and produced two clutches of double het snows.  These clutches contained many more rusty (orangasm) colored babies.  In 2003 one of the original female rusty snakes was bred to a hypo het anery and produced more rusty colored snakes. This pattern continued, giving us the orangasm gene.

What are the Traits of the Orangasm gene?

  • Normal Orangasm: looks very similar to a dark pastel. The snake will have a burnt orange body and head combined with lots of black speckling.
  • Orangasm Anery: has a slight rusty or red look throughout the body. Is almost un-noticeable until compared to a non-orangasm anery. They are usually more pale and look slightly crispy.
  • Orangasm Hypo: has very bright reds and orange colors that carry throughout the body and head. This boa has little to no black speckling but instead has many vibrant reds.
  • Orangasm Sunglow: has rich red sides and no black pigment (because of the albino gene). The reds stay vibrant up the head and sometimes onto the face.
  • Orangasm Ghost: has heavy dark blacks and vibrant grays. Light and Dark grays speckling caries throughout the body and head.
  • Orangasm Moonglow: has aery white and soft yellow coloring the dark pastel purple saddles which fade to a translucent pure white as it moves toward the head.

Orangasm Gene Genetics
The orangasm gene is usually passed to about 50% of the babies when crossed with a non-orangasm. At this point it is still unclear if the orangasm gene is a polygene* or monogenic**.  Regardless, it’s an amazing gene that makes some killer looking snakes. For example, when the orangasm gene is present in the moonglow boa it makes the moonglow a more vibrant white (click here to photo of orangasm moonglow vs regular moonglow). When two orangasm boas are bread together the results are usually around 75% orangasm babies and 25% non-orangasm.

*  Polygene – A group of genes that produce a specific phenotype or trait only when expressed together
** Monogenic – Involving or controlled by a single gene

Take a look at a few of the photos below showing some of the orgasms we have produced compared to other non orangasm boas.

Orangasm Sunglow het. Anery

orangasm-sunglow-het-moonglow

Orangasm Hypo Jungle

orangasm-jungle-triple-het-moonglow

Orangasm Moonglow

orangasm-moonglow-red-tail-boa

Orangasm Arabesque Albino

orangasm-arabesque-albino-red-tail-boa

Live or Frozen Thawed Feeder Rats

What do you feed your adult red tail boas? Live or frozen thawed? If you feed live can adult red tail boas change to eat frozen thawed rats?

We feed all of our boas frozen thawed rats and we order them from Rodent Pro. I would never recommend feeding live rats to any snake as the rats can be aggressive towards the snake. See the photos below of snakes with bite marks.

Depending on the bite or scratch your snake could become critically injured or killed.

Breeding one male with two female red tail boas

Hi. I have 2 female red tail boas both 7 foot and one male red tail 7.5 feet. Im new to breeding. Im trying to find out if its possible to breed the one male with both females in the same breeding season. I have all three snakes in would i rotate the
male and for how long should i have the male with each female.thanks.
- Isaac

It is definitely possible to breed one male with multiple females. One thing you want to make sure of before going into the breeding season is that your male boa is large/well fed. Males will usualy not eat/eat only a little during the breeding season and its not uncommon for a male boa to shed a few pounds while breeding.

There are a few ways to go about breeding one male with multiple females:

First if you have a large enough enclosure/tank you can put both the females in with the male, but be sure to never put two males in the same cage with one female as the males will fight. The females will not fight each other and the male will breed both of them.

If your enclosure is not large enough for all three boas then you can rotate the male between the two females enclosures. There is no magic number as far as days or weeks to leave the male in with the females, just be sure to watch for the ovulation of the female and make sure you pull the male out of the females cage after they have stopped breeding. You don’t want the male snake in the enclosure with the babies when they are born as the male will eat the young ones.

Hope that answered your question. Feel free to comment if you have any other questions.

Good luck on breeding this year

 

Inclusion Body Disease – IBD

Hello William,

I have many questions regarding these beautiful reptiles and the fatal disease called IBD. I have 2 red tail boas. I recently lost my male to IBD. I’ve had him for a little over a year. I thought he had a respiratory infection. Took him to the vet. I was instructed to soak him in an inch of water due to dehydration. Little to say my boa drowned. We took him back to the vet where an autopsy was conducted. He had pneumonia and inclusions in the samples that were taken. One of my questions is can the respiratory infection cause inclusions in the samples that were taken? I have a female boa and a carpet python. What can I do to check if they have the disease? I understand that your are not a vet. However you are a breeder therefore more experienced the myself and I would greatly appreciate any advice and feed back you may have. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Lisa”


I am greatly sorry for the loss of your snake. IBD is a terrible disease that effects and eventually kills boas and pythons. However some people speculate that other snakes may be able to host the virus.

Images by Peter Khal

First off let me explain a little about Inclusion Body Disease. It is believed IBD is a viral disease, the pathogen appears to be a retrovirus (as it is the case with AIDS). It produces inclusion bodies that are found in the epithelial cells of the respiratory and digestive tracts, as well as in the liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, ovaries, testicles, marrow and nerve cells. This results in abnormal changes of the tissue in the retina, brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves and organs.

Images by others

I do not believe that a respiratory infection could have caused the disease, it is however common for boas and pythons to get the disease from snake mites (Ophionyssus Natricis). Snake mites have often been found in collections in which IBD has occurred but it is not connected with all cases of infection.

Images by others

In order to diagnose the disease, organ tissue samples must be obtained for analysis. The first signs may include symptoms of regurgitation, head tremors, abnormal shedding, chronic regurgitation and lack of appetite or refusal to feed. The snake will lose weight and may develop clogged nostrils, inflammation of the mucous lining in the mouth and/or pneumonia. The disease can rapidly progress to produce nervous system disorders, such as disorientation, corkscrewing of the head and neck, holding the head in abnormal and unnatural positions, rolling onto its back or stargazing.

Unfortunately there is no known treatment for IBD.

I strongly urge a quarantine all new boas and pythons for at least 4-6 months, and to take precautions when visiting other collections, pet stores, expos or swaps.