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What do you think it is?

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Posted by Hurley on May 02, 2003 at 00:50:44:

In Reply to: wut do ya think it is? posted by IcedGoddess on May 01, 2003 at 12:27:09:

:while i understand that reverse okeetee should have VERY noticable white borders, how much rides on "thickness" of the borders??
:He was sold to me as an Okeetee and has a great orange ground color and nice REd blotches, but his black borders are thin to me...

This entire reply is to the tune of the "World According to Hurley", so what you get is my opinion and my view alone.

How much rides on the borders? Depends on who you talk to...depends on the value you place on that trait in your definition of the Okeetee phase. What you said is my interpretation, as well. His borders are thinner than my personal version of the 'ideal' Okeetee's borders are, but still much more pronounced than a lot of normals. The other thing that stands out to me in Okeetees is how much more thick the cranial and caudal (front and back) borders of the saddles are in comparison to the lateral (side) borders. You snake has this appearance to me. Do I think he is an Okeetee? Sure, when I look at him, I think, that's an Okeetee. Does he meet my ideal as the perfect Okeetee? No. Personal tastes, personal preferences, and everyone looks/breeds for different things, and places higher values on different aspects of a morph's description.

My ideal Okeetee has brilliant, clean, saturated orange to red-orange background with no white along the saddle borders, no lightening, no speckling, nothing to mar the bright, true orange color. The saddles should likewise be clean, bright, saturated red, as red as it is humanly possible to perceive. No fading, no stippling, no flecks. The saddle borders should be at least 1 to 1 1/2 (up to 2 scales on the tail) wide on the cranial and caudal borders. The entire snake should look like it was drawn in 3 colors, black, red, and brilliant orange, with crisp, clean, regular, large saddles...I personally prefer that the longitudinal black striping is completely absent. That pretty much defines the ideal Okeetee in my taste. That is the look I strive towards. Do all Okeetees look like this? NO. Does that mean we can't call them Okeetees if they aren't "perfect"? NO.

So I would expect his amel hatchlings, if there are any, would also have thin white borders. Would that mean they aren't reverse okeetee then? I'm pretty sure that his wife has some Okeetee phase in her, because even as a snow she has very definate white borders around her pink sadles, and her ground color is littered with green speckling. And I'm hoping he's het amel, so I can get some pretty reverses. If they do hatch amels, can I call them reverse okeetee's?

Depends on what those amels end up looking like. You can for sure call them amels. :)

In my experience, a lot of reverse Okeetee hatchlings lose their saddle coloring on their tails because the clear saddle borders encroach and obliterate it. (See the tails of the snakes in my previous posting to see what I mean.) The saddle borders seem to be most pronounced there, even in the regular Okeetee. Since borders will thin as the snakes mature, the hatchlings start out highly exaggerated, with the colors 'closing in' as the snake matures. A reverse Okeetee, to me, should look just like my ideal of a regular Okeetee, except that the black has been filled in with white.

When I think reverse Okeetee, I think of this picture from Don Soderberg's website (South Mountain Reptiles). This picture is as close to my ideal of a reverse Okeetee as I have found.

(Picture from South Mountain Reptiles Webpage)

Will your babies be regular amels or reverse Oke's? I don't know. Depends on what Momma Snow does to their pattern and coloration. If they end up looking like Daddy, in the amel I think they could be classified as reverse Okeetees? Yes. Only time is going to tell, though. I think it is also more difficult to tell as hatchlings if they'll turn out like reverse Okeetees if they aren't pure, 'Oh my God!' screamers. Sometimes you just have to let some of the colors come in to see. At the very least you'll have amels with Okee tendencies, I should think. I'd have my reservations, outcrossing an Okeetee to a snow...hard to predict the outcome, hard to set type if the Okeetee look is what you are after. However, part of the fun is watching how they turn out, so we wait and we see. We select the best of the crop that carries the traits we're after, and we struggle on. Good luck with your clutch.

I'll end this rambling by stating that I think myself by no means an expert on the Okeetee morph. There are certainly many people out there with much more experience than I, when it comes to this...but I know what 'I' like. :D


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