Breeding babies back to parents?

Inbreeding happens in the wild more often than you would think. Especially in smaller populations of animals. The smaller and more closed off the population, the more inbreeding that occurs. Wild animals don’t care who they mate with as long as they spread their genes and reproduce.


Inbreeding in species can be completely fine for many generations or no generations… The main issue with inbreeding is the possible increase in passing on deleterious genetics and with time, isolating those bad genes which can lead to massive defects. If you breed two animals without deleterious genetics, you can line breed for a while without ill effect, especially if the original parents were genetically diverse from each other.

Some lab rodents can be line bred for what, 100 generations without going awry. Mourning geckos are parthenogenic and basically exact copies of the parents, which is essentially similar to line breeding.

Line breeding does not automatically mean bad offspring. It’s back to the odds gods and the genetic quality of the original stock. Without genomic sequencing, it might be guess and check which animals have deleterious genes though… like desert ball python females, super black pastel/cinny, e.t.c. Some species and individual animals are just more stable genetically.


Just out of curiosity, does anyone know of a super X super pairing?

Most morphs out here individually originated from single sources, so theoretically all Pastels for example are related somewhere down the line.

A Super Pastel X Super Pastel breeding would be a heavy amount of inbred genes and likely give us a answer as to how far we can go without causing issues. Pastel is a stable mutation so we don’t need to worry about neurological disorders already being present.



While it is true that many morphs originate from a single founder, Pastel is not one of those. Pastels were, and have been, consistently imported out of the wild so there is no single founder animal for the morph. Spider, Pin, Mojave, HGW, etc., would be examples of single founder animals

The point I made above re: Pastel aside, I see where you are coming from but you are mistakenly making an assumption that does not apply. Let me explain.

I will use Mojave since it was a single founder animal. TSK brought it in and bred it out and discovered it was dominantly inherited. They kept some and sold some. The people who bought them bred theirs, kept some and sold some. The people who bought those bred them, kept some and sold some, etc., etc., etc. Now, along each of those “bred them” branch points, the animals they were being bred to were most likely not directly related to one another such that today, 20 years from when the first Mojave was bred, we are looking at potentially 13-18 dichotomous branch points for a total of anywhere between 8,192 (on the low end) and 1,048,576 (on the high end) termini. So if I were to take any two pairs of random Mojaves from within that mess and make SuperMojaves from them and then breed those SuperMojaves together, the degree of inbreeding would be minimal because in all likelihood the only gene they would have in common would be the Mojave gene.

Make sense?


Yep that makes perfect sense.
Pastel was a bad example but I’m glad you see my point.
So say we are working with a much smaller pool, for example we find a single new morph tomorrow and worked from there, do you think this would be a reliable way of going about studying inbreeding and how far we can go?


Caveat: I have not read through this whole thread so some of what I say here might have been mentioned
It depends on the nature of the animal we are working with. We already have some very clear cases of inbreeding depression in the hobby where the family trees look like a palm tree. A great example would be Granite in carpet pythons.

The flip side is that we have some unique cases where the species we keep have gone through an evolutionary bottleneck prior to entering the hobby and there seem to be minimal issues with inbreeding. rough-scale pythons and crested geckos would fall in to this category.

As it pertains to ball pythons, given the extensive geographic range they have there is no reason to suspect they have bottle-necked so it is fairly safe to assume there will be eventual inbreeding depression over time. What, exactly, that would look like is going to depend on the specific “genetic burden” that your founder animals have. Anecdotally, I would say that one or two generations of inbreeding (parent to child or sibling to sibling) should, by and large, not have a significant detrimental impact but I personally would not go much beyond that.


Wow I kind of forgot about this post. I appreciate all the input, and I don’t have plans to breed at all this year since most of my females are still too young. I was just trying to get all my info in before I commit to doing something that would possible affect the babies. I still have plenty of time to find a Blazing Blizzard het eclipse or male Diablo Blanco that is unrelated if I want to. It’s what I would personally prefer to do, since the male I have now is a bit older and a LOT larger than my female.


One thing we don’t necessarily consider in the hobby is that yes inbreeding occurs in the wild, but the one thing we don’t apply is ‘natural culling’. Predators in the wild will naturally goop after the weakest so it’s almost a 0% chance that they would make it to adulthood. Yes some inbred specimens might make it to adulthood, however they won’t have as noticeable if any anomalies because any animal need to be in tip top shape to survive to adulthood. That being said those that do make it will reproduce abd get to pass on those Genetics just not any harmful effects because they themselves dodged most or all I’ll effects. Why don’t we see that many albino reptiles in the wild is because they don’t blend in as often so most never really get to reproduce. In our hobby the only ‘control’ we have is ourselves…I don’t believe a corkscrewing spider ball python would make it in the wild captivity yes wild no. That is the major difference. Not only that but snakes travel and they can hybridize with other snakes. It’s all really fascinating and I hope a non biased study goes into it I mean I know the American bison was down to 100 animals which means a lot of inbreeding occurred there but I’m sure their genetic material was highly monitored to ensure the best pairings that would result in the least amount of possible defects cause by the pairing.


Fun fact about the spider BP. The original was from the wild and was found as an adult. It was surviving just fine out there and it had a wobble too.


thats actually a really good point that i think alot of people dont realize or they just ignore to hate on that gene.

You state it had a wobble too doesn’t mean it’s offspring would survive it was only the first and could have been eaten. Have any others been spotted since NERD took the only one known out. I am well aware and well educated about the spider ball python I still can’t say I support the morph but if other people want to that’s on them. That being said this is a matter about inbreeding not get offended by an example that in my opinion is not optimal Genetics survival wise.

If it was going to be eaten and die because of the wobble, it would have died as a baby by your previous logic. I don’t think you realize how long it takes for BP in the wild to get to a full size adult. They don’t have constant or easy access to food, so it can easily take 5 years, if not more in some cases. The thing is it was thriving in the wild, but got taken out before it was able to breed. The fact that it reached adulthood in the wild means it was healthy, and its wobble had nothing to do with its ability to survive and thrive. Another thing is any offspring from any BP, spider or not could die at any moment or be eaten in the wild. They don’t have to have anything “wrong” with them to die. They could just be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Even inbred animals that have something mildly wrong with them could get lucky and make it to adulthood and be able to breed in the wild. Natural selection doesn’t always get everything that has an undesirable trait.

That said, reptiles in general are much less complex biologically speaking, so there is a lot less that could go wrong given an instance of inbreeding. Unlike mammals like humans, or even dogs. One mammal that we know has been inbred and suffers unpredictable behavioral issues because that long line of inbreeding are white tigers. There are many that have worked with them that say they are more aggressive and just don’t act like a normal tiger.

A personal experience I have had with mammals inbreeding was when my neighbors accidentally let their mama dog reproduce with her son. Normally she would have a healthy litter of 10-12 pups, but with this she only had 7 and 3 were stillborn. They all looked a tad off and behaved slightly different than the previous pups I helped raise, and 2 weren’t born with the usual fluff that most German Shepherd pups are born with. That is an example of what happens when 1 generation of inbreeding clearly has negative effects. You never see that in reptiles because they can’t have that much go wrong with them, because there isn’t that much to go wrong.

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Yes my logic is still sound in all reality if the forest spider BP want able to reproduce than it technically wasn’t at adulthood. Next the trait is codominant so one would think that if they were to thrive there would be more spider ball pythons in the wild. I know it takes longer for them to grow in the wild I don’t need the basics explained since I did my research from people who were both for and against the gene. One just needs to accept the fact that others have their own perspective no need to have a discussion on the subject when the subject is about inbreeding.

As for the litter yes mammals are more sensitive to inbreeding. Rodents have a little bit of tolerance, however behavioral issues and smaller defects can come out of it when done more than a single generation. Reptiles in the wild have it harsher which means only the strongest and first survive.

Guys we are getting off topic. Remember this is about Breeding babies back to parents and not spider ball python. We have many topics already going on that subject.


It really depends on the “morph” and if it has a history of issues. Like others said it’s probably best not to do it multiple generations, but for boas at least some locales can be done that much. Vin Russo talked a little about inbreeding on I think Morelia radio, basically he believes an animal that lives in an isolated environment with not the easiest living conditions naturally weeds out the genetically weak. This applies to at least some island boas and I believe Tamaulipas cloud forest boas (blows my mind they survive low 50s)

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I wonder if by that logic if that is what happened to snake island located on São Paulo coast? There has got to be inbreeding going on there…would that mean if hypothetically a keeper only bred the strong back to the parent with aging occasional new blood that would be the most optimal to produce the best offspring with the best genetic material?

I am sorry, but many reptiles and amphibians are significantly more complex genetically and, as such, there is much more that can go wrong with inbreeding.

The whole notion that “lower” organisms are less complex is an old-wives tale that, despite significant evidence to the contrary, just refuses to die. One of the most genetically complex organisms on the planet is an amoeba, and you cannot get much lower down the ladder than that


Then how come with a single generation of inbreeding in a snake doesn’t cause nearly as many issues as in something like a dog? I honestly haven’t seen negative effects of a single generation of inbreeding in a snake, but have seen negative effects of a single generation of inbreeding in dogs first hand. You would think that something that hasn’t evolved much since the dinosaurs wouldn’t be nearly as complex as a dog, or any mammal for that matter.

Because dogs are already inbred to a high degree to meet the “standard” for their breed.

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Just to add what you said, my dog which is in my profile picture is the direct result of inbreeding hence why his nose is shaped like that because it was over decades of inbreeding to get this desired look and while i am in no way hating on pure breds i just thought id add to your response as a way to back it up more with some one else responding as well, but yeah you are completely right on your response with your example of the dogs being inbred and the fact that even some of the simplest looking organisms are actually the most genetically complicated.