I just heard that jaguar carpets have a tendency to have a wobble. Is this something that is caught at birth or does it show up later? Also what other downsides are there with jaguars and axanthics?
That “wobble” is a neurological condition related to the same gene that causes the jaguar pattern. It can manifest at any age and the severity can vary from barely noticeable to full blown screwed up. It is definitely not acceptable to breed Jag to jag. The super form of the jag gene is leucistic and it is 100% fatal. ALL leucistic Carpets die, most before they hatch, some shortly after. The rest is subject to discussion. Is it ethical to breed for a gene with a known defect? I struggle with this myself as I have an absolutely gorgeous caramel Jag female. Mine has never shown any sign of wobble yet. Stress is said to have be a factor and breeding can be stressful . I cant say whether I will ever breed her. I can say that, if she shows visible signs of neurological issue I will not. However, others have pointed out that animals with bad signs can produce offspring without it. I think you need to research all of the ramifications of what you are contemplating and then make an informed decision. Maybe some of the BP breeders can chime in as the spider gene in BPs is a similar issue. Maybe it is a sign that all of the inbreeding , outbreeding and multiple het gene manipulation is not good for the snakes? maybe the ramifications are more limited. there is a lot to consider and a lot of opinions out there. You definitely need to do your due diligence and then make up your mind.
Neuro in both Jag and Spider is inherent to the mutation and is wholly unrelated to inbreeding, outbreeding, or het status.
Eddie, covered Jag fairly well. The neuro is what it is. There are people with strong feelings about it, many of whom have never even kept a Jag and even more who make decisions based on emotion and not science.
Axanthic does not have any known problems. The only “issue” involved with Axanthic is that for years it was treated as a recessive when it is more properly a weak incomplete-dominant. So now you occasionally see people yelling at each other over what it actually is and how to label the offspring. The only other thing to consider is that the Axanthic morph occurs naturally in both coastal carpets and IJ carpets which are separate species. So if you are a “purist” you should make sure you can verify your lineage when purchasing. If you are not a “purist” then do not worry about it
t_h you are correct about the wobble not being caused by inbreeding. but the point was more general. When we have an animal with an interesting mutation that we want to replicate we start by outbreeding (assuming it’s male) to make a bunch of hets. Then, as they grow up we go to inbreeding, het to het or het back to the progenitor. I do believe that this is not as harmful in herps as in higher animals, but it does, arguably weaken the genetic code to an extent. Then say we want to combine mutations so we take two animal with differently weakened genetic code and breed them toether (more outbreeding) to spread around the genes and make double hets. Then back to inbreeding to try and get double expression. You can see where it may be getting iffy and then what happens with 3,4 or 7 mutlihet combos? I do know that I see more people reporting wobbles or kinks or other issue than I ever saw before. (might just be because of more breeding) and I am not sure what, if any damage we are doing, especially since a lot is trial and error and not real science. When I got my Jag I was sure she would be just a pet due to the neuro issues, as I learn more I am not so sure. I am starting to see that it is not what I first thought it was. Still have not decided. I am not saying any of this is unethical ( except for combos that lead to almost guaranteed death) my only real point is do your research and make informed decisions.
Thanks for your input and even though the axanthic jags are just so beautiful I can’t bring myself to take a chance on a known defect, let alone breed them further. I am currently making payments on a axanthic coastal. Again thank you
I am glad to see you took some time and made a good choice. I agree that the axanthic jag are beautiful. I would even love one as a pet but you have probably made a better choice for breeding. I got my carmel jag cheap because a guy bought her then heard about the neuro and tried to return her. The breeder would not take her back (rightfully so) because she was healthy, no sign of neuro and the guy should have done his research prior to buying. He was stuck with an animal he didn’t want and took a loss when he sold her. You did your research first and avoided the same situation I wrote all that out so maybe others reading this can see the distinction. Some may argue that they don’t agree with your decision, but they can’t say that they don’t agree with your process or the concept of making informed decisions BEFORE you buy an animal. Good job and happy herping!