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What Is an Albino Snake?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2014
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An albino snake is a type of snake that is born with a genetic abnormality known as albinism, which is a lack of pigmentation in the body and eyes. This leads to snakes that are white in color, or may be lacking a particular coloration that is typical, for example a snake that is usually yellow, white, and red might only be yellow and white. Albinism also typically causes a snake’s eyes to be solid red in color and may reduce the snake’s eyesight. Corn snakes and Burmese pythons are both fairly common types of albino snakes.

Albino snakes do not belong to a particular species of snake, but are instead various types of snakes that are born without the usual pigmentation seen in the species. This can be caused by genetic mutation or intentional breeding in an effort to produce snakes with a particular appearance. Albinism can also be an accidental result of breeding attempts to create snakes with a different type of coloration, which can inadvertently pair snakes with a genetic predisposition to produce albino offspring. Regardless of the intent or nature of the pairing, an albino snake is typically identifiable by the distinctive red eyes and light coloration.

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An albino snake does not necessarily have to be solid white, as some people may initially imagine based on albino mammals that are typically very pale with white hair. Because of the variety of colors in snakes, a single pigment may be missing due to albinism, and the albino snake may still be yellow, cream, or light brown. Albino corn snakes, for example, might be missing red pigmentation and still have yellow and brown coloring that provides the characteristic maize patterns that give the snakes their name. The popularity of corn snakes as pets has led to extensive breeding, which has in turned has produced a decent number of albino corn snakes.

Similarly, albino Burmese pythons can be quite common, and may even be bred for their unique coloration for sale to snake enthusiasts. Burmese pythons are typically several shades of light and dark brown, with very recognizable skin patterns and coloration. Albino Burmese pythons, however, typically lack the darker brown pigmentation and instead appear white and yellow or very light brown, but with the same patterns in the colors. An albino snake otherwise retains all the usual behaviors and habits of non-albino specimens of their species, with both corn snakes and Burmese pythons being non-venomous constrictors that feed on a variety of animals.

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kentuckycat
Post 6

I have always wondered about animals that are both predators and are albino, like albino snakes. I have always thought about whether or not they were at a disadvantage in the wild due to their color and their inability to camouflage, like other snakes of their species with their normal colors.

I have also always wondered whether albino species of animals have a different type of personality than other types of snakes and adapt more to their surrounding to overcome their handicaps, due to their color.

JimmyT
Post 5

I have always thought that albino snakes look very cool and wonder if many species of them are considered endangered. I would like to own one as a pet and I have always figured that I could not buy one, such as an albino python, because they would be rare. However, this article makes it sound like they are not at all that uncommon and it would simply come down to me finding one and paying an appropriate amount of money to buy it.

cardsfan27
Post 4

@jcraig - I am unsure, but I have always been under the impression that anything that is albino does not have the ability to reproduce. I could be wrong about this, but I have always heard this rumor and figure it has some validity.

I will say though, if you want a snake, and do not want it to reproduce simply buy only one snake and keep it by itself all the time. If you do it this way you will not have to worry about any surprises such as having to take care of many more snakes.

jcraig
Post 3

Something that I have to wonder about albino snakes is whether or not they are sterile and cannot reproduce.

If I were to buy some animal, like a large snake, it would greatly appeal to me to buy one that does not have the ability to reproduce, for a variety of reasons.

MrSmirnov
Post 2

@wander - Albino corn snakes are a great pet because they have a really good temperament. For myself, I really love albino pythons. They can get to be massive though, so you really need the funds and space to keep them happy and healthy.

A good place to look for an albino snake for sale is in the classifieds. I have found some great deals on snakes from owners who aren't capable of looking after their pets any longer.

Also, you can check out the local animal shelter and see if they have any albino snakes on hand. You would be surprise at how often snakes get confiscated from people.

wander
Post 1

There are so many kinds of snakes to choose from when you are looking at snakes for sale. I have wanted a snake as a pet for years, but my roommates have always been squeamish about me keeping a snake in the house. Now that I am heading out on my own I think it is time I got my own albino snake.

I have found that when an albino corn snake for sale advertisement pops up, they usually go for under $50, which makes them a really cheap pet in comparison to things like cats and dogs. Plus, the food for them is pretty inexpensive considering that a few mice can keep a snake going for 5-15 days depending on its size. That is really a money saver.

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