Erythrin is responsible for the reds, oranges, and yellows on cornsnakes. There are several genes which affect the quantity or quality of the erythrins. Please note that the dark and more opaque yellow which gathers on the chin, neck, and belly of corns is not the same as the erythrins discussed here.
· Anerythrism completely removes the red pigment. As with "hypo" you will also hear "types of anerys" being used in the generic sense: meaning the removal of red pigments as opposed to a specific gene. These are the most common anerys. Some anerys, especially males, can become very light in color, and turn different shades of browns and pinks as they mature. Anerys are used in making snows, ghosts, and granites by combination with amel, hypo, and diffusion respectively.
· Charcoal is the second erythrin removing gene to be discovered. It tends to leave more neutral grays and browns, with a tendency toward lower contrast on an overall darker snake. It also usually affects the iridophores, causing them to be more evenly distributed. This is as opposed to the normal situation with lots of iridophores in the ground areas and little or none in the saddle areas. This difference is most obvious when comparing blizzards to snows. Charcoal is most commonly used in making pewters by combining with diffusion, blizzards by combining with amel, and phantoms by combining with hypo.
· Caramel appears to remove the reds while retaining yellows, or it alters the process of red pigment production so that yellows are produced instead. Many hets for caramel show considerable influence and it is currently unknown whether the caramel mutant is codominant to its wild-type allele. This gene is used in combination with amel to make butters, hypo to make ambers, and is being combined with lava to make topaz corns and with sunkissed to make honey corns.
· Lavender removes most erythrins and also reduces melanins. This morph is highly variable in color, some ending up a light smooth borderless lavender, and others with bordered mocha-colored saddles on pink/orange pastel ground colors. There is also a great deal of variation in the iridophore pattern, with some individuals having a normal (lots on the ground area, little in the saddles) pattern, and others having an even distribution of iridophores all over the body. A hypermacro (100X magnification) the melanophores are visibly lighter in color and smaller than a normal corn. There are also visible specks of red and orange cells. Lavender is used to make Opal corns by combining with amel, and hypo lavenders are also very popular. Lava lavenders and orchids (sunkissed lavenders) are also now being produced. Many breeders have reported an unusually high occurrence of spinal kinks in lavender corns, and it may be a side-effect of the lavender gene.
· Cinder removes the ground color and removes or reduces the reds from the saddle. Cinders hatch out looking somewhat like anerys. As they mature a dark red color can flare up inside the saddles, but this tends to fade back into a brown as they become adults. There is also a zagged edging to the saddles which is often present, and a "dovetail" effect of the head pattern. The belly checkers tend to reach only part of the way across the belly, not quite reaching the center.
· Buf is a dominant (or codominant) gene which reduces the reds into yellows, much like caramel, but with a milder effect. Tests so far have not produced a known homozygous buf corn so there may be a more extreme phenotype for these.
· Oak Phase is an apparently dominant (or codominant) gene which may be the same as the buf gene, or a similar gene. Tests between the two lines are planned in the next few years to start working out the details.
· Kastanie appears to be a form of hypoerythrism, meaning a reduction of red pigment. The hatchlings come out looking nearly anerythristic and grow up to be a chestnut-like color. Kastanie has been determined as the cause of "rosy bloods" which will may also be marketed as kastanie bloods. Kastanie amels have also been hatched and are being called mandarin corns.
· Java appears to be another form of hypoerythrism, which was first known in South Africa. It is unclear at this time if it is the same thing as kastanie.
· Redcoat or red-factor is a phenomenon that isn't yet worked out, but it appears there may be a simple genetic cause for the increased red in some corns. It is also suspected that in anerys this effect causes the variety which stay black and silver (instead of turning brown) as adults.
· Golden appears to be similar to caramel in effect. This was proven years ago as a recessive gene but there's no word yet on whether it is an allele to any of the above genes. The entire project seems to have disappeared.
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