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Survey for experienced breeders - let's figure out some basic morph breeding rules!

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  • Survey for experienced breeders - let's figure out some basic morph breeding rules!

    We've all heard that crested morph genetics are very complicated - and they probably are! But even complex traits, governed by many genes and influenced by epistatic gene interactions, aren't random; and looking at large sample sizes can help shed some light on them, even if we aren't sequencing the little guys and finding "the gene for" extreme harlequins.

    Of course, the problem is that (almost) none of us have large sample sizes! So I made a survey about your experience breeding various morphs, traits, and colors, and what you have seen in the offspring. I'll compile the answers and report back here with what I've found.

    If you have bred crested geckos, and ESPECIALLY if you have bred a decent number of crested geckos (20+), please consider taking my survey here: It has 7 sections with about 5 questions in each section. I don't ask for any personal or identifying information.

    I'm optimistic that a lot of the mysteriousness of morph breeding will be more manageable if we have some data. Here's a hypothetical example: Breeder A says "Orange geckos always breed true." Breeder B says "You're wrong, my orange-orange pairs have produced every other color!" Everyone concludes "Man, crested genetics are impossible." But maybe, in the survey, it becomes clear that some breeders agree with Breeder A, and some with Breeder B, and that both sides have bred enough geckos to have decent samples. That would suggest that there are multiple genes that can produce orange, and that some of those DO always breed true, while others don't; which could be valuable, since then breeders could look at lineages to figure out which one they have.

  • #2
    I just spent a half an hour typing a response. It was basically an article on how to make it more manageable... it didn't post and I got an error message. Twelve years of experience flowed out and just got dumped.
    Now that I am angry I will just summarise it.
    Breed each male to many females to identify comonalities, interactions and amplifications. You'll get a general baseline on your males and identify females with desired genetic charicteristics. We label colors by name as a definitive single visual expression as humans. We have to get past our human habits to see how many factors are at play here.
    Control comes from knowing the individual animals. You can only know the potential if you breed them out. I have seen a yellow male produce 22 of 22 yellow animals when bred to black based extreme harlequins... how much control is that? I have bred a red male to many red females, carrying various traits, which led to identifying two females that throw and amplify pattern. They both happen to be typical red bicolors. They are used to control breeding trait outcomes now. A good level of control is sitting right in front of us. It just takes time to breed and gather the right visual data through observation. Potential usually doesn't show right upon hatching, so it is important to hold your animals until they are adults if you plan on following through with this endeavor.

    Thats about it... who has the dedication to do it? This is the biggest question in my opinion.


    • #3
      Big Tom, I am so sorry that the form ate your response! I know how annoying that is and I really appreciate your responding here.

      I went through it to double-check everything and I think it should be working.


      • #4
        It wasn't your form. It happened as a post here. Your form required me to sign in and provide an email... I chose this route.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Big Tom View Post
          It wasn't your form. It happened as a post here. Your form required me to sign in and provide an email... I chose this route.
          Oh no, THAT's not supposed to happen! I will fix that immediately. You should absolutely not have to sign in to anything.


          • #6
            That works now, but your questions and/or directions are not really worked out properly. I have to answer 1,2,3,4 or 5 to questions that would be better answered by percentages. We do breed more than 5 geckos. 1 through 5 can work as a scale if percentage ranges are attributed to them. Each "morph" will vary in percentage based on each pair and their genetic attributes. I can't really give an answer to your questions as they are right now. I hope this helps you reconfigure your survey. Just trying to help. I hope you are okay with the constructive criticism.


            • #7
              If you can work the kinks out of the survey and get some meaningful data, Gecko Time will be happy to publish it!