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Thread: "Snow" Leopard Gecko morph

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    Default "Snow" Leopard Gecko morph

    Warning: Semi-rant ahead

    Over the last few months I have been noticing something about the snow leopard gecko morphs: it seems to me that 80% of the animals that are marked as "snow" are really normals with an inflated price tag.

    Let me explain...

    When I first got into Leopard geckos there were albinos, high yellows, jungles, leucistics, and tangerines...nothing else. The point then was to breed as many spots out of the gecko as possible because having a clean slate was most desireable (case exempt: jungles). I had four or five different geckos that had been purchased at pet stores that were lighter in color with some background lavendar or yellow, and plenty of spots. Almost universally there animals were considered to be "normals" and were sold for around $35.

    These animals looked just like this:



    As I have discussed before, I got out of the hobby for a few years and then jumped back in last year. Obviously the number of leopard gecko morphs have exploded over this timeframe and I cannot even keep up with them any longer. A few have caught my eye but I see a particular discrepancy with the "snow" morph. I know there are a few different varities within the snow range, including Mack and Super, but I am really surprised to see what used to be a "normal" now being called a "snow" and commanding a price of $80+ dollars on the market.

    For example:






    These are the animals, IMO, that would qualify as a true snow- only blacks, whites, and grays:







    So...my question...am I losing my mind or do some of you agree with me? "Snow" seems to be a nice label to throw on almost any normal gecko to at least double the price tag, with far fewer individuals fitting into the category than the naming would suggest.
    Charming Chewies: Specializing in Grand Terre and Pine Isle locales of chahoua.

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    Also, on this subject of Leopard geckos I want to say that what has happened to the species over time is really sad, IMO. I feel that it is evident that some of the top-name breeders in the industry have been doing heavy inbreeding over the years and we now have geckos that can barely open their eyes, some that walk in circles endlessly, some that barely get above 30g...the whole thing is sad.

    I know that albinos and amelanistics are more sensitive to light but the ones I used to own could open their eyes during the day with no problem. You go to a show or even look in a classified ad and the geckos are laying flat to the ground, eyes closed, head down, and none of them look particularly healthy IMO. Many of the leopard gecko people that I have talked to don't see a problem with breeding a gecko back to it's parent, and then breeding that offspring back to the parent, etc. After a few generations of that you have something with the cognitive ability of a gnat. Unfortunately I think this scenario has played out time and time again in the Leopard Gecko world.

    I am not saying that there aren't some healthy animals and respectable breeders out there but I would almost rather buy one from PetCo unless I had documentation of the parents' lineage.
    Charming Chewies: Specializing in Grand Terre and Pine Isle locales of chahoua.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MPLexus301 View Post
    Also, on this subject of Leopard geckos I want to say that what has happened to the species over time is really sad, IMO. I feel that it is evident that some of the top-name breeders in the industry have been doing heavy inbreeding over the years and we now have geckos that can barely open their eyes, some that walk in circles endlessly, some that barely get above 30g...the whole thing is sad.

    I know that albinos and amelanistics are more sensitive to light but the ones I used to own could open their eyes during the day with no problem. You go to a show or even look in a classified ad and the geckos are laying flat to the ground, eyes closed, head down, and none of them look particularly healthy IMO. Many of the leopard gecko people that I have talked to don't see a problem with breeding a gecko back to it's parent, and then breeding that offspring back to the parent, etc. After a few generations of that you have something with the cognitive ability of a gnat. Unfortunately I think this scenario has played out time and time again in the Leopard Gecko world.

    I am not saying that there aren't some healthy animals and respectable breeders out there but I would almost rather buy one from PetCo unless I had documentation of the parents' lineage.
    U r better off buying from a real breeders as they send the less desirable (look wise) to wholesalers and pet stores and they are the ones who bred them so like any breeder, if they have a good name then buy from them.

    As for the inbreeding what do you think is happening in rhacs today??? There were only 200 cresteds brought over, even less in leachies and chewies!!! That is a lot less rhacs than leos that were brought over. Of course big breeders are doing inbreeding, they want to get the traits they want from the animals. Again do u think only leos are subjected to this??? I would like to see where rhacs are in the future after being CB as long as leos.

    As for the snows there are variables in snows just like there are in Dalmatians , just because it looks normal does not mean it does not have the genetics,if it is born with black bands on white than it is mack but this yellows as it ages to some degree, the line bred ones were bred to acquire a trait but all crossed will make a super. There are 3 lines of snows out there right now and they all vary with each other and in itself,
    The white and black ones in your pics are line bred ( the urban gecko) and the other 2 are the super form called a super snow (mack snow x mack snow) they also have black eyes in the super form.
    I think u need to do more research (not to be rude) as the term snow is a morph and is not used to make money, it is co-dom and genetic so thus it's value. You cannot make a super pastel w/o 2 pastels, same as a supersnow...u need 2 mack snows or a mack snow and one of the other snow lines to make the super.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ang3l3s View Post
    U r better off buying from a real breeders as they send the less desirable (look wise) to wholesalers and pet stores and they are the ones who bred them so like any breeder, if they have a good name then buy from them.
    I actually have the most doubts about the "big 3" in terms of leopard gecko breeders based on some of the things that I have seen and heard. I would be less inclined to buy from them than anyone.

    As for the inbreeding what do you think is happening in rhacs today??? There were only 200 cresteds brought over, even less in leachies and chewies!!! That is a lot less rhacs than leos that were brought over. Of course big breeders are doing inbreeding, they want to get the traits they want from the animals. Again do u think only leos are subjected to this??? I would like to see where rhacs are in the future after being CB as long as leos.
    I think the difference is that many leo breeders breed an offspring back to a parent, that offspring back to the same parent, the offspring of that pairing back to another parent, etc. I know that the genetic pool for Rhacs is somewhat limited but I haven't seen as much direct line breeding as there has been with leopards.

    As for the snows there are variables in snows just like there are in Dalmatians , just because it looks normal does not mean it does not have the genetics,if it is born with black bands on white than it is mack but this yellows as it ages to some degree, the line bred ones were bred to acquire a trait but all crossed will make a super. There are 3 lines of snows out there right now and they all vary with each other and in itself,
    The white and black ones in your pics are line bred ( the urban gecko) and the other 2 are the super form called a super snow (mack snow x mack snow) they also have black eyes in the super form.
    I think u need to do more research (not to be rude) as the term snow is a morph and is not used to make money, it is co-dom and genetic so thus it's value. You cannot make a super pastel w/o 2 pastels, same as a supersnow...u need 2 mack snows or a mack snow and one of the other snow lines to make the super.
    I have done a decent amount of research and fact checking on the genetics, my only point was that visually, a lot of what ends up being sold as "snow" looks quite a bit like a normal to me.
    Charming Chewies: Specializing in Grand Terre and Pine Isle locales of chahoua.

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    There are alot of leopard geckos out there today that dont look like anything except for a normal, but the genetics that they carry. Are what makes them different then any normal out there. Just like leopard geckos that are het for radar. Their prices are one of the highest but they just look like any normal gecko out there until you breed it out and you get yourself a radar. Which look complete different then what your het radar looked like.

    As for the line breeding and inbreeding there is alot of that going on with leopard geckos cause people are trying to get their leopard gecko looking to be the best out there. Also with other people they cant afford to purchase a $1000 gecko so they buy the het instead and wait for a year so they can breed the baby back to the parents to get that morph that was worth $1000. But with doing that I think the gene pool gets smaller and smaller. Thats why there are alot more deformities and problems with leopard geckos. It will never stop specially for the big breeders since they got to keep up with the newest morphs out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poke View Post
    There are alot of leopard geckos out there today that dont look like anything except for a normal, but the genetics that they carry. Are what makes them different then any normal out there. Just like leopard geckos that are het for radar. Their prices are one of the highest but they just look like any normal gecko out there until you breed it out and you get yourself a radar. Which look complete different then what your het radar looked like.
    Good points. I guess I have just come across so many people who look at a gecko and say, "Oh! It's a snow!" and then you ask from what variety or what the parents looked like and they say, "They are snows too!"

    I am not trying to discredit the legitimate snow morphs that are out there, but just feel that it's an easy morph for people to "piggyback" and add a few extra bucks to an otherwise normal looking gecko.

    It will never stop specially for the big breeders since they got to keep up with the newest morphs out there.
    This is chiefly my problem with many of the big names in leopard geckos. There is a pressure to stay on top and when you are the one creating new morphs you often have to continue to revert back to your own stock to make these things possible.
    Charming Chewies: Specializing in Grand Terre and Pine Isle locales of chahoua.

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    Your first pic of what your consider a snow isnt just a snow, its a high end super snow, mack, not line bred.

    That second pic looks like an enigma snow. and the thirds a mack super.

    Thats like comparing an off the showroom ford mustang, vs a ford mustang gt500kr


    You get what you pay for, you want geckos like that, buy from tug.

    The shitty looking snows arent macks, there line bred snows. If your looking for good black and white, get super mack snow and super snows. or GOOD line bred snows, from a reputable name.
    You want the best, buy from the best. just like anything else (like a lexus instead of toyota camry) haha

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    Theres good and bad with leopard geckos right now. But for the general hobbyist you can pick up some really awesome looking geckos for a decent price. Of course the inbreeding and line breeding is one of the biggest problems in leopard geckos right now.

    I think thats why some of the medium size breeders are expanding the gene pool alittle bit with crossing them with afganicus.

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    crossing with afgans is an amatuer move, the good breeders are keeping them pure(for this exact reason, there arent enough afghans to prevent future inbreeding). and it is impossible to not cross breed leopard geckos. there are not enough wild blooded animals to not inbreed.

    And tremper for example, his albino line started with a single gecko, so it isnt possible to not have inbred trempers.

    im not positive on bells lines. or rainwater. but id imagine they are the same and started with a single gecko.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MPLexus301 View Post
    I think the difference is that many leo breeders breed an offspring back to a parent, that offspring back to the same parent, the offspring of that pairing back to another parent, etc. I know that the genetic pool for Rhacs is somewhat limited but I haven't seen as much direct line breeding as there has been with leopards.
    Trust me when i say it is happening in the rhac world as well, genetics are not like leos so what do u do to get a desired trait????........

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