Crack down on subspecies crosses Queensland

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by andynic07, Apr 16, 2014.

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  1. geckodan

    geckodan Very Well-Known Member

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    Correct Rob, those mutations that can be demonstrated to be common in the wild or documented as the offspring of a wild caught animal (aka Blondie's offspring) can not be discriminated against by the legislation. This has been confirmed in talks with senior EPA officers when establishing what their definition of a mutation was.
     
  2. cement

    cement APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Yeah, thats right... and its pretty fair to say that there aren't any/many morphs in captivity (from pure locality) that haven't occurred in the wild. We as hobby breeders are way behind natural occurring morphology, the animals have the genes!
    Just because we get a hypo, or a reduced in a clutch doesn't mean its a first. There are plenty of striped pythons in the wild, the chances of us finding rare morphs in the wild is, well rare, because of the nature of the animals.
     
  3. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for clarifying that but what does this actually cover off on and would it cover multiple mutation variations? Also could you argue that all mutations could actually occur in the wild or even sub species crosses such as coastal/diamond crosses.
     
  4. TrueBlue

    TrueBlue Very Well-Known Member

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    Coastals and Diamonds cannot ever naturally cross in the wild as they live in different parts of the country. The intergrade form seperates the two. Intergrades are not crosses they are a natural occouring form of carpet.
     
  5. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    I did realise that intergrades weren't cross breeds but thought that there were coastals that lived at the top end of the diamond territory. I do not have any herping experience in these areas so am just going off roughly drawn maps without much detail. Is there any carpet sub species that live adjacent to another?
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  6. TrueBlue

    TrueBlue Very Well-Known Member

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    The carpets that live at the top end of what is classified as pure Diamond territory,(just north of Newcastle), are intergrades not coastals. Once you get just North of Coffs Habour you are in pure coastal territory.
     
  7. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    I hope this link does not get removed but it shows that a lot of the carpet sub species edge on each other and some overlap which I would think in these areas sub species cross breeding would exist. Now I have not got nearly enough field herping in any of these areas to verify or deny that the maps are correct and have no other option than to believe them until proven otherwise.

    Morelia S. mcdowelli
     
  8. From the same page you linked which backs up TrueBlue's point.

    "Note that the distribution map is a very rough guide only, in some areas there are intergrades between the subspecies, and snakes from those areas may be hard to categorize as they may have characteristics of more than one subspecies."

    The carpet python complex is pretty much a continuum with the possible exception of the bredli and south western varieties. There is no magic line where one subspecies ends and another starts it's a gradual transition.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2014
  9. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    So you are more saying that they are all the same and should be able to be bred with each other? I have read someone stating that DNA wise they are all the same on the east coast and going on that point plus yours and Trueblue's about there being intergeade zones where the slow transition is happening and no set stopping point why can they not breed? What is an intergrade classed as and how do you tell an intergrade from the point the change occurs from diamond to intergrade from a pure diamond? Also there is a lot of discussion around about the colours of diamond pythons changing from the top of their distribution to the bottom, why do we really break up capers when there is such a gradual change from one to the other?
     
  10. They are not all the same, they have evolved differently to suit their varying environmental conditions, though there is continual gene flow between the different forms. There is just no magic point where one form changes into another.

    Taxonomy tries to fit things neatly into boxes with species and subspecies but in reality things aren't that simple. Some taxonomists split the subspecies/species while others lump them all together, at the end of the day they are trying to use a simple classification system to classify something that can't really be correctly classified.

    The diamonds and coastals are likely described as they are as their range falls within the two major capital cities in morelia east coast range. (Sydney and Brisbane). If the first fleet first landed at Port Macquarie or somewhere else in the "intergrade" zone things may well have been described differently.
     
  11. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    Basically you are telling me that they are different but the same. That there is no point that we can say the change happens but it is wrong to cross breed. Taxonomy is the only way we can call something different but it is not fit for the purpose. We choose to use taxonomy to classify things and then use these names to differentiate what we can and can't breed together but this taxonomy does not have set boundaries so how are we supposed to follow it when breeding? I would like to forget the word intergrade for a second and ask people what they would class one as and what they are classed as on paperwork and also what can you breed them with because "technically they border on two other species and depending on where they live may encounter and breed naturally with either one.
     
  12. ThatGuy

    ThatGuy Not so new Member

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    Are they in-fact breeding with each other? or are they simply showing evolutionary traits that have allowed them to adapt to the cross-over between two different habitats? I guess that either pure may breed with the same intergrade as it sits close to both populations but wouldn't necessarily be breeding directly with the pure. This is mostly an educated opinion based on the arguments I have read throughout this thread but I don't know if there is a reconciled approach that would suit and explain either arguments. Kind of like Christians say God put humans here and science says we evolved from monkeys, why couldn't god have decided to trigger the evolution?

    EDIT:

    As I have a lot of time on my hands lately I actually will look around and have a full-on read throughout the web on this topic and see what I might scratch up. Not saying I will find anything that hasn't already been covered here or find info that someone here doesn't already know but I am honestly interested now. :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  13. It comes down to your views on cross breeding Andynic, some people think it's fine to cross a jungle python from Mission Beach with one from Palmerston while others don't. (locale cross) Some have no issues with crossing a diamond with a jungle while others do. (subspecies cross) while others will happily cross a jungle with a GTP (species cross).

    What is ok and what isn't comes down to personal opinions and poorly worded definitions and classifications that vary wildly between the states.
     
  14. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    That is my point that the rules need to be changed. I really don't care what others breed but would like the choice to buy pure or not , buy cross breeds or not and buy mutations or not rather than have that taken away from me. I believe most of the rules about this are created on a false premise of conservation of the species which nearly everyone on this site knows is never going to happen because nobody can prove purity to enough of a degree to warrant the release of a captive snake. I own mainly "pure" animals apart from the cross bred diamond/coastal but think a lot of the cross breeds and mutations available are wonderful to look at and for the hobby with the amount of people that are drawn in due to them. I really think that it is ridiculous some of the animosity that is generated generally in these type of discussions from both sides of the fence. It has been good that this discussion has stayed civil and commend all that have participated thus far.
     
  15. Changing the laws/rules now won't achieve much, the horse has well and truly bolted and there are already thousands of sub-species crosses out there, just about every jag is a subspecies cross which are readily available and that is unlikely to change. It also won't alter the animosity between purists and crossers that will always be there regardless.

    The only thing the current rules/laws are keeping at bay are the species crosses. I'm sure there are a few getting around but they aren't openly advertised at least not at this stage and I hope it stays that way.
     
  16. yellowbeard

    yellowbeard Active Member

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    Funny I thought all mutations were "naturally occurring", I would love to see it in writing from the QLD authorities.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Both are NOT illegal in NSW. Hybrids are listed within the licencing, so if you breed hybrids in NSW they must be recorded as such, if not you can lose your licence.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
  17. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    Andy,

    Have a read of this old thread you might find it interesting. David Williams refers to a paper by Duncan Taylor of Flinders University regarding population structure and systematics of the Australian carpet pythons.

    aussiepythons.com/forum/australian-snakes-37/carpet-python-systematics-shock-22888/

    If your interested further you can read the paper by Googling either Duncan's name or Flinders University and go from there.

    George.
     
  18. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that [MENTION=39076]GBWhite[/MENTION] I will have a read through the thread and the paper when I have a bit of time.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    A brief search failed to turn up the article referred to by George and I have not yet read the APS thread mentioned. When I have time I shall do so. In the meantime it seems appropriate to provide some clear background that will facilitate a clearer understanding of the system we have today and wherein the problems lie...

    Theophrastus (370-285 BC), a student of Aristotle, was the first recorded attempted to name all pants, beyond just those of importance to humans. The Greek influence led to the use of Latin names, Latin being the common language via which philosophers and other academics communicated.

    It was not until the seventeenth century that people in Europe took up trying to name all organisms once again. The Latin based utilised by the Greeks were utilised as a starting point. Names used by the Greeks were based on a description of the plant’s characteristics. To differentiate a new closely related species, distinguishing adjectives were added to an existing name. This system led to some very unwieldy names. For example, the common carnation was known as “dianthus floribus solitaris, squamis calycinis subovatis brevissimis, corollis crenatis”. This means “the pink (a general name for the group),with solitary flowers, the scales of the calyx somewhat egg-shaped and very short, the petals scalloped. By the eighteenth century using this descriptive based system of naming, many names become too long and difficult to use.

    Carl Linnaeus (aka Carl von Linne) was responsible for instigating two revolutionary changes (that we still use today) to the way in which organisms were named. Firstly, he introduced the idea of a nested hierarchical structure, based upon observable characteristics that are shared, and that reflect natural relationships. The Linnaean system classified nature starting with three kingdoms. Kingdoms were divided into classes which were, in turn, divided into orders, and thence into genera, which were divided into species. The second idea he introduced was to name living things using a similar system to the way Europeans named people, except doing it ‘surname’ first. This binomial naming system has a couple of rules regarding the allocation of names. The genus name (and all names further up in the hierarchy must all be unique i.e. once used on particular group they cannot be used for any other group of living things. Species names may only be used once in any given genus but there is no restriction on the number of genera in which it may be used.

    Up until Darwin and Wallace, the prevailing religious doctrine was creationism in which it was believed that the Creator made each form of living thing separately. At the same time the earth and its climate were believed to be immutable i.e. the same as the ‘day’ they were created. So the only real problem anticipated with classifying a new species of living thing (based upon its observable physical attributes) was ensuring that it had not been classified already.

    Darwin, Wallace and Mendel, and those who have followed in their footsteps, threw a very large spanner in the works by determining that new species arise from pre-existing species through genetic change. Palaeontology and geomorphology have corroborated the notion of major changes to the physical and life structures of the earth.

    There are a number of ways in which speciation (development of new species) can occur. One is breeding isolation. This normal occurs as a result of some form of geographical barrier that divides what was a freely breeding population, such a river changes course and creates an impassable valley, a mountain range, a wide body of water etc. Changes in behaviour, colour and/pattern and pheromones can also result in breeding isolation. Adaptive radiation is major driving force in speciation. As population spreads out geographically, sections of it adapt to the many varied ecological niches present. The proliferation of insect species in general and beetle species in particular is a prime example of adaptive radiation. Ctenotus and Lerista skinks are examples in Australian reptiles.

    Genetic isolation does not have to be absolute. If the rate of gene flow between two populations is sufficiently reduced, these populations can develop along sufficient different lines to the point where separate species can develop. For example, there is a frog in the US that has a Ì-shape across the country. There 5 recognised populations A, B, C, D and E. Adjoining populations can breed readily as can two populations either side of another. However, Populations A and E are unable to produce viable offspring, despite the fact that these two populations occupy the most similar habitat.

    So what are the issues confronting classification today?

    Evolution is the development of a new species from pre-existing species. Because evolution is an on-going process,

    While there are plenty of “end points” present as the result of evolution there also a lot of “still in the process”. While we might like to envisage evolution as a clear, one-way direction, this is not the reality. Evolution is a product of the environment and subject to changes as the environment changes. It is influenced by the unpredictable occurrence of mutations, random genetic drift and a few other factors, depending. Evolutionary influences will vary through time and with geographic location. As a result, different populations can exhibit specific genetic markers unique to them. At the same, the division between two genetically distinct populations may be cline (genetic change with distance) rather than a distinct separation as the result of breeding isolation (for whatever reason).

    While the current classification system presents difficulties with certain groups and the taxonomists’ term of ‘’species complex” does nothing in real terms to help, the usefulness of the system cannot be over stated.

    So while it may be a case of arbitrarily choosing a point of division, like choosing where red ends and orange begins on the visible spectrum, this does invalidate the immense value of a system of categorising living thing. Simply because one colour grades into the next does not make the colour classification scheme of ROYGBIV any less useful.


    Blue

    PS Sorry abut the length but I don't know how to put in more than one post at a time.
     
  20. ShaunMorelia

    ShaunMorelia Power Seller Power Seller

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    Blue, that has to be the best post in APS history.
    Thank you for posting such quality information.

    Shaun.
     
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