Project Masque

  

These are preliminary results and I have a way to go. Results have been consistent and fingers crossed new results will prove consistent with the previous results.

 

Contents

 

Masque

Super Masque

Diffused / Bloodred / Pied Markers

Pied

Hurricane

Tessera Motley

Vanishing Stripe ?

 

Masque vs. Diffused

 

For a while now Masque as been getting confused with Diffused and many attributes of the Masque morph have been categorised under selective. Although both are similar pattern mutations, Masque differs from Diffused in many levels, generically and visually. I like to call Masque a cleanup gene and this will become apparent as you get familiarised with this mutation.

 

Masque is a Polymorphic Co-Dominant gene that differs from the Recessive Diffused gene. Although Masque and Diffused are often found together Masque is not Allele with Diffused but defiantly adds to the mutation. Masque also attributes in making changes to Stripe, Motley and Tessera. As Masque is a Co-Dominant gene there is a Super Form of this Masque mutation. Masque is a combination of Heterozygous Masque and Heterozygous Wild Type where in the super form to is Homozygous Masque. Masque is quite Polymorphic so can rang from having little visual effect to a more extreme visual effects. The Co-Dominant is likely the reason for this Polymorphism which is often seen in the belly marking. Although I still have to rule out any other underlying symptoms, this Polymorphism can also remove some of the making on the belly leaving it  more patchy and also, remove the rear half of these belly marking just showing them on the front half of the snake and vice versa. Masque may have been present in the first Diffused Corn Snake. As the name suggests, Diffused was named around its Diffused side makings but Diffused actually as lateral marking and Super Masque as a truly diffused side.

 

Masque

 

There are visual differences between Masque, Super Masque and Diffused, the Masque pattern as a few identifying markers. There's a couple that some may be familiar with and please remember all these changes have variables.

 

There can be a greyish look to the background colour on the top of the head and there can be a visual changes to the head pattern structure.

 

There are charges to the belly markings form what looks like a thin clear line down the centre of the belly to a near completely patternless belly. This is actually a separation of these belly markings moving them from the centre to each side.

 

One of the other markers that's less known is the cleaner. This can look like a dark band running right down the centre of the back and is more apparent when in other morph such as Motley. This cleaner also stretches the dorsal blotches down the side where it then fades out looking like pattern bleed. This cleanup marker seems to add a bit more mottling to the neck area in some specimens and you often see darkened parallel lines running the length of the back which is more obvious in Bloodred Corn Snakes. This may sound I little contradictory as I've already mentioned a dark band running the length of the back and now parallel lines running the length, The edging of this band can often look darker giving the effect of parallel lines.

 

Always keep in mind, Masque is a very Polymorphic gene and as the potential to produce a wide variation of pattern in the offspring. This is the reason for many masque combinations being thought of as selective.

 

Masque separation of these belly markings, this is a common method used in identifying the Masque mutation.

 

Picture By Emma Follone

 

This is where it starts to get a bit more difficult as I've seen high end Masque and Diffused looking very similar. Although I see many Diffused with light lateral marking there's no saying that's not a polygenetic trait of Masque Diffused Corn Snake. This one having neck underside marking would sergest high end Masque.

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

These next two picture show the changes in the head marking due to the Masque mutation. First  picture "Tessera Motley Masque" shows the narrowing of the stripe plus the patternless sides due to Masque.

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

You can see the parallel lineage, Masque head and pattern bleed in this Hypo Masque Bloodred Corn Snake. The pattern bleed as often be portrayed as a low Melanin trait but now looks more a colour thinning due to pattern bleed.

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

Shown in the picture below are changes to the dorsal botches due to the Masque mutation, this is much more apparent in Motley Masque Corn Snakes. These dorsal blotches are also known as saddle and are the marking that crests over the back. Although you may see this mottling in other snakes it more common when Masque is present.

 

Diagram By Christopher Richardson

 

Masque Hypo Lavender Corn Snake with mottled neck and a changes to the head pattern. Although you see this mottling in normal patterns is always seems more vibrant in Masque.

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

The cleaner is more obvious in this Motley Masque = Hurricane Corn Snake making the pattern more symmetrical and in my opinion really cleans up the pattern, the pattern bleed is also more obvious.

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

Super Masque

 

Super Masque is slimier to Diffused as in lacking the belly markings but where diffused seems to keep its lateral pattern although faded, Super Masque as a more diffused pattern along the sides. Super Masque also keeps the markings around the neck and may have a varied amount of check markings on the underside of this neck area.

 

Super Blood Corn Snake

 

Redcoat Super Masque Corn Snake

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

Super Charcoal Corn Snake is a mixture of Super Masque and Charcoal. The Super Charcoal is often confused with the Pewter Corn Snake which is Diffused Charcoal. As you can see in the picture below, this specimen as dark residual belly markers, markings around the neck and diffusion of the sides. In 2013 this female was bred to a Masque Diffused Redcoat and produced Pied Bloodred, Masque Bloodred, Super Bloods and Masque proving her to be Super Charcoal het Diffused. The male Bloodred was proven with another Bloodred producing 100% Bloodred offspring.

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

Diffused / Bloodred / Pied Markers 

 

The only difference between the Diffused and Bloodred is that Bloodreds have a redcoat giving them their red colour.

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

I'm still yet to produce a Diffused specimen without Masque but hopefully I'll produce one for 2017/18. Even this one pictured bellow  has a few mutations, Diffused, Masque, Hypo, Redcoat with pied markers. Pied markers are the low pied effect you sometimes see in Super Masque and Masque Diffused

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

Pied-sided

 

Preliminary results from controlled test breeding in producing Pied Sided Corn Snakes and reverse breeding are consistent with a polygenic trait of the Super Masque gene and the Diffused gene combined.

  

I've had many a dispute over the Pied-Sided mutation even though it's well documented the uncertainty and unknowns surrounding this mutation. As Pied is highly sort after there are a small minority who've tried profiteering by selling their animals as het Pied. Where most, once realised the issue behind these confusing genes correctly listed them as bred from Pied. My results have been consistent with this Pied mutation being a Super Masque Diffused Corn Snake, meaning Pied is not a single gene mutation and there for can't produces such a thing as het Pied, you can get Super Masque het Diffused, or Masque Diffused, but not het Pied. To break this down, you can produce Snow corn snakes from a pair of normal looking snake. These snakes are het Amel, Anery but not het Snow, Pied like Snow seems to be a polygenetic mutation.

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

Hurricane

 

The Hurricane Corn Snake as long been thought to be a selective bred pattern and not genetic. Through my work with Masque it is now looking more of a genetic trait with both Motley and the Polymorphic Masque, although I will need to do more test breeds to check the effects of Masque and Super Masque with Motley. If this is just Masque than what will the effects be with the super forms and also with the Tessera and the Striped genes. When looking at this specimen in the picture below although not quite faded in the saddle centres, it's quiet obvious that masque as the influencing gene by cleaning and giving the pattern more symmetry. The fading of the saddle centres is often see in masque and as also been clamed that Masque as a sort of Hypo effect, I believe this all to be down to this saddle bleed creating thinning to the saddles.

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

You can see how the Masque as cleaned up the sides and how it as slims out the striping in this Tessera Motley Masque Corn Snake. Looking at this you could easily conclude that Masque may be the influential gene in Vanishing Stripe.

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson

 

Redcoat

 

Redcoat is a red colouration to the pigment that covers the body and can also be seen on the belly in diffract levels. This red seems more vibrant in Masque, Diffused, Masque Diffused and Super Masque Diffused. Pictured bellow is a Redcoat Masque het Diffused. You can see Masque characteristics right through this female, separation of the belly checks, neck mottling, parallel lineage and saddle bleed.

 

Picture By Christopher Richardson 

 

Update 02/01/17:

Useful links bellow:

While now taking the time to first look at these links below I see mentioned the sexual-dimorphism / Sex-Link of the head pattern of Masque females. Female snakes have ZW Heteromorphic Sex Chromosomes so I wouldn't think it to be a Sex-Linked mutation. we would see the super from of Masque in females but not the diluted Co-Dominant het form of Masque. There may be a Gene in the W Chromosome that's turned on linking to this head pattern. I will check for any links between sexual-dimorphism and levels of polymorphism through the entire pattern.

  

Serpentine Widgets Says:

Pied-sided: was first discovered in bloodreds and it is unknown whether this is an allele to diffusion, or if it is an independent gene that stacks its effect on top of diffusion to produce the pied-sided morph. Outcrosses are being made and should eventually provide us with clues to whether it can be separated from diffusion. Many such outcrosses are producing pied-sided results, suggesting the gene may be co-dominant instead of recessive. The simplest way to describe this morph is that it slows the downward pattern migration so much that the belly pattern appears on the sides of the snake.

 

Masque: is a mild pattern gene and appears to be dominant and possibly sex-linked. It is one of the components in the production of top-end bloodred corns. Masque seems to have mild melanin-reducing, border-reducing, and pattern-stretching effects. The most obvious characteristics are found in males and consist of a stretched head pattern often producing a "skull" look, and a "white stripe" down the center of the belly where checkers do not reach the middle. Since it is easily seen in carriers, it is easily selected in bloodred projects, which has caused it to be mistaken for a side-effect of the diffusion gene, but it can be separated from the diffusion gene and acts independently once separated. Masque is almost universal in silverqueen lines as well.
http://serpwidgets.com/main/patterns

 

Corn Guide Says:

Pied-sided: Appears to augment the expression of diffusion. It is heritable and can be reproduced in a fairly predictable manner across multiple generations, but the exact mode of inheritence has not been determined.

http://cornguide.com/morphlist.php

 

 

 

 

        
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First Published 19/10/2016