Thursday, March 25, 2010

Inbreeding

Well, in any breeding of anything, the concern comes up in terms of inbreeding and how far one should go in terms of intermingling bloodlines.

It is said that with reptiles, it is not a big issue in terms of co-mingling tightly knit bloodlines due to the fact that people rarely see any negative consequences in terms of genetic abnormalities.


The problem with inbreeding is that defective genes may be carried by the animals you are breeding together,  but is not visual. If parents and offspring are inbred, there is a strong likelihood for the bad genes to become more concentrated in each subsequent generation. Statistically there is a greater chance of the genes to match, which means that the “bad” trait appears in more offspring.

Outbreeding prevents the genes from becoming concentrated, and therefore is very unlikely to spring up as a visual trait.

In humans, of course, it is a taboo to breed with people within your immediate family. The image of first cousins marrying and having children that have abnormalities comes to mind.


In reptiles, this is not the case.

Why? People tend to personify animals and place burdens on them that would never be issues within their own populations.

Do you think that Snake A, who is grown and wandering around looking for a mate distinguishes between Snake B and C, B being the one that is related to it? I don't think so. (Would be an interesting topic of study, however...)

Anyway, captive reptile populations tend to be relatively inbred to begin with, starting off the the first morph, bred into normals, those animals bred back to the father or mother, and so on and so forth.

As much as this is common place, should YOU, as a responsible pet owner and breeder, do the same thing?


My answer to that is "Maybe."

Heather, now you are just flip flopping like a pair of sandals.

Well, wait. Let me explain.


There are times where I believe that inbreeding is important. One such case is proving out a morph dinker project. You need to be able to find your Super or Homozygous morph form, and the quickest and easiest way to do so is breed Filial Generation One (First Clutch) back to its morph parental unit. I would like to point out, however, that you don't need to do it that way. You can wait longer and make it happen with more outcrossed siblings, for example Filial Generation One (First Clutch) with Filial Generation Three (First Clutches childrens children).

There are always options.

But in the case of morphs such as Albinos, Pieds, and the more common recessives, I would suggest trying to get some outcrossed bloodlines if you are concerned about inbreeding. With these morphs, however, the original morph has already been so outcrossed that you will more than likely never see any problems with them even if you breed sibling to sibling of your own group.

This is also true of co-doms.


Let us touch briefly on the genetic abnormalities that we do currently see in some morphs.

Spiders and Spider combos do have the head wobble. Why? I'm not sure, but there is a section of people that wonder if the Spider was inbred so much that it developed the wobble and then was bred out later. I disagree with this theory, but it would be interesting to find out.... I digress.

Caramels have kinking issues.

Super Black Pastels and Super Cinnamons have the duck bill.

Super Womas apparently have a fatal gene that does not allow them to live long. 

These are not inbred outbred issues.. They just seem to be issues inherent to the morphs in question. More research and breeding is needed to be able to conclude why these things happen, and if it is due to genetic inbreeding, or just a faulty gene in the morph itself.

We shall see as time goes on.

Anyway, I think I've made this topic clear as to how I feel about it.

I do breed siblings together. I do breed parent to child together. But, if I ever see a defect in the pairing, I never do it again. So far, I've yet to have such a problem. But, I try not to breed siblings together or parent to child unless it is absolutely necessary.

So there it is folks. The down and dirty.

And if you were wondering, No, I'm not breeding any families together this season.

Like I said, I try not to. If I don't have to in terms of a project, I won't.

With that weighty ending to the blog, I wish you all a fantastic day, my friends.

1 comment:

tom said...

Very interesting. I often think about that when trying to prove out out a new morph or phase in my ASF's.