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Pythons - Glossary of python and snake terms
Category: Animals and Nature > Glossary of python and snake terms
Date & country: 16/11/2010, US
Words: 22


Albino
An animal with a genetic mutation where no melanin is produced.

Alleles
The different forms of a gene. A and a are different alleles of the gene that determines albinism. Alleles occupy the same locus, or position, on chromosomes.

Amelanistic
An animal with a genetic mutation where no melanin is produced. Same as Albino.

Anerythristic
A mutation showing reduced or no red color. Anerythristic snakes are generally black & white.

Axanthic
A mutation showing reduced or no yellow color.

Codominant
A mis-used term in the reptile world. The more correct term is incomplete dominant. It is when the heterozygous animal has a different, intermediate phenotype compared to the homozygous dominant or homozygous recessive individuals. A classic example of this is the Lesser Platinum mutation, where the heterozygous individual (Pp) is a Lesser Platinum, but the homozygous phenotype (PP) is Leucistic.

Dominant
A trait expressed preferentially over another trait.

Heterozygous
Differing alleles for a trait in an individual, such as Aa.

Homozygous
Both alleles for a trait are the same in an individual. They can be homozygous dominant (AA), or homozygous recessive (aa).

Hypomelanistic
An animal with reduced melanin.

Leucistic
A pure white snake with dark eyes. The homozygous phenotype of Lesser Platinum, Mojave and Fire mutations.

Melanin
Black skin pigments.

Melanistic
An animal with excessive melanin expressed usually a black individual.

Mutation
A change in the DNA sequence of a gene to some new, heritable form.

Phenotype
The physical appearance of an organism with respect to a trait, i.e. normal (A) or albino (a) trait. The dominant trait is normally represented with a capital letter, and the recessive trait with the same lower case letter.

Punnett Square
A diagram designed by Reginald Punnett and used by biologists to determine the probability of an offspring having a particular genotype. It is made by comparing all the possible combinations of alleles from the mother with those from the father.

Recessive
The opposite of dominant. A trait that is preferentially masked by a dominant allele causing the phenotype to be expressed only in the homozygous recessive state (aa).

Tyrosinase
An enzyme required to synthesize the black pigment melanin.

Tyrosinase-negative
An albino whose cells lack tyrosinase, an enzyme necessary for melanin production. Tyrosinase-negative animals are albinos. This is the most common albino mutation.

Tyrosinase-positive
An albino animal which is capable of synthesizing tyrosinase, but not melanin. This indicates that there is another mutation in the melanin pathway, causing no melanin to be formed. This is a commonly mis-used term for any albino that is different in color. The only way to tell if an animal is tyrosinase-positive is to have a sample tested for enzymatic activity.

Wild-type
The non-mutant form of a gene, encoding the normal genetic function.

Xanthic
An animal possessing enhanced yellow color.