Our Newest Acquisition 2007, The Desert Ball!!!
The Desert is a relatively new morph of Ball Python that presently has two lines. Both Stan Chiras and Peter Kahl have proven them and are presently working with them. This is the history of them as told to me by Stan.
Around 2001 Stan Chiras purchased his original Desert male as a 350 gram import. At the time of purchase it was assumed to be a Desert Ghost. When it got up to size to breed it was bred to a Normal Female and the offspring were expected to be Normal looking Het Desert Ghost. Much to his surprise two of the babies looked just like the Father. Around this same time Peter Kahl imported a like animal that he also thought was a Desert Ghost. His Desert did the same thing as Stan’s. Stan and Peter compared their animals and determined that they were the same thing. Instead of being a Simple Recessive trait it appears to be Co-Dom. That should be proven sometime soon, as both Stan and Peter will be breeding Desert-to-Desert trying to produce a Super. Hopefully it will not be a White Snake. LOLI was able to see this incredible new morph at the 2007 Daytona show. Both Peter and Stan had them available and both of them had a few crosses (I will show some pictures of the crosses a little further down the page), with them. Stan had a slightly better selection of then so I ended up purchasing one from him. She was the very nicest Female he had. Here are some pictures I took of her the first day she arrived.
I love the way she looks so regal in this one.
Here she is doing the rolling snake pose
Here she is as pretzel girl.
There is no head shot in this one but it is a great one of her pattern.
Here is one more with a little belly shot for good measure.
Here are some pictures of the Combo's that have been produced so far.
The first one is of a Desert/Spider.
This one is of a Desert/Pastel
This last one is of a Desert/Enchi (Tiger Ball).
(The photo above is of a Peter Kahl animal courtesy of Exotics By Nature)
Here are a few pictures of her at around 1100 grams in weight. You can see how the mix up with the Desert Ghost was made at this size.
All in all I am very excited by this project and look forward to seeing the many combo's that are produced from it.
I hope you enjoy the pictures,
Boy do I hate posting this! Like everyone else over the past few years I have heard the rumors that Pete Kahl (one of the two originators of the Desert Morph) has not produced a single clutch from a Desert Female. Pro Exotics (the second largest owners of the Desert morph) hopes of producing from a Female went up in smoke with the devastating fire that destroyed their facility. Up until then they had yet to produce a clutch. I also know of a few breeders personally that have produced nothing but slugs and even had a few females die during the egg laying process. There have been rumors of clutches laid (even from a breeder I obtained a Female Desert Yellow Belly on breeding loan from), but not a single picture has been posted anywhere and there has been no proof whatsoever that I have seen. Even with this knowledge until this year I still had hope.
I have been one of the Desert’s earliest supporters and I have always believed that there just hasn’t been enough time to determine if there was a problem with the Females producing viable clutches. I waited until my Female Desert was four years old and over 1900 grams before breeding her. Like almost all Desert's she has always been a finicky eater but after her first lock she ate well and put on more weight, over 2000 grams. She had what I thought was an ovulation 10/1/11 and had what I thought was a pre-lay shed shortly after. But right after that she ate again. Then on 11/7/11 she had her true ovulation. Pre lay shed came shortly after that and was nesting until she finally laid her clutch on 1/6/12. When I checked on her in the morning I could see two slugs but she didn’t appear done so I left her alone. Shortly after that I saw what I thought could be a good egg in her coil and once again she still didn’t look done so I left her alone for another few hours hoping that she had passed the slugs early and would get down to business with the rest of the good eggs. Unfortunately when I checked on her later she was done. I could tell it wasn’t going to be good. Here are the sad but true photos.
Pro Exotics and others thought that the trick to getting females to lay good clutches might be a temperature related thing. The thought was that Deserts may have originated in a cooler part of Africa and we were just keeping them too warm for proper follicular development. This all made sense to me and I took this all into consideration before I started breeding my female. Just for the record I kept the temperature in my Reptile Room at 78-80 that breeding year and lowered the temps in my racks to a maximum 85-degree hot spot all in hopes of producing good eggs from this one Desert Female. Well as you can see from the photos that didn’t work and I actually had one of my worst years production wise. Nine females that produced the year before didn’t produce this year and of the ten new females I added only three produced clutches. I blame that on the lower temps. I will be raising the temps back up this year and hope that all of the rest get back to producing like they have in the past. Oh well, live and learn.
As far as the future goes for me and Desert’s I will keep this one Female and try again next year (I don’t have much confidence in this though), but the Female Desert Yellow Belly I have on breeding loan I will be returning. From a business point of view it makes no sense to me feeding a worthless Female. I do not have any Male Deserts nor will I buy any even combos. I am afraid I have lost hope in the Desert morph and will not be working with it from now on unless something drastic happens very soon to change my mind. Yes I know that the combos of the Desert morph are some of the most outstanding looking Ball Pythons that have ever been produced but I would never be able to justify keeping them in the limited amount of rack space I have available to me. Especialy considering every Female Desert that you produce is worthless for breeding. I wish everyone that is still working with it much luck and hopefully someone will figure it all out. That said to all of my customers I would have to say Buyer Beware! This is not a morph you want to be investing in.
Oh by the way, I would also like to go on record and state that I know in my heart that Pro Exotics believed and still believes that the Desert Females will produce good clutches. Any one that thinks they had prior knowledge of problems and knowingly sold them any way doesn’t know the Robyn that I know.