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Old 02-24-2020, 01:19 AM   #1
calijo27
Question Noob Questions re: breeding and localities

So my husband and I are newer to the rosy boa scene, but have done quite a bit of research on them and got a whitewater albino rosy adult male from a friend the other day. We would like to breed eventually once we have sufficient knowledge. However the one thing we're both still quite confused on is the ethics behind breeding localities vs morphs and just the whole debate. I'll list my questions as such:

1. I know that breeding different localities is a big no-no to many in the rosy boa breeding community. But you're saying that even if I want to breed my whitewater albino to a pioneertown anerythristic, which is like 20 miles away, that's frowned upon?

2. Is breeding different subspecies of rosies (mexican, coastal, etc) just as frowned upon or more so? Like for instance I know if I bred a northern blue tongue skink to a halmahera, their care is different and could lead to problems -- is it the same with rosies, or is it just another ethics thing like it is with localities?

3. Why are the designer morphs so frowned upon?

thanks in advance for any help or clarity on this! The facebook groups are not very active and I could not get answers to my questions.
 
Old 02-24-2020, 08:51 AM   #2
Socratic Monologue
1. Well, the offspring are not then locality animals -- so you've lost something of value in the breeding (i.e., the locality purity). Whether that breeding gains something else of value may or may not be the case. There are already many generic "coastals" "baja", etc. rosies out there, so this is a bit of a moot point.

2. As a matter of taxonomic fact, there are no longer any subspecies of Lichanura. There are two species: L. orcutti and L. trivirgata.

(Wood, Dustin A.; Robert N. Fisher and Tod W. Reeder 2008. Novel patterns of historical isolation, dispersal, and secondary contact across Baja California in the Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46 (2): 484-50)

1&2. Given that taxonomy is always in flux, animals with ancestry that is mixed in any way (localities, subspecies, etc) may as a result of future taxonomic improvements be completely unidentifiable as to species (African house snakes and leopard geckos are in this situation currently). Also, the few "subspecies" crosses I've seen were absolutely butt-ugly. Seriously.

3. 'Cuz rosies are already beautiful enough.

Moralizing overview: the rosy boa sub-hobby (like that of dart frogs, and the smaller geckos) is one of the areas of the herp hobby that has not fully succumbed to morph-chasing, and many rosy enthusiasts see value in preserving that status.

P.S. I think that "Whitewater" albino has come to refer to that strain of albino, rather than simply the locality (i.e. there could be other coastal localities in a Whitewater albino and it would still be "properly" called a Whitewater albino). I don't keep albino rosies (see re: 'beautiful enough' ) so someone with more experience on this could elaborate on this point.
 
Old 02-24-2020, 10:39 AM   #3
som16724
Drop the mic, exit stage left.
 
Old 02-24-2020, 06:05 PM   #4
elena
Most of what I would have said has been said (and said well) but I'll add a few tidbits.

The vast majority of "Whitewater" albino rosy boas being sold today are not pure locality animals, but rather locality cross albinos descended from the original true locality Whitewater albinos, bred out into all sorts of other stuff. Unless the breeder you got your "Whitewater albino" from told you specifically that it was a pure locality animal, assume it is not.

The idea of outcrossing a Pioneertown anery hurts my mind, because they are so rare and it feels like they are being ruined already.

Crosses between desert or coastal rosy boas and Mexican or Baja animals are no longer considered merely locality crosses, they are hybrids, because coastal and desert rosy boas are now a separate species, Lichanura orcutti.

Also, when considering creating locality crosses, understand that the resulting offspring will not be as valuable or as desirable as pure locality animals, for the most part.
 
Old 02-24-2020, 07:53 PM   #5
calijo27
I guess I still just donít understand why locality is such a big deal? Isnít it technically only that locality While itís there in its natural habitat? It seems to me once itís removed it says natural as morphs are, since natural populations undergo constant changes due to the pressures of the environment and natural selection, but once a wild caught rosies is placed in captive care all those determinants are rendered obsolete and they start to undergo change with every population bred there after. Since natural selection has been removed it doesnít seem like itís any more pure than a morph is. I know many believe this is wrong, but can someone explain how? Genuine question, not trying to start arguments here
 
Old 02-24-2020, 08:04 PM   #6
elena
It's a big deal because many of us want animals that retain the unique characteristics of their home range, and those characteristics are lost by crossing. And we don't like crossing because those localities can be all but lost to the hobby if no one is taking the time to keep them pure. Using albinos as an example, I think it would be cool to own a pure Temecula albino, the only T- strain of albinism in rosy boas. But I can't. Why? Because almost none of them exist anymore, since the foundation stock was almost completely lost to outcrossing due to the desire for designer morph combinations. The pure form pretty much doesn't exist anymore because almost no one bothered to try to keep it going. Now I do own some pure albino Harquahalas. Not a lot of other people have them, and you won't see me crossing them with other localities to make a snow or whatever, because I see the value in them just as they are, showing the characteristics that they were brought into captivity with.
 
Old 02-24-2020, 08:05 PM   #7
Socratic Monologue
Quote:
Originally Posted by calijo27 View Post
natural populations undergo constant changes due to the pressures of the environment and natural selection, but once a wild caught rosies is placed in captive care all those determinants are rendered obsolete and they start to undergo change with every population bred there after. Since natural selection has been removed it doesnít seem like itís any more pure than a morph is.
Well, some alterna people consider a locality line to be 'generic' after the F2 generation or so, so your thinking has been taken up by some folks. These are folks, keep in mind, to whom 'locality' means a particular couple miles of road cut. They are serious about locality.

Note well what I said about taxonomy, too: the locale still has future relevance to the taxonomic identification of future offspring, which is entirely lost when mixing at any level.

Another issue is (a big deal in dart frogs; in snakes soon, I'm certain) that certain localities have been extirpated in the wild; what we have in captivity is all there is, and if people don't pay attention to locality, that genetic distinction is lost from the world.
 
Old 02-24-2020, 08:10 PM   #8
elena
It's also a big deal because it muddies the waters further down the road and makes it harder to get real locality specimens, as locality crosses and their offspring are intentionally or unintentionally misrepresented as pure.
 
Old 02-24-2020, 08:12 PM   #9
Socratic Monologue
Quote:
Originally Posted by calijo27 View Post
I guess I still just donít understand why locality is such a big deal? Isnít it technically only that locality While itís there in its natural habitat? It seems to me once itís removed it says natural as morphs are, since natural populations undergo constant changes due to the pressures of the environment and natural selection, but once a wild caught rosies is placed in captive care all those determinants are rendered obsolete and they start to undergo change with every population bred there after. Since natural selection has been removed it doesnít seem like itís any more pure than a morph is. I know many believe this is wrong, but can someone explain how? Genuine question, not trying to start arguments here
Quoting this again to point out that this concern (above) has nothing at all to do with crossing; it is a separate -- and interesting -- question.

Also interesting is the comment about morphs (albino, pied, etc): these exist in the genome of wild animals, but rarely are expressed, since phenotypic mutants (that's what they are) are selected against, usually. Morph breeding is the opposite: preserving mutations. Locale breeders don't do this, and so are as close to natural selection as is possible in captivity.
 
Old 02-24-2020, 11:05 PM   #10
calijo27
Okay Iím understanding more now. So are designer morphs okay if theyíre the same locale? What about rosies like a coastal snow? Likely different locales, but same subspecies/species so still not acceptable, correct?
In regards to my whitewater albino, youíre saying whitewater has become less of a true locality and more of a ďmorphĒ, correct? Which means not recommended to breed since thereís no guarantee heís 100%, which could muddy the waters further down the line.

Correct me if Iím wrong on any of this or still not getting it. I really do appreciate you guys taking the time to explain all this, I do feel like Iím starting to grasp this better.
 

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