Breeding babies back to parents?

So I’m still getting my info on breeding leopard geckos. I’ve heard of sibling x sibling but was just wondering if breeding baby x parent made a difference at all!
I have a Diablo Blanco female and a Blazing Blizzard male and was going to breed the het eclipse male baby back to mom.


I dont breed leopard geckos much anymore but with ball pythons I have done parent x offerspring pairings before and have never had any issues from doing it once or twice in a bloodline but you will have to add new unrelated blood eventually otherwise your risk of producing deformed offspring is much higher and so is neurological issues.

That’s what I figured! Thanks.

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This is an incredibly divisive issue, so I want to make it clear that I am only giving my personal opinion, and that I do not speak for anyone else. I’m a veterinarian with a special interest in exotics medicine, and I’ve been keep leopard geckos for 20 years. It is my opinion that animals that are closely related should never be bred together.

To my mind, there’s one possible exception. If you genuinely discover a brand-new morph that has never been seen, a very small amount of inbreeding is acceptable initially (and only initially). You have to have enough animals that carry a trait to work with to make it viable.

In a hobby where it’s become everyday to see animals with ocular problems, kinked spines and tails, (potentially) morph-related neoplasia, and neurologic problems, it seems really, really obvious to me that inbreeding is bad. In the past, as a vet, I’ve dealt with plenty of defensive reptile breeders that insist that I don’t know what I’m talking about, or provide some sort of ‘evidence’ that I’m wrong, and every time it’s hard not to laugh. I mean, of course incest = bad. It doesn’t matter if you whitewash it and call it ‘line breeding,’ it’s still going to lead to lowered fitness levels overall and a higher rate of congenital defects.

If you insist on inbreeding, there are statistics you can look up that quantify just how bad each pairing between related individuals would be (like siblings versus parent * offspring, etc.), but to be honest, I don’t know them, because it would be unethical for me to say anything other than ‘don’t inbreed.’ I could lose my license for anything else.


@mblaney breeding back to parents a few times does not affect the health of offspring at all. When I started out breeding I had to breed the offspring back to create my first visuals so there may be a few different reasons as to why people breed them back to eachother.

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A reminder here


Keep it clean. Don’t post anything obscene or sexually explicit. “PG” or better.

Hi, my empiric work with geckos in “Tupiniquim lands”, is that we can go until F2, through there, I believe that we can have a poor genetic and may have some risks to the babyes based in Mendel laws.

So, to continue the work, for example, if we have two parents, and we have a daughter that carries a portion of his dad that you want to keep, I will breed her again with his dad, and I will have the F2 of this breed. This is the maximum that I go.

But, again, this is my experiment.

Hope to help you.



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Is it preferable not to discuss inbreeding on forum? I’m new, I didn’t mean to make anyone uncomfortable. :slightly_frowning_face:

This was geared toward 2 inapropriate posts that were removed and as a future reference, those posts had nothing to do with animal’s line breeding or inbreeding, for any additional questions please contact the staff via PM.

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Agree to disagree. If you are interested in learning more about it from a medical perspective, here is a great article about the practice in reptiles:

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Those pictures in this article do not reflect inbreeding those are super cinny which are known to be prone to severe diffect such as spinal kinks and duct billing.

Breeding reptiles is about sounds genetics poor genetics even with unrelated animals can lead to poor results, those are the risk of breeding.

Using pictures of animals in blog about inbreeding which did not result from inbreeding but mutations who are prone to issues is hardly science, just a misleading article.

It is important to mention:

  • Incubation was at the standard 88-89.F
  • Parents are unrelated, from different lines originating from seperate breeders

The thread linked in that article (from another forum) shows birth defect that occur when breeding, again this is the risk you take when breeding animals nothing due to inbreeding.

Now this does not mean you should not bring in new blood? No I believe new blood whenever possible should be brought in, however the person behind this article is obviously biased.


Agree to disagree. We all have our biases.

It’s not a matter of opinion if a gene in ball pythons are defective. A super cinny can be deformed even if the patents are unrelated so it’s not even a matter of opinion at that point, it’s just a fact. I suggest looking into it more and then you will realize it does not harm the animal or offspring if done correctly

There is a difference between being biased and just incorrect all together, on top of linking an article that is using morphs that are known to be deformed and believing it to hold any truth. Especially when animals don’t have to be related for there to be issues in them. Here is a link to the known issues with morphs, super cinny is in them with kinking and duckbilling. There is a reason not many super cinny exist on the market.

If you can, link an article that doesn’t have any of these morphs listed on it when it is talking about deformities/issues from inbreeding.

Could everyone please stop ganging up on me, including the moderator? “Respect each other” is part of the community guidelines, and I’ve only tried in good faith to add to a discussion. I thought that the perspective of someone with a doctorate in veterinary medicine might be valued in some way, or at the least that people would be decent. I expected disagreement, I wasn’t expecting everyone to harass me. I don’t have any ball pythons yet- I was doing the best I could to find something laymen would understand.

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@mblaney I can only speak for myself I think you experience as a professional speaks volumes but that article is pretty poor. It’s a red herring at best.

The “conventional wisdom” in this hobby is that 1-2 generations of breeding offspring back to parents is fine, after that new blood is needed. From what you’ve seen can you directly discredit that conventional wisdom or do you typically have no idea how far down the family tree the lineage of some of the animals you see problems with go? I mean. Just common sense, says inbreeding is bad. With virtually any species. I’m not familiar with why it came to be accepted as common practice with reptiles and scientifically if there is something different about them that puts offspring at less risk for deformities than say a dog…or if the whole thing is a mistake on the part of reptile owners.


I criticized you because you linked a faulty and poor article that anyone with experience with ball python morphs would know is a bunch of crud. None of us have done anything close to harassing you, so please don’t try and act as though you are a victim of something that serious. If you can’t provide evidence of just one or two generations of inbreeding being the cause of issues, chances are no one is going to think much about how doing it could cause harm to reptiles they breed. Especially since many on these forums are long-time breeders that know a good bit about what can cause problems and what can’t.

You say you are a vet, but at the same time many people in such positions can and have lied about things in the past. They falsify their experiences to try and push a debate in favor of their personal beliefs. The main people I can think of that do that are people that are against spider BPs and any wobble morphs. Due to these instances I have seen, I always take things professionals online say with a grain of salt.

That said, I do plan on avoiding inbreeding when possible, and bringing in new blood often when I start breeding. If I get a nice visual double het combo down the line and the best option is to breed back to a parent later, then I doubt 1 generation will hurt.


@ashleyraeanne That seriously sucks that you’ve also had experiences where vets have deceived you. We take an oath not to do anything like that, and are held to that standard. Next time someone does that to you, make that vet accountable for their falsehoods. Get evidence of wrongdoing, their full name, and the state(s) they are licensed in. Then you can contact their local veterinary licensing board and file a complaint, hopefully getting them penalized appropriately. so, for example, i’m in Washington, and licensed to practice in washington, so the group to contact would be the wsvma. Also, if you go to the licensing lookup tools for a given state, you should be able to verify a given licensing by entering a person’s name. Here’s the site for WA:

In my case (in WA) you would do a search for healthcare providers, and enter my (their) name. Then you can see if they really have a valid, current license. My name is Marla Blaney, if you want to try it. (Watch the website not work after all that…)

I’ve also had very bad experiences with some vets, especially the boarded specialists. They’re not usually as bad as human specialty surgeons, but there are plenty of exceptions.


I think it is more of a case of people claiming to be a vet or some sort of professional in the area and are completely lying just so people will take their word over someone else’s. Happens a good bit of the time in social media because you can say and pretend to be something you are not with any sort of recourse.


Yeah, that happens too. More often than not a lot of people saying they are vets online do it to help bolster peoples belief in their side of an argument. There have been a few actual vets that have done it, and I knew a vet-tech that was at my local vet office that I took my to dog that was against wobble morphs. They weren’t an exotics vet so I doubt she knew much about them, since no one would be bringing snakes in there.

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