Scaleless ball python
Several species of scaleless colubrids have been observed so far and include corn snakes, texas rat snakes and garter snakes. the phenomena has also been observed for lizards such as the bearded dragon. It is a recessive gene and most are not completely scaleless but can vary in the amount of scales, ranging from missing just a few scales to no scales at all.
Since scaleless reptiles have been around for some time, it was no surprise to discover a scaleless ball python. The first picture of a scaleless ball python popped-up in 2005 but it was only when Brian Barczyk in the US produced his scaleless ball pythons that things got crazy. In his first clutch he was able to produce two scaleless ball pythons by breeding scaleless heads together. This really stirred up the ball python world. Some claimed it would certainly become the next big thing, but others were less impressed.
Scales have important functions and scaleless ball pythons have a number of reported issues. They miss heat-pits, have reduced motion because of the lack of ventral scales and shedding problems. However, the major problem seems to be that they do not survive for long. The 2005 'derma' ball has died and one of Brian's scaleless balls passed away as well. When Brian took the surviving one to Daytona it didn't seem to be in good condition. Recently, Brian produced an update video of 'Mr smooth' and he seems to be in good shape and breeding.
What do you think about the scaleless ball python? A great addition to the hobby or something that shouldn't be bred?