Is it ok to make lines loosely started off others line bred traits?

hi all! im thinking of trying to make the most green leopard gecko possible as a line bred thing, but i have a bit of a worry. ive seen a lot of good green leos that id love to start the project off on, but theyre babies from multiple other line bred projects. im new to breeding in this community so i just want to know, is it even allowed to take other lines to combine and selectively breed to make your own lines? is that immoral? do i have to start from only wild types? sorry if these are dumb questions, i just want to make sure i dont cause any issues in the community!



A large chunk of the “lines” you see in LGs are exactly this. Why start off walking in the dirt when you could be standing on the shoulders of giants from the beginning.

A polygenic line is just your progress towards your desired look.

Michelin didnt recreate the wheel, they just improved it to their desired specs


This ^

I doubt there’s many who really want to start from total scratch
I can’t see how it’s immoral but if there’s any concerns ask the seller for their opinion, I’m sure most would be happy to say yes or no and give reasons


I’m usually pretty strict on my own geckos… So if I was to do this project myself? It would take quite a while to reach the point where I feel comfortable calling it my own line.

It’s how things ended up where they are now. Every line started somewhere. Here’s how I personally would approach it:

-select the highest quality animals you can. Look for animals that have the qualities you hope to bring out. Anything without is a step backwards polygenically speaking.

-find a good name for this ‘project’. It’s not your personal line yet. You need to work towards it.

-breed, select, breed. Breed and find the babies that have the best representation of those genes in the parents. Color is more polymorphic so you’ll have some crazy mixes on the hatchlings. Holdback the best of the best. Breed again. Consider your thoughts on line breeding vs diversity. One generation back to the parents is usually okay. But long term you will want as much diversity as you can without sacrifice to the color.

-credit the offspring to the original lines but from your project name. They’re not your own line yet. Again, you need to produce something different to call it yours.

-find the difference. Once you have a good percentage of offspring hatching with the colors you are looking for in an increased amount, then you can consider changing from “project name” to “name line”

Not to discourage you, but this is a process that takes years. Your looking at least 4 generations of highly selective breeding to start seeing the results you really want.

In the end though, the most important thing is to have fun and produce the healthy animals that you are hoping to see! So good luck!

Edit: green is a difficult color to work for as usually it’s just an in between product of the fade from the purple to yellow or orange as an adult. I don’t know how successful the project will be overall, but there really isn’t enough work towards breeding for the green outside of emerine or pacific green lines to say if it would be successful. I don’t know how likely you will be to see adults keeping anything other than paler yellows and such because of it. Outside of reds, browns and blacks, I don’t think they have the correct genetics involved for that color. It’s just making it so that in between phase appears as close to green as possible.


Welcome to the forum!!!

I agree with both @eaglereptiles and @phoenix-exotics (edit: and @armiyana ) . When you are first starting your project, don’t sell the babies you don’t hold back as your own line yet- you’ll need several generations before you can call a project your own ‘line.’

So, for example, let’s say you select a very green Clown male, and pair it with an Emerine female. I would sell any offspring as ‘Clown x Emerine Cross.’

The next generation is a little more complicated, but I still wouldn’t call it your own ‘line’ yet. So let’s say you do the pairing above twice, with 4 different geckos.

  • Pairing #1: Clown :male_sign: #1 x Emerine :female_sign: #1 = Holdback Offspring #1

  • Pairing #2: Clown :male_sign: #2 x Emerine :female_sign: #2 = Holdback Offspring #2

So, both Offspring #1 & Offspring #2 are Clown x Emerine Crosses. But after that first generation, you shouldn’t really just use ‘cross,’ it’s better to give percentages, like so:

(next generation)

  • Pairing #3: Offspring #1 x Offspring #2 = Holdback Offspring #3

Holdback Offspring #3 = ‘50% Clown, 50% Emerine.’

Another example:

  • Pairing #1: Clown :male_sign: #1 x Emerine :female_sign: #1 = Holdback Offspring #1

  • Pairing #2: Emerine :male_sign: #2 x G&T :female_sign: #2 = Holdback Offspring #2

So Holdback Offspring #1 = ‘Clown x Emerine Cross.’

Holdback Offspring #2 = ‘Emerine x G&T Cross.’

(second generation)

  • Holdback Offspring #1 x Holdback Offspring #2 = Holdback Offspring #3

Holdback Offspring #3 are ‘50% Emerine, 25% Clown, 25% G&T.’

It’s sort of arbitrary/subjective when you can consider your project a true ‘line.’ I personally think that I would use percentages for the originals’ grandchildren and their great-grandchildren. After that I think calling your project a ‘line’ would be fair. Though make sure you occasionally add new blood into your line. I personally think that generations and generations of inbreeding eventually leads to increased health problems and deformities, but MANY leopard gecko breeders disagree strongly with me about that.

Also, if you are starting a new line, make sure to keep close track of any and all possible hets. For example, if you bred a gecko that was het for Tremper to a gecko that was het for Bell, all offspring would be Pet Only. For a project focusing on green coloration in leos, I’d try to stay completely het-free. That way your offspring could be useful to breeders that are working with different morphs that shouldn’t be mixed. For example, a breeder with Trempers in their project and a breeder working with Rainwater could both work with an animal with NKH (no known hets). Or both Eclipse and Marble Eye and other combos like that.


thank you so much, thats all so helpful!! this will definitely be a long process and itll probably be years and years before its even a official line and not a project, but im really excited to start it! thanks so much again for all the help to you and everyone here! i probably wont even start this project for a good while because my current focus is just local breeding anyways but im happy to have a useful resource for once i do start! thank you!!


Glad to help! Definitely come by the forum anytime- you never know what cool stuff you’ll find on the ‘Latest’ page. :wink:

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I was just looking for this information, thanks👌