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To give you a little overview over the different color variations of garter snakes, I want to show you the most common phenotypes. I want to point out up front that the color of almost all snakes, including garter and ribbon snakes, is produced by three pigments. These are: black (Melanin), red (Erythrin) and yellow (Xanthin).

As you can read in the chapter about genetics, there are recessive genes that - if they occur homozygously - lead to absence, reduction or overrun of one or several of the pigments.

Besides the colors that are a result of recessive genes there is also the possibility that conincidental new forms of appearance are produced when breeding. These cannot be explained by Mendel's laws and it's hardly possible to breed them on purpose.

 
 
amelanistic amelanistic florida blue amelanistic Iowa
amelanistic Kenton County amelanistic Nebraska anerythristic
axanthic blue morph dark morph
erythristic flame florida blue
leucistic melanistic orange
red albino red morph regular
sirtalis-snow snow snow Iowa
snow Nebraska
 
 
amelanistic
die hässlichen
 
 
amelanistic florida blue
 
 
amelanistic Iowa
 
 
amelanistic Kenton County
 
 
amelanistic Nebraska
 
 
anerythristic
No red
 
 
axanthic
No yellow
 
 
blue morph
 
 
dark morph
 
 
erythristic
More red
 
 
flame
high red
 
 
florida blue
some blue
 
 
leucistic
 
 
melanistic
black
 
 
orange
 
 
red albino
 
 
red morph
 
 
regular
the beauties
 
 
sirtalis-snow
 
 
snow
 
 
snow Iowa
 
 
snow Nebraska
 

 
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