I am starting a project, including 4 black nights I’ve adopted from 4 different breeders, 2♀️ 2♂️. One boy is an import from Hong Kong, 2yrs old, the other was hatched in Canada, 7months. One female was from Europe, 2 yrs old, the other was produce here in the USA, 9months.
I am a little confused about responsibly outcrossing them though. I thought by sourcing in different places I achieved that, but I’m now considering diversifying further. Should I consider outcrossing with a more wild-type leo to strengthen the black night line?
I’ve also considered outcrossing to blizzard, but this wouldnt be outcrossing, it would be blending right? If anyone wants to enlighten me, I’m all ears!
With any breeding project, there are two ways to approach genetic management. The first is out crossing to known unrelated animals. The other is line breeding, while removing deleterious traits or low quality offspring from the group in order to create a stable genotype that is free of deleterious genes.
Given that you’re working with animals that all share in a similar mutation, it’s very possible that the animals still share common relatives. It is also possible that you already have a sufficient amount of diversity among those animals. The only way you’re going to be able to verify this is to breed them and see how the offspring turn out.
Keep in mind that you can only achieve so much diversity, given that most of the animals are collected and exported from the same specific locations.
Black Knight of the quality you have is still so uncommon in the hobby. They’re beautiful.
On one hand by diversifying where they’re from like that is great, the gene pool is still so small because they were most likely heavily linebred to maintain this color.
Have you asked the breeders what the history for these geckos are? For example, the HK and EU ones may originate from the same father. So you would want to find fresh unrelated geckos (which will obviously dilute the colors) or find one a bit further away genetically… For example the father for one may be the grandfather of the other.
Thanks for clarification on those basics. I know for a fact three come from the lineage but I plan to move foward following practices you’ve mentioned and see how it works out. Only time will tell!
While I know 3 come from Ferry Zurrmond’s lineages, I wasn’t given much info on Ragnar, my HK boy, but he does have a distinctly different eye shape. No guarantees of course but I know when I want to indroduce fresh blood in the future, I will require more extensive history.
The gene pool is very shallow, I plan to be part of the solution but I need more biology in my life. I am going to do my best to avoid line breeding but as we know, finding new genetics will be difficult.
They appreciate the comments, they are beautiful!