KZN Red and Red Kenya- the two red house snakes. What's the difference?
Kzn Reds start out somewhat brownish and gain their red color as they age.
They also have a darker base to their color, and that color is typically fairly cool toned. Think " deep ruby". Kzn Reds certainly can have a warm tone too however it seems to be consistently less common.
They typically have a faint speckled appearance that is nearly patternless, with eye stripes that parallel to another line nearing the neck, similar to other capes, but that line quickly disappears down the body.
When bred to other capes, the first generation of offspring are similar to the pure kzn parents, but with a stronger amount of pattern more typical of non-locality specific capes. In my projects ive noticed this continues to look closer and closer to a standard cape the further the genetics drift from the origin source.
M2 has the faded pattern and eye stripes of a kzn red but slight black rings and the warmer tone of red kenyas
M3 has faint black eye rings, solid eyes, and eye stripes that are closer together like the red kenya but with some parallel striping and pattern fading into the body like the KZN red does.
Based on these and the rest of the clutch I feel its safe to say that these two localities are fairly compatible despite their taxonomic differences (kzn red are a capensis and red kenya are fuliginosis). At the time of breeding them it was my hope to 1) see how the traits combine to further understand their differences and 2) be born with and continue to develop in time a nice deep red color. Time will tell :)
Red by Cape Crosses
Cape crosses tend to take after their cape parents in most house snake pairings and it is no different in Reds.
Both of the following animals have Kzn Red Blood. The first (stretched out) was produced by breeding a pure kzn red to an Albino cape. Note the high amount of pattern present when compared the the pure kzn red hatchling pictured next.
In the next pictures a Red Kenya was bred to a Cape Albino then those babies were bred back to siblings. Ive noticed the base color of the red retains its warmer color and the eyestripes still are a touch yellow and touch at the nose on these pairings.
Even in their second and third generation I find differences. In RK albino I notice a fair amount less pattern the higher the blood concentration is RK. In KZN Reds I find you can push the red in the pattern higher, but not the base, resulting in higher contrast hatchlings.
Naturally, I'm always thinking of new ideas and ways to make even more stunning babies. There isnt many morphs of these yet but I will be updating with pictures of morph babies of both as I create them. Feel free to share your experiences as well!