Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by DragonTemple6, Dec 2, 2017.
What field are you in Cagey? Also as a scientist what is your opinion in regard to Intergrades?
If carpet pythons are one and the same I wonder why people get into such a tizzy when they're knowingly "hybridized"?
If they are sold/passed on as 'mixed carpets' I don't have too much of an issue. What goads me is when we start getting mixed animals bred with pure lines and sold as 'pure'.
The term 'intergrade' is often used to substantiate someones attempt to breed a new unique morph but all they end up with is animals that no one wants to buy. I understand many herpers want to breed their animals but I wish they would put some thought into it for the animals sake.
They have evolved over millions of years into quite distinctive local variations and I for one appreciate the diversity and don't see the point in crossing Julattens with say MD's or SW's just to produce something different.
As Paul has said, it often produces lots of worthless unattractive crossbreeds not to mention the un-viable or serious neuro problem animals resulting from breeding jags that end up in a freezer.
Maybe the use of the term intergrade is a Southern thing. I haven't seen any ads up this way using intergrade to describe a cross. Anyone who does do that obviously has no idea what the term intergrade means. Unless the pythons they are breeding have a naturally overlapping range in the wild and have bred together in the wild (which is only the case with Diamond/Coastal I believe) then intergrade definitely should not be used to descibe them.
The scientific argument is Diamonds and Coastals are identical and the "intergrades" are just a local colour variation as you go North. If they are "genetically identical" why do Coastal males combat while Diamond males are happy to form male harems around females. There is more to it than genetics as I pointed out above, all Homo Sapiens are genetically identical as are all dogs.
My personal belief is that the carpet pythons (morelia spilota) comprise of several subspecies, including variegata, spilota, mcdowelli, metcalfei, and cheynei. However, the bredli and the imbracata, which are genetically more different, should just be reclassified as Morelia Bredli and Morelia Imbracata. The rest of the more similar ones are subspecies of the same species, so they are closely related but not the same. Therefore, intergrades exist.
I don't think all Homo-Sapiens are gentically identical. If that was the case then the new DNA history tests wouldn't work. When you have one of these done they can tell you what heritage you have in your DNA as a percentage.
They do that with Mitochondrial DNA, Human DNA is 99.9% identical.
Is the missing 0.1% you refer to the difference in DNA that comes from Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestors? If not then the 99.9% is incorrect.
There has been a lot of studies on this, just Google them. Of course Chimps have 96%-98% human DNA and Mice 90% depending on which study you read.
With humans this starts to get messy and of course Hitler and his followers had there own slant on genetics.
With snakes local environment had a lot to do with evolution over millions of years with Bredli and Imbricata being isolated by changing conditions.
Can always send them over here as a nice dietary change for the BHP's (YUMMY!)
Here's my two bobs worth why I believe M variegata should have never been separated in the first place. The only thing that's different is the variation of colours and patterns that have developed throughout millennia as a survival technique to suit the individual environment they inhabit (I.E - camouflage and thermoregulation) and these colour & patterns can vary greatly even within a confined area. Even Cogger recognises that variegata and imbricata are subject to enormous variations in colour and pattern. It's the only thing that varies. Dental, scull and penal structures (which can be used to confirm a taxon within a group is unique and worthy of classification at species level) remain consistent. The taxonomy used to describe M cheyni, M. mcdowlli, M metacalfei M imbricata & M bredli is very poor and based on mid body scalation, subcaudals, supralabials and infralabials etc of the holotype used to elevate them to species level. The poor taxonomy is backed up by location which is insufficient to classify a taxa as a separate species.
Even those of the group from New Guinea aren't a lot different from those that inhabit Australia.
There are no real geographic barriers in Australia to isolate each of the currently recognised species and as such if one wants to recognise the term intergrade then it should be utilised across all areas where the these "species" overlap and not just the area of the east coast where the geography and vegetation of two different habitats meet.
AS for head shapes. Here's a couple of wild imbricata from Lancelin WA sharing a dogs water bowl. Also seem to look a a bit like the MD's that are being talked about in "THe Freshly Shed Thread".
And I’d further ask. If colour and patterning is considered unique enough to elevate a taxon to species level why is this not adopted right across the board of Australian herps? For example look at the mass variations of the colour and patterns of Common Brown Snakes (Pseudonaja textilis), variations of colours and patterns between the Southern Blotched and Alpine Blotched Blue Tongues (Tiliqua nigrolutea), huge variation amongst Spotted Black Snakes (Pseudechis guttatus) and has previously been mentioned the “Bells” phase of the Lace Monitor (Varanus varius).
In human physiology/biochemistry....... the whole challenge of using characteristics and genetics as the basis of taxonomy is interesting. There is variability within a species and the breeding of what we consider different species may be part of a continuum of natural variation influenced by environmental factors selecting for what appear overt differences... size, colour, etc...
Head shapes in pythons also vary with sex, size and age. There is more to it than colour, sub species of Morelia Spilota also vary considerably in size like Jungles and Coastals from the same area and behaviour like Male Coastals combat while Male Diamonds 200 Km away are happy to form a harem. How does Morelia Carinata fit in with the genetic puzzle and what about the smaller species of Mulga in NW WA.
Not enough wild-caught Carinata to be sure of their behaviours in the wild... be cool to know, though.
I have often wondered how come the roughie ended up classified as Morelia. To me it doesn't have morelia make up. Guess thats why I'm not a scientist lol
I was told by someone that they are actually the closest relative of the Green Tree Python. Can anyone confirm this?
That would make more sense to me but I'm just thinking about it from some of the traits of each animal.
This has turned into a pretty damn good thread!