Disclaimer: I’d like to state right out the gate that I am still trying to figure out what is going on with the high intensity OD. I know for a fact based on actual breeding trials that there is something going on here. However, I have not confirmed all of my theories and I don’t have a definitive explanation. The Ball Python genome is prone to random mutations and every year I’m stumped with some of my clutches. When something weird happens, we try our best to explain whats going on with our own theories. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don’t. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, including me.
Back in 2008 I hatched a really nice Dream Bee YB (OD YB Spider) female. She wasn’t the first Dream Bee YB I hatched, but she certainly was the brightest and cleanest. In retrospect, I now realize that she was as nice as most Super Dream Bee YB crosses I would later hatch. I took her to shows and displayed her in effort to promote the Orange Dream gene. She caught many eyes and several breeders tried to buy her from me. In 2011 I bred this same snake to a male OD Fire and the resulting clutch gave me the first Super Orange Dreams. This is when the project really took off and gained Global recognition has a must have gene. I produced 5 Super ODs in this clutch. A male Super OD, a male Super OD Fire, a male Super ODYB Fire, a male Super Dream Bee Fire and a female Super Dream Bee Fire. I believe the High Intensity OD started with this female Dream Bee YB and all of the original Supers carried a single High Intensity OD gene coupled with a normal. At the time, I suspected nothing and thought simply that she was just a really nice example of OD.
Over the years I noticed that some of my Orange Dreams were significantly nicer than others. They were cleaner and more orange. Obviously, I held back a lot of the nicer ones and bred them. The Super males I held back produced most of my OD offspring after 2012 and I continued to breed the original Dream Bee YB. I would receive emails, texts, phone calls and face to face compliments from fellow herpers telling me that my ODs were so much nicer than some of the others they saw out there. This generated a lot of business for me as people clearly noticed that something was going on with my ODs long before I did. For years I believe I have been producing and selling High Intensity ODs unknowingly. Four I labeled as Supers and they later proved to be single gene ODs. At this point I simply attributed it to line breeding and since I originated the gene figured it was because I held back the best for myself.
As a result of me not recognizing something unique about these animals for several years, the OD gene pool is muddied as ever. This means many of my customers and their customers have been working with the High Intensity OD unknowingly as well. There are certainly unmarked HI OD in quite a few of my animals as well as in other animals out there in other collections. It would be very difficult to track down each possible HI OD in my collection and to be honest I am just not motivated to even bother. I now know that there are distinct differences and as the years go by I may be able to differentiate the two versions of the OD more readily. I have animals in my collection that I know are HI OD and trace back to the original female. I will continue to work on unraveling the mystery, but my first priority is to produce amazing looking designer morphs.
So what is the High Intensity Orange Dream and how does it differ from the original? I think the High Intensity OD is simply a tweaked version of the original OD. Along the way somewhere I believe the gene underwent a slight modification that changed the visual appearance of the morph slightly. I think the difference is very noticeable to the trained eye and becomes more obvious when combined with other genes. (Please don’t bombard me with pics of your offspring guys! It’s difficult enough identifying snakes in person, its even harder doing so in digital format.) I believe I have Super ODs that carry the HI OD coupled with a regular OD gene and when bred have the capacity to throw both HI OD and normal OD. I am working to make a true Super HI OD (Double dose HI OD) that throws all HI OD.
I will continue to post pics and examples of the HI OD as I learn more. In the meantime, I recommend that you all be selective when buying OD or any other morph and go for the best examples available. This in turn will reap huge rewards in the quality of your offspring long term.