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Should albinos, hybrids, etc. be discouraged?

8309 Views 121 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  Nuggular
I thought it would be interesting to start a discussion regarding the stewardship of PDF's and their breeding, etc. Coming from keep aquaria (both fresh and reef), over the years I have become much more of a hardlined 'purist,' so to speak. I don't keep anything that wouldn't most likely be found in nature under that same form. Various crosses, hybrids, and albinos are immediately off the list for me. The freshwater aquaria hobby is amuck with all sorts of comedic fish species, and unfortunately, people are trying to do the same with marine fish (luckily, rearing larval marine fish is slowing this down to a large degree). However, there are some who are trying as hard to possible to preserve solid bloodlines and prevent crossing (rainbowfish hobbyists, for example).

With the understanding and realization that many of the species we keep are becoming more and more threatened in their native habitats, what is your opinion on the amount of responsibility we have in breeding our frogs and keeping them as close to their wild counterparts as possible?

(This discussion was rolling on Frognet for a while, and I think turned toward possible breeding guidelines within the hobby...but I'm not sure how it turned out. Maybe someone here who saw it all the way through can shed some light on the subject).

Your thoughts?
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The tittle of this discussion is about albinism which I think it needs to be separated from hybridisation. The two are not the same.

To me, selective breeding albinos is pretty much the same as selectively breeding dotted reticulatus, or bastimentos pumilio with no dots or panguana lamasi w/o horizontal line (in Europe). As long as you have the line history, ways to keep track the genetic line, it's not "harmful"... in my opinion.

I think the important thing is not hybridizing species. With so many colorful natural species, why add a "man-made"? A hard thing to keep track.

I don't blame the snake or gecko people to hibridize... look at their pet natural colors... somebody says boring... :lol: J/K


However, IMHO I think dart frogs with their natural color are much more prettier than their albinos.

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Brent said:
I disagree that we have to separate the topics of hybridization from selective breeding because I think they are both very destructive to the hobby if we want to maintain wild type animals. Selective breeding narrows the gene pool and therefore the variability of the animals.
If you only want a certain trait, let's say spotted reticulatus, then I don't see how this can be a bad thing.

Let's say Sean and Patrick sells them, breeding these animals from 2 different breeders and trading with other breeders, say Todd and Phil, who are also interested in spotted retics, is not narrowing the gene pool in my opinion... or worse destructive to the hobby.

I think people have seen the worst case in other hobbies and reacted to the other extreme.

Instead, maybe one should study an excellent example: killifish breeders. They know how to keep lines, species, collection data and even mutations ie: Aphy. Australe 'Red/Orange' etc.

Well if you consider that narrowing, then it's also the same when one hand picks frogs from a breeder/dealer/importer. One would select healthy looking frogs... maybe with more brighter color than the rest... and definitely not deformed runts.

Speaking of runts, to play along with what is suggested, when a breeder culls runts, then that should be considered as selectively getting rid of what normally occur in nature.

Should one breed/introduce runts to their frog breeding programs to give a more natural outcome???

I do understand what direction you want the hobby to go, but I think it would be very hard to ask others to follow guidelines if selective breeding is disallowed... my opinion.

Tad said:
I do think it would be a shame to see the "natural looking" specimens disappear from the hobby, I dont think will ever happen to many people feel the same way. However I think its hypocritical to be upset at someone who owns/breeds hybrids b/c its "not natural" if thats how you feel, you shouldnt be keeping the animals unless its part of your work as a conservationist or for a natural history museum because keeping them as pets is not "natural".

With so many colors and variations to choose from, why add a "man-made"? This hobby is much more involved than say keeping hybrid orchids. Who's going to keep track which is a species and which is a hybrid?

Some people want to go back several generations and say... wow this thing do live in nature (or used to)...

Tad said:
I was thinking it would be interesting to study the mating preferences between imitators and the species they seem to be imitating... would different morphs of imitators prefer the other species or other morphs? would/could they even hybridize with the species they imitate? I'm assuming that imitators actually apear smiliar to other frogs (I vaguely recall reading a website showing different morphs and the species they resembled). I would assume that they share some geographical locations with the species they imitate (or am I wrong here?)
Hi Tad,

I posted similar question on frognet the day after you wrote yours. Great minds think alike?? :D I have not been following this thread since the last one I wrote....

FYI, killiefish people do breed selectively and propagate albinos and mutations. They breed C.whitei, F. gardneri albinos and A.australe orange.

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