The Aztec mutation was discovered in a school classroom and the genetics are still being explored. The mutation results in the saddles of the boa to fuse to form blocks which connext laterally running down the sides of the animal. Chromatophores are specialized pigmentation cells found in the dermis and epidermis of snakes.
The combination of pigments expressed by melanophores (black pigments), xanthophores (yellow pigments), erythrophores (red pigments), and leucophores (white pigments), gives snakes their coloration. It appears that Aztec boas have an increased number of all of these pigmentations, resulting in an increase in grey, yellow, red, and pink pigmentation.
This mutation is not well understood but it is either dominant or incomplete dominant. The homologous form of the mutation is expressed when the boa has two homologous alleles of the mutated gene, this is referred to as the “super” form. Homozygous Aztec boas have poor locomotive function and are generally weak. The heterozygous Aztec carries one mutated allele and one normal allele.