Some food for thought. The below post was made by Scott W on Captive Bred Reptile Forums.
We all see stunning morph combos hatching out each year and each year they get more and more complex (i.e. more genes added).
We also all see some of the high price tags that are associated with them, well here’s a breakdown of hitting some of those odds that are required to make certain combo morphs, you may be suprised just how much luck you really need
First off, a simple one;
Single gene Co-dom x Normal - statistically you should get 1 in every 2 eggs being a visual copy of the co-dom parent, in other words if you bred a Pastel to a Normal, 50% of the babies should hatch out as pastels.
How about hitting a Super?
Single gene Co-dom x SAME (eg Pastel x Pastel etc)- not too difficult to get plenty of single gene copies of the parents, again 1 out of every 2 eggs should be a copy but what about hitting the Super, well that’s not too sad at being 1 in 4, so Pastel x Pastel will give you 50% Pastels and 25% Supers…although remember you have the SAME chance of producing a NORMAL as you do a Super .
How can you improve the number of Supers per clutch? No easy answer other than using at least one super parent, i.e.
Super Pastel x Pastel would give you 50% Pastels 50% Supers (1 in 2) and NO normals…Nice!
Now that’s all pretty straight forward and can be used for all co-dom morphs (pastels, butters, Cinnamons, Mojaves etc).
What about creating a designer morph?
Let’s say you had a Pastel and a Lesser, so;
Pastel x Lesser - the top result would be a Pastel Lesser. Again not too complex, you have a 1 in 4 of hitting each combo, so 25% should be Pastels, 25% Lessers, 25% Pastel Lessers and 25% should be normals (so remember you have just as much chance hitting a NORMAL as you do hitting the Pastel Lesser ).
How about spicing it up a bit? (double x single)
Bumble Bee x Pastel - now this is where the odds start to really get low, First off the highest odds are hitting a Pastel and a Bumble bee, with 1 in 4 eggs being either of those (25%). You then have a 1 in 8 chance of hitting all the other combos which are Normal, Spider, Super Pastel & Killer Bee, so that’s just 12.5% chance of hitting that Killer Bee, with just as much chance of it being a normal , Now do you see why there are not more Killer Bees
Now ok, what about trying to hit some a bit more special, say 3 unique genes, like Spider, Pastel & Pinstripe? Now obviously we will need to start off with 2 genes in one snake, so lets go;
Bumble Bee x Pinstripe - now on this combo all things are equal, you have as much chance an egg being a NORMAL as you do one being a Spinner Blast (Pastel, Spider, Pin). That’s just1 in 8, or again 12.5% chance on every egg producing the mutation you want. You could still hatch out 7 different combos out of this clutch plus normal, with each and every gene combo having the same chance of being produced as each other…wow now wonder these not too many Spinner Blast
What about a real tough cookie to crack…a Double Het project.
Let’s take the following;
Double het Clown & Caramel x Double het Clown & Caramel - now obviously the Caramel Clown is what you want to hatch but how hard is it? 1 in 16…that’s one egg in every sixteen laid has statistically a chance of being the Caramel Clown, just 6.25% chance of hatching one from a clutch, still 6.25% has been hit, so there’s always hope
Finally for now, how about this for a long shot
You have a Pastel Calico and a Spinner Blast, so you are aiming for a Super Spinner Blast Calico (super pastel, spider, Pinstripe, Calico…wow what a snake that might be ). It’s a long shot that’s for sure…you would stand just a 3.125% chance of hitting that or basically 1 egg in every 32
Now, when you look at it like that, you can understand the value in some of these combos and the hard work (and luck) that went into some of these projects.
Good luck and may the morph gods be on your side .