Ethics of Spiders and Spider Breeding

I have worked with a ton of ball pythons, and I’ve never seen a spider that has “such a severe wobble that they can hardly even move.” Where are you getting your information?

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Everywhere. Big Breeding discords, friends who have dealt with spiders and seeing spiders at petco with severe wobble

The only spiders that have severe wobble are snakes that are not taken care of properly and/or are under stress.

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They were Frankensteined into popularity just like pugs were

There is a lot of hype and bandwagoning about spider. You need to make sure you have credible sources and not jump to conclusions. Poor husbandry, illness , over heating, and other problems can cause the severe wobble one sees on petubers channels. How many of the bad wobbles are rescue snakes? How many are being stressed by their owners to make a sensationalist video??? Just wondering.



Here is one such research paper that exists regarding the spider gene. There are a couple other papers referenced in the references section. There is another paper that attempts to study the cause specifically, however I can’t seem to find it atm. If I am not mistaken it was also written by MP Rose.

That being said there were some issues with the research. The main two were implicit bias in the writing, as well as funding source for the research, and the materials and methods left a lot to be desired supporting the validity of the research.

That being said, I have yet to meet anyone that is up to the challenge of proving any of the wild claims regarding the gene. It always boils down to I heard, or I read, or I saw. The last one inevitably comes down to a youtube video that has been selectively edited. Show me the emaciated, twitchy, and hyper agressive due to pain spider ball python. Not one person has ever been able to do so. Which is odd considering the ubiquitous nature of the claims.


That’s what I’ve experienced as well. We all know spiders can show wobble, especially under incorrect husbandry practices.
But to say they have pain because of the wobble is undocumented from what I can gather. All claims with no proof.

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Sorry, I mistook your statement to indicate no evidence on the wobble, my mistake.

Thanks for clearing it up.

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Oh no worries, I re-read it myself and see how you came to that conclusion.

This statement proves that you have no idea what you’re talking about. The Spider morph, and literally all ball python morphs, are naturally occurring. They aren’t something people created through selective breeding. The first spider was taken out of the wild, where it survived, on it’s own. It wasn’t bred for a shorter nose or big, bulging eyes like pugs were.

Bad analogy my dude.


I’m breeding my spider female right now, and you can guarantee that I’m not going to sugar coat ANYTHING if something weird, wobbly, or kinked comes out.


Seems sus :thinking:

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Obviously this person has no knowledge of the ball python hobby as a whole and doesn’t want to know the truth. You can’t change the mind of someone who has already convinced themselves they will not change their mind.


ok there is misinformation on both sides here.

First there is zero evidence to suggest spiders suffer any pain, I mean imagine seeing someone with motor skill issues and suggesting to give them pain killers to treat it. Is that an extreme enough example to drill that in? Motor skill issues in no way equals pain. Thats should be very obvious unless you have an extreme bias.

However im also worried about the people suggesting that a wobbling spider is not being taken care of correctly. Its been long known that poor husbandry can increase the expression of the wobble. That doesn’t mean proper husbandry will make it hardly express at all. Some spiders are just more afflicted by it, doesn’t matter conditions you put them in, they will express it quite a bit. That goes for any of the wobble morphs. To suggest anything else is either misinformed or dishonest.


As someone who wants to be a herptologist in the future, I think that it would be helpful to compare the muscles of a normal ball python to a spider. It would also be nice to be able to see if there are any other things that are different in the brain development wise as they age. And to see how long one lives compared to another. Overall I think more testing and actual animal friendly experiments need to be done to know the full length of how badly a spider ball python is affected by the neruo issues it has, hence why I don’t wish to buy or breed them.


I’d like to apologize to everybody here, i indeed didn’t know what i was talking about before i made baseless claims. I’ll make sure i know what I’m actually talking about before i make claims from now on


Late to the party here but I want to ante in.


That paper was already posted above and I very specifically called out the problems with it. Posting it again and giving it further credibility as if it were completely valid and definitive just does not sit well with me…
Moving on…

Matt makes a very coherent statement about the false correlation of motor dysfuntion = pain that was used and embraced for the “banning” of Spider and other morphs in the EU. This was a very purposeful manipulation done by animal rights groups to win over parts of the reptile community to conflate the stigma of these morphs and thereby “win” on getting them forbidden at expos (and, as a point of clarification, these morphs are not banned in the EU, you can still breed them, buy them and sell them, you just cannot do so at any of the expos). The problem here, and why this is a win for AR groups and a thorn for the hobby, is that it sets a precedent that they can build on to further restrict other morphs and, in so doing, further damage the hobby.


First you stigmatize Spider (which they did very well, as witness here)

Next, point to all the other morphs that have wobble, even the minor ones and target them: Woma, HGW, Champ, SuperSpotnose, SuperSable

Next, since it looks more and more that the wobblers are an allele group, target other alleles in the group simply because they are related and target them: Blackhead, Chocolate(?), Wookie(?), RedStripe(?).

Next, point to a different morph with issues and target it: SuperCinny

Next, point to all the alleles in that group and target them: BlkPastel, Enchi, HRA, Huffman, Jolt, Razor, Gypsy, GrnPastel, LBB…

Next, point to a different morph with issues and target it: SuperButter

Next, point to all the alleles in that group and target them: Lesser, Mojave, Phantom, Bamboo, Russo, Special…

Are you keeping track of how many morphs we would now be looking at losing? That is about 1/3 of the base morphs by my rough reckoning…

Next, point to a situation where a specific combo with one of the above has issues and target it: PiedBluEL group and microphthalmia

Next, target the other morph in that combo as being suspect: Pied

Next, having established that even suspect morphs are fair game, broaden the net: Albinos sometimes have eye issues

Next, point to other things similar but not the same as the above: Candy/Toffee, Lav, Caramel, Ultramel, Monarch, Banana…

At this point I think we are down to… Clown, Axanthic, BlkEL group, Ivory group, Pastel and a few others… And I am sure that someone determined could find a way to pick apart each of them.
It is a slippery slope. One that too few people think about when they start piling on to the anti-Spider (or anti-Scaleless, or anti-whatever) bandwagon. And people really need to start thinking about it.

If you do not like Spider personally, great, fine, wonderful for you. Then do not keep Spiders in your collection. But that should be the beginning and end of the conversation. You have no more right to tell me that I cannot have Spider in my collection than I have to tell you that you cannot keep Axanthic in your collection. Your collection is yours. My collection is mine. What you like is up to you. What I like is up to me

/End rant


perhaps you had better reread my comments. I stated explicitly that there were issues with the paper. My post was due to a misunderstanding of mnroyals post, which we subsequently cleared up.

I seriously suggest next time you single someone out for a rant you get your facts straight. Had you bothered to read my, or the subsequent posts between mnroyals and myself you might have picked up on the fact that the person you’re trying to call out agrees with you. Feel free to point out where I gave it any credibility.


I do not need to reread your comments but I do suggest you reread mine.

Internet 101 - it does not matter how true something is, all that matters is the clicks

By direct linking something that has already been flagged/called as uncredible you promote/encourage more traffic/clicks to it which gives it the impression of credibility. Your link (at the time I am typing this reply) has garnered just as many clicks as the post that first linked the article. As such, your action has effectively doubled the traffic to that article.

I singled you out for all of 1/16 of my rant (less actually, two sentences out of thirty-three total.)

The remaining 94% of my rant was “singling out” the multiple other people in this thread that have so readily joined the anti-Spider bandwagon without any consideration or critical thought as to where the “ethics” argument actually came from


The “papers” author is a veterinary eye doctor. He doesn’t even specialize in genetics. Not a credible source.