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Re: Give me your thoughts/rantings/raves/arguments, etc....

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ The Alterna Forum ]

Posted by Paul Lynum on October 17, 2002 at 11:43:25:

In Reply to: Give me your thoughts/rantings/raves/arguments, etc.... posted by leonard on October 17, 2002 at 01:05:37:

:I think this is an important topic for all herp lovers (especially snake folks like myself).

:I'm just copying a post I gave on the current "locale" craze in herp circles. The craze seems to be worst among rosy boa folks. This was a response to someone asking why their hatchlings from a given pair always lost nervous control, shaked randomly, refused to eat and died after about 5-6 weeks.......

:Let me give it a shot as I am a molecular biologist, who also happens to keep rosy boas. This
:sounds to me like a "recessive lethal". These can be quite common with inbreeding in any
:animal. It sounds to me like you are breeding two related snakes, possibly even hatchlings
:from the same parents. While I have heard of hatchling matings and even parent/hatchling
:matings that "worked"; this is always a bad idea, because recessives (mutations that result
:in ablation or partial ablation of a gene/protein's function) always accumulate with
:inbreeding. This results in a "weaker" animal, and curiously enough, almost always involves
:neuronal/behavioral alterations.

:The current "locale" craze is only making the inbreeding problem worse; as the number of
:"founders" (original animals) from a given locale is obviously limited. So you can buy a male
:and female "corn springs" rosy from two different sellers, and end up mating siblings without
:knowing it.

:Sure, you might get a new albino that is worth a lot of money, but you better not continue to
:mate that albino (and its offspring) to other "corn springs" rosy boas (unless you collect one
:yourself or verify somehow that they originated from different founders, or you will get all
:kinds of recessives popping up, most of which result in disease, behavioral abnormalities, etc

:albinism is also a recessive trait; and the number of them in the pet trade is increasing for
:obvious reasons. Most or all of these resulted from inbreeding due to man's intervention in
:choosing who breeds with who. So you can bet that any albino you buy carries other

:In the wild, snakes within a certain small geographic area or locale, will usually have some
:sort of pheromone/scent recognition of their siblings/parents which turns them "off" so to
:speak, but even so, their instincts make them disperse so that as long as the population
:stays large enough, the chances of excess "inbreeding" is small.

:The "locale purists" would do well to remember this. Don't get me wrong, as long as you
:know your pair comes from different founders you are ok.

:But I think the verdict is still out on whether or not locales are "pure" in any sense in the
:wild. One rosy was tracked moving 20 miles in one week.


As a Rosy and Alterna fanatic I'll disagree with you one subject. Even though Rosy Boa guys are serious about their localities it does not quite compare to the Alterna (Please don't take offense guys. It's all in good fun and a observation I have witnessed and participated in the last decade) collectors. Some guys will only breed alterna if it came from the same road cut or mile marker. Rosy Boas guys are for the most part a little more laxed about this but, not buy much lol. Interesting post.

Paul Lynum

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