Story of the Terrazzo Corn Snake Mutation

Most Commonly Used Name: Terrazzo
Mode of Genetic Inheritance: Recessive
Morph Type: Recessive to wild-type
Eye Color:  Black pupil & body ground-colored iris.

History of the Terrazzo Corn Snake Mutation Terrazzo (formerly known as Granite)
This simple recessive mutation was discovered by Craig Boyd from breeding two Rosy Rat Snakes together (an insular race of corns sometimes called Keys Corns) in the early 1990s. 
Terrazzos were originally marketed as Granite Corns, but in so much as the Terrazzo producers of that time did not frequent Internet chat forums, many of the mainstream corn snake keepers were unaware of this mutation. Despite warnings (along with pictures), members of one of the popular Online Corn Snake chat forums voted to re-assign the name Granite to Diffused Anery corns (former aka Anery Bloodreds).

It was awkward (and confusing) when just a few months after this name re-assignment when Bill and Kathy Loves’ Book (Corn Snakes – The Comprehensive Owner’s Guide) was released, it featured a picture identifying a GRANITE CORN, but of course, that tan corn snake looked nothing like the NEW Granites (formerly Anery Bloodreds) that are black and gray.

Jeff Galewood re-named the original Granite corns Terrazzos as he was the primary market producer of this beautiful mutation at that time. I called this the second “striped-type allele” because it IS the second one if you don’t count the striped version of Motley (since it is on the same locus with Motley) and Tesseras.

Several breeders (myself included) have performed breeding trials to verify that Terrazzos is not allelic to other gene mutations.  As of the early 2000's, evidence points to Terrazzos being a unique single recessive mutation.  I bred a classic Striped Corn mutant to a Key Corn Het for Terrazzo and it yielded no mutant corns out of 21 fertile embryos. 

Terrazzos have the beautiful tan and sometimes grey color scheme common to many of the middle-to-lower Keys Corns, and in typical Keys Corn fashion, their bellies are notably unlike bellies of mainland corns. Rarely is even one black scale found on most of these mutants, and the bellies are usually completely devoid of pattern or other colors. Some will have random patches of color on their bellies, but not black (this is not to say we won’t someday see black on Terrazzos – perhaps via out-crossing them with other mutations and wild-types)?

Terrazzos are a lean race of corns, some reaching the length of typical mainland corns, but usually smaller girth than most common corns.  The absence of black on most Keys corns is primarily the result of captive selective-breeding.  In the wild, it’s common to see some black on these beautiful insular corns.  
Note: Not all Key Corns are devoid of black.  Many have black in their pattern AND on their bellies.  I point this out because we don’t yet know if the lack of melanin on the belly of Terrazzos is a feature of the mutation or of the respective race of Key Corns from which it derived.


What to expect:
Hatchling Terrazzos are dark-colored when compared to their adult counterparts, and at a glance, you would not suspect them to mature to look so much like a Hypo mutant. Except for pattern, some adults have colors identical to the most HYPOmelanistic mutants (virtually devoid of black). I have bred Keys Corns to Hypo mutants and reproduced Hypo mutants, but that does not always happen. It would be totally understandable that someone thought the Keys Corn they had was a Hypo mutant and therefore bred it to a Hypo mutant – thereby infusing the Hypo mutation into that respective family line.

Upon first seeing a Terrazzo, you would understandably think you were seeing a classic Striped or Motley mutant. The stripes of Terrazzos are very similar to those of the classic Striped mutants, but there are obvious distinctions. The dorsal striping on most of them gradually fades around half-way to the tail. 

There have not been enough Terrazzos produced to declare a “typical” pattern for them, but so far, the rare and somewhat elusive target for this snake is a totally patternless corn. Some of the first Terrazzos had very little or NO pattern, other than an over-wash of speckles – looking as though the pattern had been shattered to fragments (giving the snake the appearance of GRANITE stone).

We reproduce both the original Boyd line which is tanner and less red than the JMG line.  The JMG line began with the pairing of a Terrazzo X South Dade County corn (many South Dade corns resemble Key Corns), so his line includes both the overall tan color scheme and the tan with reddish stripes scheme, rending less diffusion than the original mutants from insular ancestry.  The latter obviously the throwback colors of the mainland ancestor.  Both are beautiful.  Given the persistence of polygenetic traits, I’m sure many color schemes will manifest through captive breeding projects.
Back to blog