What are yalls feeling on hybrids?

I know there seems to be the general consensus that hybrids are a bad thing.

My feeling is pretty much every animal that humans have ( farm or otherwise) are more or less hybrids, inbred and bred for certain traits essentially eugenics projects.

The common theme i see over and over is they " muddy the water " hybridization also does occur in nature with species that have overlapping territory.

I can think of many animal companions that are hybrid such as wolf dogs, bengals, savannas. There are some snake species where they found hybridization in the wild such as the gaboon/rhino viper, polar bear/grizzly and even coyote/dog and coyote/wolf.
Yet im supposed to pretend that hybridization is a bad thing and pure breds are the best when all data shows pure breds always have serious health issues, and even with all these selective breeding or reptiles for traits that possibly would be a death sentence either in captivity or in the wild.

Im not trying to have an argument about whos right or wrong, i certainly will not look down or whatever to a person who has a different opinion than me. I would like to have a reasoned out though where we can be civil regardless of how we may think.

Like give logical thought out reasoning, we all are here to enjoy the love of animals and i assume possibly all adults.

I hope this is not an a convo that is disruptive ( its not my intention) i understand as many people as there are youll have that many different opinions.


I do not mind hybrids as long as they are labeled as such. In fact, I have a Scaleless Cornsnake (way back a Scaleless Rat Snake was bred to a Corn Snake to introduce the gene iirc)

I find many of the hybrids beautiful


There are some hybrids that have lent beneficial genes and adaptations and other benefits. I suspect that all these morphs out there didn’t all occur naturally.

Certain hybrids i do find unethical such as lygers etc because they have no beneficial enhancements but are loaded with tons of defects that detremtally affect the animal.

With the changing world animals have had to adapt to the change or die out so some hybridization lends to the survival of the species.

Of course people should be informed that they are getting a hybrid.

My rosy boa though beautiful is just an albino rosy with no discernable liniage. I will likely never breed her but if i did she would just be a pet lineage. My male is a Lindberg coastal rosy.

I still love both the same as i do all my animals.

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I don’t particularly care for it but done in appropriate situations it’s not the end of the world. There are specific circumstances where I thing it is very detrimental, such as improper labeling which then causes confusion down the line.
The other big issue is in closed gene pools. I will use blue tongue skinks for an example since I am familiar with them. The population of Australian skinks we have now in the US are all that we will ever have. I have come across a few people crossing those with Indonesian subspecies. Not only is that mixing a finite gene pool but is also causes significant issues with husbandry. Indonesian BTS husbandry is not the same as Australian BTS care and it can cause difficulties in finding the sweet spot for the mixed offspring.
I also think that hybridization can be a grey area. Your example of the lyger is a perfect one in showcasing how it’s unhealthy to the point of being sterile. But on the other hand look at the mule (I am unclear if this is technically an intergrade vs hybrid so correct me if I’m wrong) they are sterile in almost every instance but their health holds up and they have been instrumental in regards to various labor. In my mind there is a level of experimentation required but the line should be drawn when you consistently get unhealthy offspring.


Every morph absolutely did occur naturally, as they are just the result of a genetic mutation. Certain morphs have indeed been “transferred” into species that did not initially have them through hybridization, this is extremely common in the rat and king snake side of the hobby

This is not hybridizing as all rosy boas are the same species. This is just maintaining locality “purity.”

Mules are a true hybrid. Also, fun fact, only the males are sterile. The females are able to produce offspring when bred back to either a horse or a donkey, though it is at a reduced rate
Love/hate for hybrids seems to depend on which little corner of the hobby you are looking at and also how far separated the two species/genera are.

  • Chondro keepers have been hybridizing pretty much since the beginning, albeit inadvertently in the early days.
  • Carpet python keepers as a whole come across as being twitchy about hybrids but at the same time they have been making intragenic crosses between the sub/full species for almost as long as chondro keepers.
  • Corn and rat snakes are pretty much just a hybrid swarm at this point.
  • Most alterna keepers are very strong locality-type breeders but there are some that just make “generic” alternas to be able to get certain locality specific morphs into other localities… And then there is the “Albino alterna” which originated as an alterna x ruthveni hybrid and many of today’s alterna keepers are ignorant of that (the same applies to the “Albino thayeri”).
  • Almost all the dwarf and superdwarf retics are actually hybrids

Once you start going into the Frankenstein territory is where people get a bit more contentious: Carpondros, carpals, burmballs, comas, walls, coelen, retor, bateater, angry balls, superballs, many others I am sure I have forgotten… People tend to be pretty binary - they either love them or they hate them

I take the line that I take with every part of this hobby: I do not have to like it if you do like it, just care for it properly and be 100% open and honest about the lineage


As long as there’s no shady labeling and the animal doesn’t suffer from defects, I have no problem with hybrids. I don’t see it as any different than breeding for morphs - humans selecting which animals to pair to create something visually pleasing.


It totally depends on the circumstances for me. I think you’re either breeding for morphs or for purebreds. For example I wouldn’t get a purebred carpet python and breed it to an unknown lineage carpet, but I would have no problems with breeding either purebreds together, or unknown lineages together. I’m also familiar with dart frogs and tarantulas, where it’s a huge taboo to create hybrids. I would never mix localities or species of those because if that is a common practice the differences between the species/localities will get mixed and you will lose a lot of the diversity that makes those species great. They are also different in that they can have dozens to hundreds of babies in a year, and there’s pretty much no way to prevent some babies from a hybrid pairing from getting in the wrong hands and being sold as purebreds, being bred and the babies are sold as breeders, or being bred to other species and creating more hybrids, creating a chain reaction of hybrids being produced and species/localities being mixed.


All great information and points of view.

I agree that if you were to sell offspring of a hybrid there needs to be transparency. If you do it just for yourself then no need to.

To deliberately to create an unhealthy offspring because it looks cool or whatever reason not only is irresponsible but it cruel and the practice needs to stop.
Some animals greatly suffer from crossbreeding and humans deliberately breeding for a certain look such as frenchies, Persians and even munchkins.

So while hybridization has helped species survive and at times they become their own species. Hybridization in some species is extremely irresponsible and the animal suffers from debilitating illness and genetic defects.

I support hybridization in some instances while i think its almost criminal in others.

As far as people that breed for certain genetic traits, that too can even possibly lead to defects. There also is a chance of inbreeding which really hurts the animals.

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I think educated intent is everything when producing any type of hybrid. If a reasonable answer to “why?” Cannot be given, then it probably shouldn’t be done.
Almost every human-driven hybrid or crossbreed, that exists today as it’s own breed or species, has been bred for a purpose. This is most apparent in agriculture, most likely followed by the pet industry.
Strictly regarding hybrids, I don’t think answering “can this be done?” Is valid as a stand-alone reason but I also don’t consider it necessarily unethical. It’s just not something I would do personally. A vegan is never going to hybridize an animal for optimal growth and muscle development, ultimately destined for consumption. That doesn’t mean someone who does is unethical.
I do strongly feel that preservation of our naturally occurring species within their original ecosystems is extremely important. If hybrids are created in a controlled environment, that could never occur in the wild, great care should be taken to make sure those animals don’t get released.
That being said, I could see where hybrids could save a species from extinction as our planet changes, albeit not in their original/natural form. I’m pretty sure this has been done before, somewhere, but I don’t have any way to produce evidence of that at 3am without falling back asleep first so I’ll just leave that as a hypothetical assumption.
Thanks for posting and making me think!


Some hybrids naturally occur and thrive.


I thought it’d be neat to see a Lichanura Trivirgata X Eryx Colubrinus since they are closely related. Im sure before the land masses separated they possibly were the same, but divergent habits changed how they have adapted to their specific location. Im sure they wouldn’t be successful in breeding their habits are too different as im sure its way hotter in Africa than California/Mexico/Az. They both burrow but im sure KBS are better adapted to burying in sand and use to higher temps.

Still it would be neat to see the “cow” pattern on a rosy :joy:.

Its probably most definitely not ethical to do so not sure if the offspring would be viable or sterile or not.

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