What happened to Albino BHP's?

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Pythonguy1

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Does anyone know why we don't have more albino Black headed pythons in the hobby? My original theory was that K brothers produced some but then stopped operating and never got the chance to continue breeding them. Were K brothers the only ones who produced them or are there other breeders? I have heard of other people keeping them and breeding them but if this is true why don't we have more in captivity? I would've thought that if we had breeding pairs in captivity this thing would really take off. Anyway if anyone has a clue I'd love to know.

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Josiah.
 

Herpetology

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K brothers never produced them mate, they were known for albino olives
If they did, someone would have ended up with them when they stopped producing and keeping reptiles
 

Pythonguy1

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K brothers never produced them mate, they were known for albino olives
If they did, someone would have ended up with them when they stopped producing and keeping reptiles
OK, it must've been someone overseas then. Why did I think it was the K brothers? I guess if they did then Wayne Larks should've produced some as I heard that Denver partnered with him. Anyway, there are definitely some in captivity in Australia only I'm wondering why we only have a small amount of them?
 

Sdaji

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They aren't viable. They almost all die shortly after hatching, if they make it out of the egg at all. A very small number have survived, but they're anomalies, not 'magically strengthened' as some people desperately hoped/believed. They originated in Europe (well, obviously Australia, but the first albinoes were produced in Europe, and any from that line anywhere else came from it).

In reality, it's a myth that deleterious single gene mutations can be strengthened through outcrossing. This myth is partly propagated by people who honestly believe it, and partly by people who do know better but are lying through their teeth in order to misrepresent their animals.

With some luck, an unrelated mutation will become established in the hobby. It'll almost inevitably happen sooner or later, but it might not be soon. That line was never viable and never will be, and albinos produced from it come from hets.

Incidentally, multiple non viable morphs exist which people who believe the 'outcross strengthening' myth painfully work with in the desperate hope of 'curing the problem', never with success. Sometimes such projects even get sold for a lot of money. I've considered contacting some of the people working with them or who were in the process of buying them (being ripped off, sometimes for huge dollars), but 'shoot the messenger' is too common a game, so I just tend to let them be.
 

Pythonguy1

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They aren't viable. They almost all die shortly after hatching, if they make it out of the egg at all. A very small number have survived, but they're anomalies, not 'magically strengthened' as some people desperately hoped/believed. They originated in Europe (well, obviously Australia, but the first albinoes were produced in Europe, and any from that line anywhere else came from it).

In reality, it's a myth that deleterious single gene mutations can be strengthened through outcrossing. This myth is partly propagated by people who honestly believe it, and partly by people who do know better but are lying through their teeth in order to misrepresent their animals.

With some luck, an unrelated mutation will become established in the hobby. It'll almost inevitably happen sooner or later, but it might not be soon. That line was never viable and never will be, and albinos produced from it come from hets.

Incidentally, multiple non viable morphs exist which people who believe the 'outcross strengthening' myth painfully work with in the desperate hope of 'curing the problem', never with success. Sometimes such projects even get sold for a lot of money. I've considered contacting some of the people working with them or who were in the process of buying them (being ripped off, sometimes for huge dollars), but 'shoot the messenger' is too common a game, so I just tend to let them be.
Had a feeling it was a weak gene but that's much worse than I expected! Strange that there isn't much info on the gene. I figured it was like what happened with the albino spotted python, only Peter Birch managed to strengthen the gene. I guess that won't be happening with BHP's for a while now. But thanks for explaining it mate!
 

Sdaji

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Had a feeling it was a weak gene but that's much worse than I expected! Strange that there isn't much info on the gene. I figured it was like what happened with the albino spotted python, only Peter Birch managed to strengthen the gene. I guess that won't be happening with BHP's for a while now. But thanks for explaining it mate!

LOL

No one strengthened that 'gene', and it's not possible to strengthen that 'gene'. The albino mac mutation is what it is, and always will be.
 

Pythonguy1

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LOL

No one strengthened that 'gene', and it's not possible to strengthen that 'gene'. The albino mac mutation is what it is, and always will be.
Really?! I talked to someone who knows Peter and he said that Peter had had 'strengthened' it somehow. I guess if he did though there would be more floating around.
Also, do the offspring die if they are hets or does it only occur in offspring that are homozygous for the gene?
 

Herpetology

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Did Birch even have anything to do with them in the beginning?

I know Weigel had the breeding program running through snake ranch
[automerge]1622084255[/automerge]
Denver partnered with him
Not sure where you heard this mate, Unfortunately Denver went down a slippery slope due to stress and other reasons -- Its one of the 2 reasons why K brothers shut down
 

Pythonguy1

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Did Birch even have anything to do with them in the beginning?

I know Weigel had the breeding program running through snake ranch
I'm unsure as to who was the original breeder but Peter did end up breeding them at some point.

Did Birch even have anything to do with them in the beginning?

I know Weigel had the breeding program running through snake ranch
[automerge]1622084255[/automerge]

Not sure where you heard this mate, Unfortunately Denver went down a slippery slope due to stress and other reasons -- Its one of the 2 reasons why K brothers shut down
Yeah I know what happened with Den after Troy went crook. It is unfortunate. I heard that he ended up working with morelia magic from someone who knows the K brothers (didn't catch his name).
 

Sdaji

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Don't believe everything you hear in the herp world, folks.

As I said, a lot of the misinformation is spread by people deliberately lying, and the rest of course is people repeating misinformation because they believe what they hear, or they just don't understand the situation and talk crap because they're clueless.

Plenty examples of all of the above in terms of bad 'genes' (sic) being 'fixed' (sic) or 'strengthened'.

I hate to mention names, but for the sake of trying to give everyone the correct information, Peter Birch claimed to have 'fixed' the problem with the albino macs through generations of hard work... although he made this claim less than the time it takes to complete a single generation after he first got any, and made this claim enough years ago that if it was true he'd have been able to produce multiple generations of them and he should have produced hundreds. Comically, his wife admitted a couple of years ago (years after he supposedly had fixed them through generations of selective breeding) that he barely had any. Earlier in the same conversation, when asked why he hadn't been selling any despite claiming that he'd fixed them and been breeding so many, he said that he'd been keeping them all back to build up his numbers.... keep in mind that in the same conversation it was revealed he barely had any... oops! If what he said was true, they should be very common and cheap by now.

In reality, you can't fix a bad single gene mutation. It's like trying to breed the red eyes out of albino Carpets - you just can't separate these traits. Genes are inherited in single units. If a single gene does multiple things, you can't separate those traits. I'm a qualified geneticist, I can tell you that you're not going to fix a single gene mutation, it's just not something which makes any sense,

Same deal with the albino Olives (not that they are all that bad anyway), same deal with the Black-headeds, same deal with the albino Bearded Dragons (I'm not sure if anyone is still trying with those, I haven't heard of anyone trying for over 10 years). You just can't outbreed a problem which is associated with a single mutation, it's just not possible.
 

Allan

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can tell you that you're not going to fix a single gene mutation, it's just not something which makes any sense,

Same deal with the albino Olives (not that they are all that bad anyway), same deal with the Black-headeds, same deal with the albino Bearded Dragons (I'm not sure if anyone is still trying with those, I haven't heard of anyone trying for over 10 years). You just can't outbreed a problem which is associated with a single mutation, it's just not possible.
Do you have any insight in the albino Olives story? I remember that the first ones that were bred had problems.

Although the prices have dropped, there are still some for sale every now and then.
 

Licespray

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Do you have any insight in the albino Olives story? I remember that the first ones that were bred had problems.

Although the prices have dropped, there are still some for sale every now and then.
They seem reasonably common, at least looking at classifieds.
 

Pythonguy1

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They seem reasonably common, at least looking at classifieds.
Yeah I've seen them for sale in a few places including reptile classifieds and gumtree. One of my mates has two albino olives. They are a very majestical looking snake.
 

Sdaji

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Do you have any insight in the albino Olives story? I remember that the first ones that were bred had problems.

Although the prices have dropped, there are still some for sale every now and then.

You remember correctly.

The original one was a wild caught male named Spliff from the NT. Some of the first produced captive albino Olives, including the very first one, had one or both eyes missing. Small or missing eyes is still something which turns up in all lines of albino Olives, and always will (unless an unrelated mutation pops up). In 2002 the albino Olive group was put up for auction, at that time Spliff had already died and the picture used was of a hatchling, using the side of its head which did have an eye (to be clear, they were quite open about the issue at first and I don't for a moment see any reason to criticise there).

Initially it was believed (or at least claimed) that the eye issues were the result of pest strips which had been used for mites, but as we soon learned, and has now been continually reconfirmed for around 20 years, it's due to the mutation itself. Initially it was probably a genuine mistake, but either way, they were honest and open about it all.

The Olives aren't too bad though. Most of them hatch out healthy and live normal lives. They're perhaps slightly weaker than a regular Olive, but for most individuals you wouldn't even notice as long as they're kept well. This is why the false claims about them being fixed seem plausible - the problems are so minor anyway. Saying 'I'm so wonderful, I fixed the problem' is better marketing than 'Don't worry, they're not so bad, an occasional issue isn't that big a deal and even normal snakes sometimes have issues' - as long as you don't mind lying, and sadly, many of the big names in herp have no problem with it.
 

Southernserpent

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Is it possible that breeding with "stronger" animals can over time lead to less of the defects found within a mutation.
The fact that there are varying degrees of severity within the defects, leads one to think that it could to some degree be bred out or at least improved. This could also be why over time we see "stronger" animals being bred or is it simply a numbers game
 
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hamishh34

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I think of the albinism in olives and spotteds like the JAG gene. Each animal displays varying levels of neuro. No amount of breeding to healthy animals or breeding the strongest jags to the even healthier wildtypes (or hets in the albinos case) will cure the neuro/albinism problems. No amount of outcrossing will finally get a leucistic super to live. You could pair the healthiest jags to each other year after year and you will never be able to avoid neuro or produce a super that lives. Its a fault with the gene.

As Sdaji explains every few months, you cant breed the problems out of the gene regardless of how much you try. But produce enough of them and you'll no doubt get more 'healthier' individuals that make it and can then start saying that you now have a stronger line. Whilst being able to hide how many dont make it. You see a lot more albinos for sale each year, but thats because there is far more people breeding for them. My opinion is its very much a numbers game.
 

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