Bug Eyed Leucistic Rat Snakes - should they be culled? - FaunaClassifieds
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Go Back   FaunaClassifieds > Reptile & Amphibian - General Discussion Forums > Genetics, Taxonomy, Hybridization

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Genetics, Taxonomy, Hybridization General discussions about the science of genetics as well as the ever changing face of taxonomy. Issues concerning hybridization are welcome here as well.

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Old 06-26-2006, 12:02 AM   #1
Art Klass
Bug Eyed Leucistic Rat Snakes - should they be culled?

Some genetic morphs come with undesirable traits. Bug eyes in leucistic rat snakes is one of them. I've seen this to varying degrees and I've seen some offered for sale. I don't think that these snakes should continue in breeding populations and should be culled at birth.

As far as people making these snakes only as pets and promising not to breed them... well some of them may never be bred but some may end up breeding anyway.

What are your thoughts on the subject?
 
Old 06-26-2006, 12:08 AM   #2
Rebel Dragons
That's a touchy situation. It's impossible to guarantee they they would always remain a pet and never be bred. Even with a contract the breeder would be unlikely to prove anything one way or the other. Even if they suspected that the animal was being bred. Do the bug eyes lower the quality of life in the rat snakes?
 
Old 06-26-2006, 12:21 AM   #3
Art Klass
Quote:
Do the bug eyes lower the quality of life in the rat snakes?
That's something I was also wondering. Can any rat snake people answer this question? Do these snakes have any other health issues, with or without the bug eyes?
 
Old 06-26-2006, 08:09 AM   #4
Mike Greathouse
It is my understanding that the original wild-caught Leucistic Rat Snake was a Bug-Eyed male. The entire bloodline traces back to this animal. I don't work with this species myself (they are the "Spawn of Satan" as babies), but I work very closely with John Schmitt of Suncoast Herps and he has been producing them for many years.

None of his breeders are Bug-Eyed, but a percentage of every clutch will demonstrate the trait. I'm not certain if anyone has ever proven the genetic makeup of the trait, but it would be interesting to see if it could be bred out.
 
Old 06-26-2006, 05:45 PM   #5
reptilebreeder
I've seen photos of wild caught normals that look to be pretty (adv. To a fair degree; moderately, not like pretty) bug eyed, so I don't think it's as clean cut of a question, as say should blind or one eyed snakes [genetically predisposed], be culled.
 
Old 06-27-2006, 01:09 AM   #6
Art Klass
Quote:
I've seen photos of wild caught normals that look to be pretty (adv. To a fair degree; moderately, not like pretty) bug eyed,
So is it a rat snake problem more so than a leucistic problem? I honestly didn't know about wc bug eyed ratsnakes. Thanks for the info.
 
Old 06-27-2006, 02:18 AM   #7
reptilebreeder
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Klass
So is it a rat snake problem more so than a leucistic problem? I honestly didn't know about wc bug eyed ratsnakes. Thanks for the info.
I don't know enough about it myself. I have a leucistic pair, but they don't produce the bug eyes. Whenever I see ads for leucistic I always make sure that it's mentioned that they don't have bug eyes, if it says they do, I move on, so I've never really paid enough attention to know how much worse (if it is worse) the "syndrome" or "defect" is than the photos I've seen of some wild caught normals.
 
Old 06-29-2006, 05:23 PM   #8
John Cherry
Bug Eyes

Guys we have been working with the leu. Tx. Rats for about 20 + years and the original male wild caught did not have bug eyes. I personally held him at the Houston Zoo many years ago. He was a totally white animal, but had all the other norml charactoristics. The bug eyes were the result of inbreeding of the line and can be corrected by out crossing a couple of different sourced leucistics with several normal females to produce hets and then breeding the hets back to each other from separate females. It corrects itself in one generation and if good breeding practices are the followed, we don't outcross to normals for at least 4 or 5 years. Of course that is easy for me to say when the normals are so prevalent here around the Houston, Texas area.

Our two cents worth,

John Cherry
Cherryville Farms
 
Old 07-19-2006, 12:20 PM   #9
Jake The Snake
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cherry
Guys we have been working with the leu. Tx. Rats for about 20 + years and the original male wild caught did not have bug eyes. I personally held him at the Houston Zoo many years ago. He was a totally white animal, but had all the other norml charactoristics. The bug eyes were the result of inbreeding of the line and can be corrected by out crossing a couple of different sourced leucistics with several normal females to produce hets and then breeding the hets back to each other from separate females. It corrects itself in one generation and if good breeding practices are the followed, we don't outcross to normals for at least 4 or 5 years. Of course that is easy for me to say when the normals are so prevalent here around the Houston, Texas area.

Our two cents worth,

John Cherry
Cherryville Farms
BRAVO!!! Great post. I think that summed up how bug eyed are cured in a line, but to cull off babies that show bug eyes? No idea
 
Old 07-19-2006, 01:03 PM   #10
John Cherry
Not my Call

I appreciate the kudo's, but I intentionally stayed away from the "culled" question due to a major flame war/debate several years ago over culling of a kinked back hybrid. So I guess it was a little chicken of me to do so. So with that said, yes in order to preserve the viability of the animals in my opinion the bugged animals should be eventually culled from the hobby as they display a genetic defect and are in our experience less viable as captives from a breeding and birth defect standpoint.

John Cherry
Cherryville Farms
 

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