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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was sorting through some of my grow outs last night, and took a quick snap of few froglets (some are now 5-6 months now though...so maybe frogs is a better word!).

I am always amazed by the variance seen on these transitional morphs...they fascinate me.

These three frogs are all from the same breeding trio of Ranitomeya imitator "Chazuta", different "clutches". Not just the patterning on the body, but especially the wide variance seen with leg patterning (and stomach, which you can't see here). Here are three good examples of the differences:

October 2020 OOTW (love this guy, mine don't typically have patterning like this on the body and legs, including feet, with the pale greenish colour):

IMG_1269.jpg

January 2021 OOTW (almost looks like a perfect imitation of a standard striped R. variabilis, more standard leg patterning and colouration):

IMG_1271.jpg

February 2021 OOTW (very nice yellow/gold on the legs, less common. THis one is a bit younger, some of the features will flesh out a bit still, but in my experience the gold colouration will remain):

IMG_1270.jpg

Comments/discussion welcome! Thought I would share!
 

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Any idea how many founding animals were involved with this locale? I assume that the non-locale intermedius in the hobby had a bigger gene pool (more than one import?) so it would be interesting to know if this sort of variation follows from P generation size or from some other factor, such as simply the transitional nature of the morph as you mention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Any idea how many founding animals were involved with this locale? I assume that the non-locale intermedius in the hobby had a bigger gene pool (more than one import?) so it would be interesting to know if this sort of variation follows from P generation size or from some other factor, such as simply the transitional nature of the morph as you mention.
These were imported by UE (Mark) originally, so I could ask him. I would think most animals sold from the original stock would be F3 to stray away from inbreeding, but this is something only Mark could verify. In speaking to him in the past (albeit briefly at shows and via email), he has indicated the variation seen on these is similar to those in the locale...but still, there can be almost completely different frogs in one sq. KM, than the next. Rapidos is another transitional imitator with some awesome variation, but seems to have variations that would lead me to believe they are closer geographically to both the R. imitator "banded" morph, and R. summersi as a whole - straighter lines, more black area and not a lot of "spotting" so to speak.

I would consider these all a sampling from the wild, and beyond F1/F2, maybe not scientifically relevant anymore from a variation standpoint. Interesting nonetheless!
 

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I just keep coming back and staring.
 

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These were imported by UE (Mark) originally, so I could ask him. I would think most animals sold from the original stock would be F3 to stray away from inbreeding, but this is something only Mark could verify. In speaking to him in the past (albeit briefly at shows and via email), he has indicated the variation seen on these is similar to those in the locale...but still, there can be almost completely different frogs in one sq. KM, than the next. Rapidos is another transitional imitator with some awesome variation, but seems to have variations that would lead me to believe they are closer geographically to both the R. imitator "banded" morph, and R. summersi as a whole - straighter lines, more black area and not a lot of "spotting" so to speak.

I would consider these all a sampling from the wild, and beyond F1/F2, maybe not scientifically relevant anymore from a variation standpoint. Interesting nonetheless!
Yes, if you talk to Mark please report back. :)

I'm not so much wondering about how many generations out from WC these are, but rather if these frogs either (a) have all this genetic information hiding in one pair of frogs*, or (b) whether the founding stock was collected from over a large enough area, with enough genetic representation, that these phenotypic differences are at least in part caused by the randomness of captive pairing (which, I'm under no illusion, is of course not very random or even varied at all). Your comment about "almost completely different frogs in one sq. KM, than the next" suggests that there is some of both going on -- locally there is irregular variation, but zooming out shows the variation to be spatially gradual and regular.

*As in snakes like Lampropeltis alterna or L. leonis, especially the latter of which produces very differently patterned offspring than the parents that is either one of two color phases or can be transitional between the two phases.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, if you talk to Mark please report back. :)

I'm not so much wondering about how many generations out from WC these are, but rather if these frogs either (a) have all this genetic information hiding in one pair of frogs*, or (b) whether the founding stock was collected from over a large enough area, with enough genetic representation, that these phenotypic differences are at least in part caused by the randomness of captive pairing (which, I'm under no illusion, is of course not very random or even varied at all). Your comment about "almost completely different frogs in one sq. KM, than the next" suggests that there is some of both going on -- locally there is irregular variation, but zooming out shows the variation to be spatially gradual and regular.

*As in snakes like Lampropeltis alterna or L. leonis, especially the latter of which produces very differently patterned offspring than the parents that is either one of two color phases or can be transitional between the two phases.
I asked Mark, and he said he remembers 12-18 individuals as part of the original import, to attempt to build three breeding groups.
 

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I asked Mark, and he said he remembers 12-18 individuals as part of the original import, to attempt to build three breeding groups.
Wow -- that's a small initial stock.

Interesting how well a captive population does (practically speaking only) from such a non-diverse sample. It isn't unique, though; some of the snake species I keep are said to have similarly-numbered (or less) initial breeding animals, with no obvious issues coming of it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow -- that's a small initial stock.

Interesting how well a captive population does (practically speaking only) from such a non-diverse sample. It isn't unique, though; some of the snake species I keep are said to have similarly-numbered (or less) initial breeding animals, with no obvious issues coming of it.
I think the morph, in general, is not overly diverse. I imagine if Mark was to show us an image of every Chazuta he got, you would see how crazy the variance really is. I should post the the Trio that created these three...I'll see if I can dig some images up tonight. I had a Harddrive die this week, which had a lot of images on it. Remember to backup your files folks!!
 

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I think every froglet my pair has produced has been radically different. I just had some morph last week that are very finely spotted, and another that is mostly black with barely any reticulation.

I have another that is almost a year old that I might hold back who is bright orange with cream and black branding.

Chazuta are awesome.
 
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