The BHB line scaleless cornsnakes are one of our most exciting designer colubrid projects. Direct from Brian Barczyk colony, these animals are breathtaking. As with so many things on the internet, the history of this bloodline has become hard to locate (and/or distorted)- below is the REAL story direct from Stephane Rosselle (REPTILIS):
“Scaleless Corn History
REPTILES presents the scaleless corn story
We have chosen to dedicate a whole article to this new and incredible mutation.
In fact, I am certain it is the most important revolution in the Corn Snake world since 1961, the year when Dr. Betchel has proven the genetic transmission of the albino gene for this snake.
The first scaleless guttata was born in France in 2002, at a friend’s, Richard.
Being the product of very improbable circumstances, he had the incredible luck to see the very first individual for this mutation. Once more, congratulations to you, Richard.
As for me, the project started in 2003, when I had the chance to get 3 possible het scaleless females amongst which 2 proved to carry the mutation. In 2005, the first scaleless Corn snakes couple with some heterozygous individuals joined my breeding center.
A year later, in 2006, we have reproduced our possible het females with our scaleless male and we thus obtained our first scaleless babies.
In 2007, our first scaleless female and het females were reproduced too, widening our breeders-to-be group.
The name ‘scaleless’ literally means ‘scales reduction’ rather than ‘scale total absence’.
To this day, all the individuals in this mutation were born at the center or at Richard’s, and keep a scale minimum.
They are mainly located on the belly, and sometimes on the back, at a trace state.
Just like typical forms, we can find great variations in both intensity and colors range and repartition.
Globally, for ‘naked’ snakes, the ‘background’ color varies from grey to orange, topped of darker spots (reddish often), bordered with light grey, or black.
Juveniles always have a blue-ish nose, that gets red when they grow old, a little like the hypo blood Corn Snakes.
At first sight, the patterns seem surprising, but this visual effect is undoubtedly linked to the scale deficiency.
Still, the pattern resembles already existing variations in normal forms of guttata patterns. (normal, twisted, motley aspect…)
The main difference stands in the velvet looking aspect of the skin and makes touching it, an incomparable sensation. Wait till you get a scaleless in your hands, you will then experience the accuracy of this statement.
Note: the scaleless Corn Snakes shed just like any other snake, you just get a scaleless exuvia which is thinner. Their scaleless skin is composed of an external and internal layer
Some assertions saying these snakes suffer from having a raw skin is thus pure nonsense; we can compare the scaleless skin to that of the Leopard Gecko , the keeping of which demonstrates a reptile can have a smooth skin without undergoing any impairment or disability.
After 10 years of experience, no keeping problems were observed in our group: sheds, growth, health and reproduction are perfectly normal for Corn Snakes.
As for the breeding, the means and results are identical to those used for usual Pantherophis guttatus snakes.
On the first scaleless guttata individuals, the birth rate when reproducing scaleless X scaleless was rather low. These results are getting better with new generations.
But all the other associations, scaleless X het scaleless; het scaleless X het scaleless; scaleless X normal , have never encountered any difficulty.
Now, from a genetic point of view:
Successive births that occurred in the same lineage, and then, in other lineages, testify the obvious genetic aspect of this phenomenon.
Here’s a real recessive gene, given there are ‘scaleless’ individuals and ‘heterozygotous scaleless’. Besides, this extraordinary mutation has not revealed its entire potential yet, even if for two years now, we have had some answers’ premises. Combinations with colors and patterns mutations are quite possible.
The first color combination was initiated at Richard’s, in 2007. It was an albino scaleless. Shortly after that, some anerythristic scaleless were born.
These snakes are really impressive, both because of their aspect and colors’ effect.
These first two scaleless phases prove, if needed, that we do have here a real upheaval amongst the Cornsnake world, and after more than 50 years breeding them, we are only entering a new era in this emblematic species’ mutations.”