Hybrid Curiosity

caleytkd

New member
Hello everyone,
Let me just begin by saying that I do not currently breed geckos, and that when I eventually do begin breeding I WILL NOT be breeding any hybrids. I am creating this thread because I am relatively new to the gecko community and would like to further educate myself before forming an opinion on the matter.

[Side story] I have had a few tarantulas and I know it is extremely taboo to breed hybrids in the tarantula community (and I understand why) and I just always assumed for some reason that it would be the same in various reptile communities. But today as I was perusing the net looking at different gecko breeders I found a place (which I will not name, in order to prevent any negative attention to them) that not only breeds, but readily SELLS hybrid Rhacs.

[Back to the point] I'm really not sure how I feel about this. (I don't know enough to say I disagree with it, but it made me feel kinda funny that these are being sold to the public.) I mean, sure some of them are very interesting to look at. But I have some questions:

Does this harm the gecko in any way? Does it increase the risk of genetic deformities? Not only that, but if it falls into the wrong hands would it be possible to potentially ruin the genetics of another species that is already extremely hard to find? How does it effect the genetics of the species crossed? What are the scientific benefits, if any, of mixing two species? If there are any valid benefits, how would they help the gecko world or our understanding of it?

I am genuinely asking these questions to learn from those of you more experienced than myself [and I apologize if any of the questions seem stupid lol]. Please explain your view on the subject and your reasoning behind it.

Now, I am not on here to hybrid bash. I know that there are various animals that are known to interbreed in the wild. [I love wholphins LOL :biggrin:] I just don't know much about gecko hybrids, and I am curious about the effects of us doing this in captivity.

I know this was a long post and that I have many questions, but thank you all so much in advance.

-Caley
 
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caleytkd

New member
Thanks for the reply. Like I said, I do not plan on ever producing hybrids myself and I was rather disturbed that they were being sold to the general public. I just want to educate myself on the matter before passing judgment on those that do breed them.

I guess my main curiosity is if they actually serve a scientific purpose other than to prove that they can be produced.
 

Sporonicle

New member
Well, hybrids have been produced, mainly with rhacs. Such combinations have been ciliatusXchahoua, ciliatusXauriculatus, and ciliatusXsarasinorum but those are the only ones I've seen. It usually doesn't have any affects on health other than one of the genders isn't fertile and that infertile gender is usually the one that hatches 90% of the time. I believe it does increase the risk of genetic deformities, although I'm not an expert on this. They do't really serve any purpose other than to show that they can be made, as the chances of it happening in nature are extremely low.
 

caleytkd

New member
Okay. Thanks for the info Sporonicle. :)
Personally, if they aren't teaching us anything I don't see the point of producing them. I think it's so cool to be able to walk into a room and have a little piece of a place I may never get to see in person. And on another level it's so cool to think of the evolutionary process that made each species occur the way they do in nature, and to think of the purpose all their different characteristics/traits serve in the wild. I think it would be different if we could actually learn something from the hybrids. But why mess things up if we can't?
But that is just my opinion and I'm here to learn. That's what the forum is for, right? lol :)
 

Riverside Reptiles

Administrator (HMFIC)
This is a huge can of worms and this subject gets brought up on a fairly regular basis. So I suggest doing a search on here for "hybrid". You'll likely find very in depth answers to all of your questions. For those of you responding to this thread, let's PLEASE keep it civil and act like adults. If you can't manage to do that, don't respond. Period. :fight:
 

caleytkd

New member
Hello Riverside Reptiles
My purpose here is not to offend anyone. I have done a search for hybrids and the main things that came up were a couple posts by a 13 year old kid that were mostly people telling him not to do it. I am not here to upset anyone so I really hope my post doesn't. I have tried to make it clear that I am simply trying to learn. I would like to understand why people who breed hybrids find them beneficial. And likewise why those who disagree with them do so.
From reading those threads it seems to me that breeding hybrids and readily selling them is a very bad idea. So when I found this breeder doing just that I wanted to learn more on the topic before I completely form an opinion, because I feel uneducated opinions are a bad thing to have. I too hope that those who choose to reply do indeed keep it civil.
 
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Hardknox

New member
Well let me start by saying I am relatively new to actually keeping reptiles myself, however I am a published biophysicist. My research specifically is not in genetics however I have a strong baseline of knowledge in this field (a probable deeper theoretical understanding that average breeders but less experience in real world application). I must admit as a scientist it is always interesting to see just what we are capable of doing, however curiosity is absolutely never a justification for ignoring ethics. When I mention ethics I mean even beyond the protection of the gene pool, I mean protection of the life being tampered with (the hatchlings being produced). From a theoretical perspective there is always a remote chance of hybridizing two animals and getting something stronger/better (these are relative terms of course) than the parents. However this theoretically remote occurrence has yet to be proven in the real world and even from a theoretical basis it is infinitely more likely the life or lives formed as a result will be weak, deformed, sterile or a combination of these. When you consider the odds against the occurrence of something better or even the chance of it being as healthy as the parents it is absolutely irresponsible to attempt to hybridize until we have a much deeper, more applicable theoretical base and we are able to accurately predict the products of hybridization (which may never happen in any of our lifetimes). Just my feelings on the topic from a relatively objective perspective. Hybridizing is tampering with aspects of nature we do not understand yet and as a result is irresponsible.

I appreciate curiosity, I really do, as I feel it myself, however there are lines and we must tread them carefully. I might also note that anybody who takes the risk of hybridizing animals without proper training, legal qualification, and is not prepared to euthanize the resulting animal is even more irresponsible given the likelihood of deformations which severely inhibit the quality of life of the animal.
 

caleytkd

New member
I appreciate curiosity, I really do, as I feel it myself, however there are lines and we must tread them carefully. I might also note that anybody who takes the risk of hybridizing animals without proper training, legal qualification, and is not prepared to euthanize the resulting animal is even more irresponsible given the likelihood of deformations which severely inhibit the quality of life of the animal.

I think you may have misunderstood the title of the thread. I have NO interest in breeding hybrids. I am not sure if agree with people who do. I am simply trying to learn the pros and cons.

however curiosity is absolutely never a justification for ignoring ethics. When I mention ethics I mean even beyond the protection of the gene pool, I mean protection of the life being tampered with (the hatchlings being produced). From a theoretical perspective there is always a remote chance of hybridizing two animals and getting something stronger/better (these are relative terms of course) than the parents. However this theoretically remote occurrence has yet to be proven in the real world and even from a theoretical basis it is infinitely more likely the life or lives formed as a result will be weak, deformed, sterile or a combination of these.

This was one of my concerns, as stated in the original post. I assumed that breeding these animals could increase the risk for deformity and a lower quality of life, but since I am not an expert I wanted to ask those of you who may know the answers. Again, I am not interested in breeding hybrids. I DO NOT want to. When I first saw them I did not think people should be breeding them, but before I made assumptions I wanted to educate myself. All I'm looking to do is expand my knowledge. So far it is looking like my original gut feeling was correct, and it worries me that people are breeding and selling these.

When you consider the odds against the occurrence of something better or even the chance of it being as healthy as the parents it is absolutely irresponsible to attempt to hybridize until we have a much deeper, more applicable theoretical base and we are able to accurately predict the products of hybridization (which may never happen in any of our lifetimes). Just my feelings on the topic from a relatively objective perspective. Hybridizing is tampering with aspects of nature we do not understand yet and as a result is irresponsible.

Thank you for approaching this in the objective scientific way that you did, I truly appreciate it. This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for, and I couldn't agree with you more.
 

Hardknox

New member
I think you may have misunderstood the title of the thread. I have NO interest in breeding hybrids. I am not sure if agree with people who do. I am simply trying to learn the pros and cons.

I got your original post, you have been quite careful to emphasize you are simply interested in peoples perspectives on the topic and not trying actually do it. This is something I certainly appreciate as sometimes the best way to fully evolve your own stance on a subject is to explore other peoples stances. I find it terribly annoying when people spout off about how wrong it is but never take a moment to discuss the implications which make it wrong. Often times these people have no clue why its wrong they just know somebody they respect said it is. Knowing why you believe is often more important than simply knowing what you believe, which is all too lacking in our society.
 

caleytkd

New member
I got your original post, you have been quite careful to emphasize you are simply interested in peoples perspectives on the topic and not trying actually do it. This is something I certainly appreciate as sometimes the best way to fully evolve your own stance on a subject is to explore other peoples stances. I find it terribly annoying when people spout off about how wrong it is but never take a moment to discuss the implications which make it wrong. Often times these people have no clue why its wrong they just know somebody they respect said it is. Knowing why you believe is often more important than simply knowing what you believe, which is all too lacking in our society.

Thank you! It makes me happy to know someone gets where I'm coming from. I did try to research it before I posted this, but is incredibly difficult to find opinions that are more than just people getting angry. I wanted to know the substance behind the opinions and have a genuine discussion without people trying to kill each other, lol.
 

Riverside Reptiles

Administrator (HMFIC)
You should search these forums a little harder. There's some very good thought out discussions about this topic on here. There's some big blow out fights too. It's a volatile subject. This topic comes up about twice a year.
 

caleytkd

New member
Hello again Riverside Reptiles,
Just wanted to let you know that I finally had some time to sit down and really sift through a lot of posts- and I did, in fact, find some great information on the issue. Also, I can tell this topic can turn ugly fairly quickly so I thank you for still allowing me to inquire on my own thread.
-Caley :)
 

Gekk O

New member
Hybrids can be rewarding and not effect the gene pool of the pure species if kept responsibly. I actually have 1.1 hybrids of a Sonoran Gopher snake and a Corn snake. In many cases hybrids can be physically superior. In many cases the hybrids are more fertile than the parent species. My snakes have grown very fast and are voracious feeders. Unfortunately some hybrid breeders have been passing off there snakes as pure so I have gotten a lot of crap from "purist" snake keepers. I don't know if gecko hybrids are as healthy as colubrid hybrids but if they are healthy, happy animals I am fine with it. Also I am very against breeding a Hybrid back to the parent species because those are the kinds of hybrids that muck up the gene pool.

I am curious, are there any known hybrids of the genus Gekko?
 
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