Blacktail and Unicolor Cribos can be extremely similar in appearance, personality and in care requirements. Most people view a “classic” blacktail as a tannish animal with a jet-black tail. Likewise, most people view a “classic” unicolor as a solid tan animal without the black tail. However, within their respective ranges, blacktails and unicolors can vary tremendously in appearance. Snakes from the heart of blacktail range can have a brownish tail or be unicolored in appearance. Likewise, snakes from unicolor range can have black tails. In fact, many people speculate that blacktail cribos and unicolor cribos are taxonomically the same animal with a lot of natural variation.
Many animals in the US pet trade have brown tails and don’t fit into most people’s minds as a “classic” blacktail or a “classic” unicolor, but some sort of an intermediate. Their beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some insist on the classic look, while others are content with the browntailed look as it is also a naturally occurring look in wild caught animals. We are working with three distinct lines of unicolors that all vary in appearance.
One of the better known lines of unicolors in the US comes from BW Smith and Alan Brutosky. Their line is known for being very yellowish and light in coloration. We are also working with a group of unicolors from a Canadian line that varies from other lines in that the black neck markings are more bold and pronounced. Lastly, we were able to acquire a group that show a high amount of black flecking throughout the body. Although this group is a darker brown, the black mottling is a different look than what is typically seen in the pet trade.
It is important to note that hatchling unicolors will change in appearance as they age. Their bodies will brighten and their dark tails will fade to give the snake a more unicolored look. Baby unicolors are often mistaken for blacktails because of the darkness of their tails, but rest assured, the dark tails will fade with age.