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Opinions from other breeders on underbites on cresties?

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  • Opinions from other breeders on underbites on cresties?

    I am looking for advice from experienced breeders on how to approach this boy that I recently acquired. All I know of his background is that he was purchased from a breeder that regularly vended at the White Plains Expo, no lineage known.

    As a dal he has pretty good spotting over a relatively light colored base with light brindle pattern, which IMO is a plus for dals to allow spots to show off more. His head/crests are impressive, most especially for dals where many have not had been bred to emphasize this, but rather for spot quality/quantity. In fact, his head is awesome enough that I would consider pairing that in to non-dal lines despite the potential of spotty babies with pattern (which can decrease value in patterned kids).

    HOWEVER, he has a flaw, this guy has an underbite. Let me state off the bat that I would not want to breed cresties with any deleterious genetic trait. I also frown on frivolous line breeding (I am ok with it when done intelligently and with a purpose, while being disclosed to those who purchase offspring) and other breeding methods that may result in loss of genetic diversity without benefit to the species, or that may be harmful to the animals.

    But I am not 100% sure that underbites in cresties are fully due to genetic factors, or if environmental ones could be behind it. Similar to how mainland chahoua have been maligned for quite a while saying they have underbites due to being inbred, but some longterm data from breeders have shown that this underbite is more due to calcium levels during development and not passed on to offspring. I am wondering if this is also more likely to be a developmental/calcium issue in this guy.

    From the research I have done, there has been talk of cresties with underbites and discussion if they should or should not be bred, but I have not found any results from any that have been bred and how their kids and grand-kids turned out. I am not sure if I should keep this guy pet-only, or pair him. In the absence of any other information, I am leaning towards pairing him next year with one girl and seeing what comes out, but holding back all offspring. However, even if his kids don’t have an underbite, if it is a recessive gene that may still not prove that it’s not genetic and I feel that if I do sell offspring once older I need to disclose this….actually I sorta feel that I maybe shouldn’t even let offspring go, but wait several years to see how grandkids turn out before I start letting anything lined from him leave my collection.

    And he is a very sweet boy, so if I never pair him I would still be very content to keep him as a pet only.

    Thoughts? Here are some pics of him when I got him in. It was hard to get really good ones of his underbite, but hopefully these show both his structure and that fault. Normally I imbed all pics in posts, but there are a bunch, so here is the album link for him along with one little teaser pic:

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  • #2
    I've seen this twice -

    Once with a male who was going through a growth spurt, and once with a male who went on a hunger strike at the start of spring last season. In both cases, the animals were young and still growing and I was able to correct the problem.

    If I were in your shoes, I would try working with him. I highly, highly doubt this is an inheritable trait. It always seems to present itself in animals that are still growing, and can usually be corrected with calcium/UVB/more bugs.
    If it weighs on you, hold the babies back like you mentioned. But I think it would be a shame to not work with him at all, given that it's most likely the gecko developed it while not receiving what it needed while growing and it was simply never corrected.

    FYI I've seen it in gargs, leachies and chahoua as well. Although these weren't my animals, it was again - always animals who were growing, and most often able to be corrected.


    • #3
      I agree with Niffarious. I've personally not seen a gecko with an underbite where it was inherited, always been miscare of the animal though I would hold the babies back and see just in case as some people have claimed to have seen it be passed down. He is definitely gorgeous and I personally would breed to one girl for the time being and keep the babies back as you said. I currently have a male that had MBD from a very terrible owner. He is from northern gecko lines (purchased by the previous owner from northern gecko then bought by me) and when I got him he was a good 40 grams underweight and had a very wavy tail. Currently though his tail is as straight as it can probably go and he's almost back to full weight. I have bred him because I know it wasn't inherited, just a bad owner and he is a very beautiful guy.
      Click image for larger version

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      Anyway, I'd definitely hold back any babies like I said before just to make sure before selling them though. Best of luck!
      C.Ciliatus E.Macularius 1.2 Lampropeltis getula floridana 0.1 Boa Constrictor Imperator 0.1
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      • #4
        Thanks guys! i still will think on this as I won't pair him until 2018 season, but the fact that he has a lot going for him with dal pattern and head structure, it would be nice to see what he could produce if the underbite is not a genetic factor! I love holding babies back to grow anyhow, and if I do get babies from him will pay particular attention to how jaw development goes, and if/when I sell them make sure the sire's underbite is disclosed. I don't know anything of his history or who produced him, so unfortunately have no idea when it first manifested or what his husbandry/diet was while he was growing.
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