Question for breeders re: etiquette

Is it considered acceptable to contact a breeder to ask them if they have something in particular (that is not listed on MM already)? For example (with leos), if I were looking for a patternless eclipse, or a Tremper albino enigma, or a purple-striped cyclops :upside_down_face:, etc., and I didn’t see one (or didn’t see one I wanted), is it rude or annoying to reach out to reputable breeders to try and find one? Or is it against the rules in any way?

In my case, there would be a genuine intent to purchase IF I found what I was looking for, but I am also admittedly fairly picky, so there is a decent possibility that the inquiry might not result in a sale for the breeder.

That actually reminds me of another etiquette question I had!

When (if ever) is it ok to ask for pictures of sire +/- dam (if known)? Is it regarded as acceptable above a certain prospective price point, only with certain species, or according to size of the breeder? I have often wondered about this. If I do end up working on a breeding project some day, I’d most likely want parental pics, especially of a cornerstone sire(s). But I also realize that asking for that is another situation where you’re taking up the attention/time of a breeder but which may not result in a sale.

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If I didn’t find something I wanted or was looking for something that nobody had listed than I do reach out and every breeder I reached out to was happy to assist so no it does not break any rules or anything and it is fine if, like you said, you had the intention to buy otherwise it just waste both your time. Also requesting pictures of the pairing and the parents that produced the animal in question is actually a very common question that almost every breeder gets so that is a completely acceptable question as well.


The thing you need to remember is, businesses like communication. The stores on MM are no different.

If you can’t find the animal you are after and reach out to a seller, then 99% of the time they will love to help you… But only if you are serious.

If they can help you find the perfect animal then that is a positive experience someone has had with their business and a likely future customer.

Ask any and every question that pops in your mind, ask them to help you or if they can lead you to someone who can. Everyone has their own little circles and if they can help a friend sell a animal then they will.

Don’t feel uncomfortable asking questions. These animals are spending the remainder of their lives with you and maybe vice versa, you want to get it perfect and the only way is through asking questions.

Also check out this thread about a future “alert” feature we should be seeing soon…


People do it all the time and it’s always a good idea to do so.

First it will give you an idea of that the individual is working with and whether or not they will have some available anytime soon.

Usually a good first step additionally if the breeder does not produce what you are looking for they might be able to recommend someone they trust and that is very valuable as well.


If I’m looking for a snake and nothing pops up, I’ll filter to the sold animals and look at the breeders who have sold the particular snake im looking for. I usually then reach out to them via fb or Instagram and ask that way. It never hurts to ask.


I often have customers reach out to me about animals that I may not have available at the time. Usually this is because they saw an older ad of mine for animals that have been sold, and they want to know when/if I’ll have something similar available. If I do intend to produce an animal like that, I add them to my waiting list. I make a lot of sales that way. If someone asks for a type of animal that I no longer work with, I try to set them up with someone I know that does work with them.

Requesting parent pics is perfectly fine too.


Your inquiries may spur on a breeding project that was in the idea stage for someone. I don’t see it as a breech of etiquette. Uninterested parties need not reply, eh?


Thank you everyone for the input! Now I think I’ll feel more confident making inquiries when the time is right.

What tone is better to use with a breeder you haven’t spoken to before, (a) or (b)?:

(a) Do you work with purple-striped cyclops and do you have any available right now?



(b) Hi there! My name is Frumpy McDonalds. I’m a big fan of the cyclops you breed- I love the male you shared on instagram the other day! You’ve inspired me and I’m hoping to start my own little cyclops project soon myself. I was wondering if you might have any unlisted purple-striped cyclops? I’m especially interested in adults with teal antennae, and proven or unproven are both just fine.

Warm regards,

Is one approach definitely preferable over another? Or is it better to go somewhere in between (a) and (b)?

I just ask the question as is (but respectfully of course) because most sellers at least in my experience will not give you a full paragraph or essay of what they have so I dont see the point to taking the time to send a long message they will just give me a quick answer to but either way it wouldn’t hurt if you wanted to do that.


The seller doesn’t need your whole life story. I’d just say “Do you have any {animal name} in stock, or do you expect any in the future?”


For the record, I do have a pretty cool life story though! :wink::blush: