Breeders have been trying to create pure white corns, such as the blizzard corn snake, for years. Because of their striking look, they’re a very popular choice of pet and can sell for a high price.
The blizzard corn snake is beautiful to look at and easy to breed. And since it’s rare, it’s a dream for any breeder. So, read on to learn everything from what they look like, to how you breed them.
- 1 What is a Blizzard Corn Snake?
- 2 What Does a Blizzard Corn Snake Look Like?
- 3 How Much Does a Blizzard Corn Snake Cost?
- 4 Blizzard Corn Snake Genetics
- 5 Blizzard Corn Snake Morphs
- 6 How to Make a Blizzard Corn Snake
- 7 How to Breed a Blizzard Corn Snake
What is a Blizzard Corn Snake?
Blizzards are a kind of corn snake morph. Morphs are snakes with unique pattern and color combinations. Their genetics make them look different from ‘normal’ specimens. They are a pure and beautiful white color, with red eyes.
Because blizzard corn snakes are a combination of two morphs, this makes them a ‘designer’ morph. They are the result of a charcoal and amelanistic (albino) breeding pair. Breeding them is easier than many other morphs. Every offspring of this pairing will be a blizzard.
What Does a Blizzard Corn Snake Look Like?
Blizzards get their name because of their pure white color. When you look at some supposedly pure white snakes, they have a tinge of color. That color is usually yellow.
This morph is one of the few that may mature to be solid white. They are white all over, like snows. However, they may develop a light yellow or pink pattern as they age. They also have red eyes, like every snake bred from albinos.
They look this way because of their genes. The albino corn snake lacks melanin, hence the term ‘amelanistic.’ Without melanin in its scales/skin, they lack the dark pigments in their pattern. That’s why albino corn snakes lack deep red and black color.
Charcoal corn snakes, sometimes known as anery/anerythristic B corn snakes, lack yellow markings. When you combine a lack of light color and a lack of dark color, you’re left with no color. That’s why blizzard corn snakes are pure white.
Some blizzards appear slightly pink all over. That isn’t because of genetics. It’s because of their blood. They are so bright white that the color of their blood shows through.
Blizzard vs. Snow Corn Snake
Snow corn snakes are a designer morph, like blizzards. They are both light-colored morphs, and of course, share similar names. This could lead people to confuse the two morphs.
The main difference between blizzards and snow corns is that blizzards are even whiter. It doesn’t usually have the yellow, pink, or green tinge that you might find on snow corns.
Snow corns are a candy-colored pink when they first hatch. They have clear markings, which are lighter pink, but are still easy to distinguish. As they age, their pink mellows into a yellow color. They also have characteristically bright yellow faces.
Snow corns are the result of breeding an albino with an anerythristic type A morph. Type A anerys look a lot like type B anerys. The main difference is that type A has a higher contrast pattern.
In all ways other than color, they are the same as a blizzard. They even have red eyes, too. It’s, therefore, possible to confuse the two, and accidentally breed snows instead of blizzards.
How Much Does a Blizzard Corn Snake Cost?
There are only a few popular corn snake morphs. They are albino, anerythristic type A, and caramel. There are many more morphs, but you will only find a few at any given time.
Blizzards are even rarer than that. You’re more likely to find snow corns than blizzards. You will have to ask around breeders online, who may not give an upfront price. Between $250 and $400 is roughly what you could expect to pay.
If you truly want one, you might have to breed them. It also means that if you were to breed them, then you could make a lot of money. Corn snakes are the most popular snake species, and interesting morphs are both popular and rare.
Blizzard Corn Snake Genetics
Different snake morphs are dependent on their genetics. Their DNA dictates exactly what they look like. Usually, it’s dictated by whatever is an advantage to them. Snakes are often shades of brown and green, for example, to help them hide in their environment.
But occasionally a mutation will occur. Mutations are natural and common, and may or may not be advantageous. Albinos and charcoals are both examples of these natural mutations.
Snake genetics is big business. Breeders create unique morphs either by finding them in the wild, or breeding two existing morphs together. You can make a lot of money doing so.
But it’s not as simple as having two snakes mate. That’s because genes can be unpredictable if you don’t fully understand them.
How Do Snake Genetics Work?
Blizzards come from albinos and charcoals. But breeding snakes isn’t as simple as putting your desired breeding pair together. That’s because of how genetics works.
Each offspring inherits two sets of genes. One comes from its mother, and one comes from its father. These genes compete with each other.
In genetics, there are three kinds of genes. These are dominant, co-dominant, and recessive. This describes how genes interact with each other. Here is how it works:
- Dominant genes are the ‘winners.’ If there is a dominant gene and a recessive gene, it will be the dominant gene that is ‘expressed’ (shown).
- Co-dominant genes are happy to share with other genes. When a gene is co-dominant, it will appear alongside either a dominant or recessive gene.
- Recessive genes are the ‘losers.’ If there is a dominant gene, the recessive gene will be hidden.
This means that even if a snake has a particular gene, e.g., the albino gene, it might not show. If a gene is recessive, but the snake also has a dominant gene, then it won’t affect their appearance. They are still a carrier, however.
Heterozygous vs. Homozygous Snake Genes
When a snake has one copy of a gene, whether it’s expressed or not, they are ‘heterozygous’ for that gene. That means that they have two different copies of a particular gene. Depending on whether they’re recessive, co-dom, or dominant, they will interact differently.
For example, say they inherit the normal gene from their mother and the albino gene from their father. That snake could be described as ‘heterozygous’ or ‘het’ for the albino gene. Despite not expressing the gene, they can pass it on.
The alternative to heterozygous is homozygous. This term means that the snake got the same gene from its mother as it got from its father. If it inherited a pair of albino genes, they are expressed.
Both albinos and charcoals are homozygous for their respective morph. They have to be, as they’re recessive genes. The blizzard is heterozygous as it has one copy of the albino gene, and one copy of the charcoal gene.
What Genes Does a Blizzard Corn Snake Have?
The blizzard corn snake is heterozygous for both albino and charcoal. This means that it inherits the albino gene from one parent and the charcoal gene from the other parent. Which parent the genes come from doesn’t matter.
Both the albino and charcoal genes are recessive. Albinos and charcoals have to be homozygous for their respective genes. In other words, this means that they need a pair of the albino or charcoal genes, not one. That’s the only way they can be expressed.
When a snake has two recessive genes, they act like co-dominant genes. This means both are expressed. The blizzard mixes the albino’s lack of dark pigment with the charcoal’s lack of color.
According to Scientific Reports, albinos have a gene changed that makes them lack melanin. Melanin is a pigment that appears in many animals. It can be part of skin or hair. The less melanin you have in your skin, the lighter you are. Its function is to protect from UV rays.
Charcoals lack the pigment that’s responsible for the color yellow. This causes them to appear nothing but dark-colored. There are different kinds of anerythristic snakes, some of which have greater dark contrasts.
When expressed together, this means that the snake lacks both color pigments and dark pigments. They have no pigment, and their skin is plain white.
Blizzard Corn Snake Morphs
Some breeders make their living from breeding designer morphs (like blizzards) to other designer morphs. They often create morphs that are one of a kind, i.e., no other breeder has ever made them.
Tesseras are like normal corn snakes. The difference is in their pattern. Where a normal has saddle markings for their pattern, a tessera has a broken and blotchy pattern. It almost looks pixelated. They usually also have a stripe running along their back.
The tessera gene is a dominant gene. It will be expressed instead of a recessive gene. However, when a blizzard is bred with a tessera, the blizzard keeps their light color.
That’s because the tessera gene is for pattern, not color. The albino and anery type B genes code for color pigments. The tessera gene doesn’t. You can have both the blizzard appearance and the tessera pattern.
How to Make a Blizzard Corn Snake
To breed a blizzard corn snake, you need a charcoal and an albino corn snake breeding pair. Breeding blizzards is much simpler than breeding other designer morphs. That’s because 100% of this pair’s offspring will be blizzards.
Albinos and charcoals are ‘homozygous’ for their genes. They each have a pair of their respective genes. For an albino to appear albino, they need an albino gene from both their mother and father.
That means of the two genes the albino can pass on, both are albino. Of the two genes, the charcoal can pass on, both are charcoal (anerythristic B). Therefore the offspring is guaranteed to have one albino and one charcoal gene—and be a blizzard.
You can also create blizzards through snakes that are heterozygous, or ‘het,’ for albino and charcoal. This means they have one albino or charcoal gene and one normal appearance gene. The snake will appear normal.
However, this isn’t the cleverest way to breed blizzards. Only 25% of the offspring will be blizzards. 25% will be het for albino, 25% will be het for charcoal, and 25% will be entirely normal. You get far fewer blizzards per breeding season.
Different Anerythristic Corn Snake Morphs
Unlike other morphs, there are several kinds of anerythristic corn snake. When bred with other morphs, they create different results. They also look different and age differently.
These corn snakes are similar to albinos in that they lack certain pigments. amelanism. They have a recessive mutation where they lack erythrin (red, yellow, and orange) pigments.
This produces a corn snake that is mostly black, gray and brown. As they grow older, these snakes develop yellow on their neck regions. This is a result of their diet.
These are also known as charcoals. They look similar to type A snakes, but with less of a contrast between their light and dark colors.
While these are considered anerythristic by some, they don’t look like types A and B. They are a rusty red color with distinctive saddle borders. Their saddles are a fiery red or orange.
How to Breed a Blizzard Corn Snake
You must pick the right anerythristic corn snake morph. You can only get blizzards from breeding an albino to a type B anerythristic, or charcoal. If you tried breeding the other types, you get other morphs entirely.
Take type A, for example. If you breed one to an albino, the result will be a snow. While the snake is light, it’s not as light as a blizzard. Ask the breeder or shop which type of anerythristic you are buying. If they don’t know, find someone that does.
However, you can use any albino. All albinos are the same. And in all other ways, you can follow general snake breeding guidelines. This means:
- Temperature cycle the snakes before attempting to breed them.
- Repeatedly introduce the snakes to one another until you are certain the female is gravid.
- Carefully place the eggs in an egg box, and then in an incubator.
- If you do want to pip the eggs, be careful. Wait until they’re ready, and don’t catch the snake with the knife.
There is no need to pip the eggs. The only reason to do so is if you’re excited to see what’s inside. Inexperienced breeders can accidentally harm the snakes inside if they aren’t careful.
If you would like a thorough guide on temperatures, humidity, and breeding, check our full corn snake breeding guide. It details everything you need to know to breed any corn snake successfully.