Ho, ho, ho! It's Christmas in May!

Christmas in May
And all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a SPIDER! lol (will come back to this shortly).

It's been hectic around here for the last few weeks. A lot of babies hatching, a lot of females dropping clutches of eggs and a lot of excitement here at RCReptiles.com. Waiting for eggs to hatch seems to be the longest 60 days of your life but the last few days before they hatch are the LONGEST! It's a terrific feeling though when you hatch your first ball python egg. If you've bred before you know what I'm talking about. If not, you'll know what I mean when you get eggs from your female and go through the experience yourself.

The Punch Line
I cut a clutch of eggs today of which I thought was a pastel clutch. I bred a pastel to a female exclusively but I decided to put a spider in with her later in the season. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that her clutch was going to be pastels. Although the spider male copulated with her late in the season, I would have bet my left arm that the clutch was pastels. Glad I didn't make that bet because I would have lost my left arm! Well, half of my left arm because the clutch has two spiders in it AND I "think" one of the babies is a pastel! I've heard of a clutch sired by two different males but I never experienced this myself.

Here's the photo of what I "think" is a pastel (what do you think?)

Possible pastel ball python

Here's the photo of what I "know" is a spider

Spider ball python

I have to update the available page now and include the two new beautiful Mojave males that hatched out recently.


Life finds a way to live...

I had a ball python pip today so I cut open the remaining eggs. What I saw in one of the eggs almost made my heart stop! The bizarre thing was not just the physical appearance, it was the fact that it was ALIVE! I present to you, a physically deformed yet living and breathing ball python.

I'm going to euthanize it but I wanted to share this photo with you beforehand.

Physically mutated ball python

First hatchling of 2006!!!

Our first hatchling just emerged from her egg today. She's a beautiful Mojave ball python weighing in at 57 grams. She's from a clutch of five eggs and the odds were definately in my favor with this clutch. Four out of five Mojave's!!!

Female Mojave
2006 Mojave Female Hatchling

Mojave x Mojave breeding produces a blue eyed Lueucistic (Lucy) ball python. Their market value is in the $30,000 range. I know it's hard to believe that Mojave's produce a Lucy (white snake w/ blue eyes) but genetics is such a wonderful thing!

Leucistic Ball Python

This is a photo of the normal ball python in the clutch. It has yet to leave its egg but this is truly something you don't get to see everyday!
2006 Normal Ball Python Hatchling in Egg

Here's another photo that you don't get to see everyday. It's a ball python fetus from a different clutch that didn't make it full term this year. :-(
2006 Fetus in egg. Didn't make it full term.

To be or not to be...That is the question.

Ball Pythons in the Wild DVD
If you haven't heard by now, I'm the executive producer of Ball Pythons in the Wild DVD. I'm the guy responsible for bringing the video footage to DVD and consequently, into your home. If you don't have the DVD then go buy it at Dr. Steve Gorzula Presents - Ball Pythons in the Wild. The video documentary was filmed by Dr. Steve Gorzula back in 1997 during his CITES commissioned ball python field survey. You can check out his actual survey in PDF format here SURVEY OF THE STATUS AND MANAGEMENT OF THE ROYAL PYTHON (Python regius) IN GHANA. When he originally filmed or documented the survey on video, he had no idea that it would be converted to DVD and marketed by my company eight years later.

Although the video is kind of rough around the edges, the content is very good! That survey is actually the reason why we can now keep and import ball pythons. I was considering sending Dr. Gorzula back to Ghana, Africa to produce another video. I also spoke to some of my contacts over at Animal Planet and they seemed very interested. If Dr. Gorzula went back to film the video, we would require a professional film crew (w/ equipment), story line, etc. I have to think it over to see if it will be worth it because of the huge monetary investment needed to fund the project.

On a side note, I'm increasing my production of rats and will eventually move them into a larger facility. If you're in the Pennsylvania area and need high quality rats, let me know! I'm pretty close to Hamburg, PA and I'll give you a good price on rats of varying sizes. I have LIVE rats by the way and they're fed Mazuri 6F rodent food (zoo quality). Feel free to email or phone me if you're interested in rats (or know of anyone who needs some).
Yin & Yang!

Ball Python Forum
"I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
-Wimpy (Popeye)

I need some help spreading the word about our ball python forum. I've decided to help the motivation factor some by giving away a FREE Spider ball python (est market value $3,500) to the person who sends the most members to the forum! I plan to eventually move the forum to its own website but we need active members first. Let all your friends know about the forum, post it to other websites you frequent, include it in your email signature or your signature on other websites, tattoo it on your forehead (just kidding! lol). Thanks in advance for your help and hopefully you'll be the one to get the free Spider ball python for your troubles.

I knew I forgot to do something today....I forgot to have DINNER! I'm closing up this blog for the day because it's almost 10pm now and my stomach is growling. ;-)

Let the races begin!

What a hectic day! We took the kids to the amusement park the other day and the brakes didn't sound too good (argh!). The brakes were newly installed a few months ago but they're fixed now and although they're under warranty, I still had to pay for labor (crooks). I had my webmaster update the website today and add a discussion forum area (please check it out and contribute) as well as this blog. I'm new to blogging so please bear with me til I get it right.

One of our females dropped a clutch of 7 beautiful eggs today. She was bred to a pastel so we're excited for them to pip in ~60 days. Although I said I would stop breeding Apr 15th of this year, I decided to continue breeding even though the breeding season is over. They're still copulating so I'll let them continue.
Spider x Albino

I'm going to close today's blog short because I just realized I have to refill water bottles in the rat room and it's pretty late now. Until we meet again! :-)