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Old 04-22-2016, 10:09 AM   #1
History of the El Salvadoran Enigma

History of the El Salvadoran Enigma.

To fully detail the evolution of the Enigma found in pure El Salvadoran boas I have to go back to the beginning.
In 1992 Ron St Pierre hand picked some unique boas out of an El Salvador boa shipment. Out of that shipment he spotted some odd looking animals and subsequently acquired 2.2 red boas that were the founding stock of todays blood boas, there were also 4 black tailed anery type II's as well as 4 that appeared either hypo or T+.
Ron St Pierre proved the blood gene to be a recessive trait. The blood and type II were intermixed and kept pure El Salvadoran.

"Original St.Pierre El Salvador blood boa"
Around 1999 the project went to the James's in California where they continued with the blood boas, keeping them pure El Salvadoran. this is where I acquired my founding El Salvador boa stock. I acquired a 2008 het blood female and a 2010 het blood male. the pair being 1/2 related with the same father and different mothers.

"Sire, pure El Salvador 100% het blood"

"Dam, pure El Salvador 100% het blood"
In the 2012/2013 breeding season I paired the 2008 and the 2010, the pairing was successful, in April of 2013 a perfect litter of 14. 3, blood boas 10, 66% het blood boas and 1, odd tan boa that I called my Enigma. The odd Enigma for all appearances looked hypo in all aspects, reduced saddles, considerable reduction in black background coloration and solid tan eyes. After asking around with everyone I could about this popping up in the El Salvadoran boas, I had no answers to what and how? Unfortunately after a few days I went to find the mysterious little snake had passed.

"2013 litter, pure El Salvador blood and 66% het blood boas"
Now with a ton of questions and no answers, I was sure it would be lost. I really wanted to know what it was and if it was a new expression of something known, an odd one time thing? So I started to plan for reproducing the breeding and collecting suggestions, theories and questions.

"The odd Enigma, 2013 pure El Salvador litter"
#1) Was it just an abnormally light variant of blood boa? "There are plenty of examples of the variability of the blood gene"
#2) Was it an odd anery type II expression? "There is an anery type II found in El Salvador boas"
#3) Was it a Plasma? "I.E. visual blood and visual anery"
#4) Was it a type of T+? "There are plenty of examples of Central American T+ from numerous locals"
#5) Was it a never before recorded recessive hypo? "it is possible the hypo or T+ looking animals found in the same shipment could have been one in the same as this expression".
#6) Was it an odd occurrence due to parthenogenesis? "something locked in the mothers genetic make up".
#7) Was it a one time thing? "never to be seen again".

All of these questions and more haunted me for some odd reason, so I prepared for the 2014/2015 season. Everything seemed to go text book as for as breeding activity but apparently the breeding didn't take. I was almost ready to give up. I remembered something Ron St Pierre said back when the 1st litter came about seeing something in the litter and to keep trying. So I did.

"2013 pure El Salvador blood boa"

"2013 pure El Salvador 66% het blood"
In 2015 I met with Eric Chung, we worked out a breeding loan for the male het blood so he could prove out some pos het females. The original pair that produced the 1st Enigma were just being paired up so he took the pair and continued the breeding at his facility. they were kept together until it was sure they took and the sire continued on as per the loan. Progress was good for the het blood girl, textbook except this time she was gravid and the waiting game began.

"2008 gravid pure El Salvador 100% het blood"
March 2016, In Erics care a litter of 11 healthy live, 2 stillborn and 2 slugs were born.
This was the most exciting litter ever! In the goo there was not only an Enigma but 5 of them!
Total count 2, blood Enigmas, 3, normal color Enigmas and 6, 66% pos hets. I could have never in a million years guessed that I would see that many in this litter, my hopes for just one to work with were far exceeded.
With the number we got, we answered most of the questions.

"2016 pure El Salvador 100% het blood X 100% het blood litter"

"2016 pure El Salvador 100% het blood X 100% het blood litter"
#1) Was it just an abnormally light variant of blood boa? "No with both visual bloods and normal this is out"
#2) Was it an odd anery type II expression? "No with visual bloods this is out"
#3) Was it a Plasma? "No with both visual bloods and normal this is out"
#4) Was it a type of T+? "No the extreme pattern reduction is not a T+ trait"
#5) Was it a never before recorded recessive hypo? "Maybe, we'll have to do some breeding trials yet as we are not 100% sure if it is an incomplete dominant or a recessive. It appears to be recessive though".
#6) Was it an odd occurrence due to parthenogenesis? "NO we have both males and females in this litter discounting that theory".
#7) Was it a one time thing? "No thankfully".

"2016 pure El Salvador Enigma"
So what exactly is the Enigma?
It in all appearances it so far is a gene that greatly reduces pattern and background coloration.
It is found in 100% pure El Salvador boas so the likelihood of known morphs from other sources is out of the question.
We believe it to be a recessive trait but future breeding trials are in order to determine genetic transmission.
Further trials are being planned as we speak, we know have a good group of babies to work with and full understanding will be forthcoming.

"2016 pure El Salvador Enigma litter"
Special Thanks To:
Ron St Pierre,
If not for his initial work with the El Salvadorans and the blood gene, along with his continued advice and guidance, this project and discovery would not be possible!

Neville and Kelly James's,
If they had not kept a pure El Salvadoran line form Ron, I would never have got my founding stock!

Eric Chung,
for working this project with me in this latest stage of the project, his help has been invaluable!

And finally my wife Mary,
for always putting up with me and never letting me give up!

Thank You: Scott Ras. "Ras Reptiles"
Old 04-25-2016, 08:12 PM   #2
Old 04-28-2016, 06:52 PM   #3
Very cool story, thanks for telling it!
Old 05-26-2016, 11:52 AM   #4
Wow! I'm just now seeing this ... I love the details in the story and the photos!
Old 05-27-2016, 09:26 AM   #5
Thank you.
I wasn't sure after the loss of that 1st one back in 13' if I'd ever see them again.
Luckily persistence paid off.

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blood, boa, el salvador, enigma

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