First Produced By: Dr. Bernard Bechtel
Complex: Motley Complex
Aliases: Hurricane, Pinstripe Motley, Q-tip
First Produced In: 1980s
Last Updated: 2023-10-13
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Motley is primarily a pattern mutation (although it can have a bit of a hypo appearance). It typically creates small circles along the snake’s back and cleans up the side pattern, leaving only a thin line or dashed or dotted line.
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The head pattern on Motleys is usually the typical corn snake head pattern, with the V-shape behind the eyes and the band across the nose.
The body of a Motley corn will range in color from brown to orange or red, or any of the normal colors a corn snake can have. Motley will usually create small circles down the snake’s back and also remove the borders from the saddles. This creates a very ‘clean’ appearance and usually limits the colors on the back to two, such as brown and tan or red and dark orange. Motley will also create a thin stripe along the sides of the snake, sometimes with breaks in the stripe, or a dashed line, or even just small dots.
Motley removes all the belly checkers from the snake. The belly will be solid white, although there will likely be some color bleed starting at the tail end and moving partway up the belly. Sometimes there will be small black freckles in the belly scales. Very rarely a Motley will have an errant belly checker or two, but nearly all Motleys will have a plain white belly.
Usually by the time the Motley pattern has reached the tail, the small circles will just be little blotches.
There are a few types of Motley that present in different ways than the typical small circles.
Pinstripe Motley is a corn that is genetically Motley. Instead of small circles, it will have a thin stripe running down the body. The stripe will be the background color of the snake (the lighter color). There may be notches in the stripe or it may break up partway down the snake. Corns can have full pinstriping or partial pinstriping. Pinstripe is not related to the stripe gene and is not an indication that the snake is het stripe.
Hurricane Motley looks similar to a traditional Motley, except that it has dark rings around the Motley circles.
Q-tip Motley is when some of the motley circles are connected by a stripe, creating a Q-tip shape.
Banded Motley is when the saddles reach down the sides of the snake, creating a banded appearance.
Stripe and Motley are allelic, with Motley being dominant over stripe. So a corn with two copies of the Motley gene will visually look motley. If it has one copy of Motley and one copy of Stripe, it will still look Motley. If it has two copies of Stripe, then it will visually look Striped.