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Baby blues looking for forever homes!

Discussion in 'Blue Tegu Discussion' started by TeguResearcheR, Jul 16, 2015.

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Buying a physically and genetically healthy animal is important to me...

  1. Not at all, looks are all that matters

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  2. Kinda, I know inbreeding can cause problems

    0 vote(s)
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  3. Their sometimes important, depends on species

    7.1%
  4. I would never buy an animal that wasn't healthy in both categories, and people who do are dumb.

    92.9%
  1. TeguResearcheR

    TeguResearcheR Member

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    Born 6/23/15, 2 girls and 2 boys (90% accurate sex estimate) left, I can send you pics and video to let you choose one! Eating/pooping great, just finished their first sheds, and from healthy geneticly diverse lines. Guaranteed to "look" blue with characteristics, and are NOT inbred!
    Email me: rpbiologist@gmail.com
  2. Rud3dog

    Rud3dog Member

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    If you still have some, please msg me a price, thanks.
  3. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Hi Rachel- i have three from Rodney. Not looking for more. Wondering what the Chacoan is really about. A morph? A regionally distinct form? Someone today wrote about a Chacoan white head. I'm curious from a biological standpoint. What do you think?
  4. Rud3dog

    Rud3dog Member

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    IMO. Its SELECTIVE breeding and minor location differences. You should see the albino, the purple tigers and the ice tegus lol. :)
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  5. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Ice Tegu?? Sounds like a cocktail! I will look these up.
  6. Rud3dog

    Rud3dog Member

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    Here:
    http://undergroundreptiles.com/product-category/animals/tegus/

    Look up selective breeding. This is some thing we have been doing for years with animals and plants that we consume even. As far as Tegus, my theory as of now with these chocohan extreme giants are simply a product of selective breeding, and breeders marketing them as a unique species when scientifically they are not. Breeding Tegus that were more white and larger then there peers. In the late 90's there were no such label for this Tegu. My guess is that some one was wanting to make more money on a group of tegus that had characteristics of a larger Tegu, and the name stuck around over the years as more of a label describing a " larger tegu with a white head".
    I helped you out ( I hope ) :)
    1. Selective breeding (also called artificial selection) is the process by which humans use animal breeding and plant breeding to selectively develop particular phenotypic traits (characteristics) by choosing which typically animal or plant males and females will sexually reproduce and have offspring together.

    Do know, I recently purchased one of these aka extreme giants and only time will tell if I am wrong.
    I am sure there is people on here much smarter then me and this is my theory as of now.

    Chris
  7. Rud3dog

    Rud3dog Member

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    LMAO this is a easy way to explain selective breeding.

  8. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Thanks for the Underground link.

    Selective breeding within each line for sure. No doubt. Yet to be seen if the stock associated for line breeding of Chacoan Giants, Blues (with the dark snouts), etc., is just a morph = found anywhere or is/was associated with a specific region. Choice is a matter of taste, best one's the one you want., but from a biologist's perspective, I'm curious.
  9. Rud3dog

    Rud3dog Member

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    We should probably move this conversation. To the best of my knowledge, the only true way to disprove this theory would to have photos of the Paraguay tegus and Argentine tegus in the wild and compare there physical attributes. This cute girl is trying to sell blue tegus and we just swamped her topic. Sorry Rachel, btw you and your tegu are very pretty ;)
  10. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I agree, and good luck with the rehoming, Rachel. They're beautiful.
  11. TeguResearcheR

    TeguResearcheR Member

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    Afternoon,

    Sorry for my delay, I finished a busy semester and then flew out for a week of research! Back and ready to help...

    Ice, purple, black flame, bruiser...are all just coined names by underground reptiles. Similar to tegu terras "majestic", UGs purple tiger albino they posted was a one time occurrence. Known them personally in many aspects for 10 years, BUT there are other breeders I would recommend. UG makes ridiculous gurantee claims, has frustrating customer service, inbreeds, and the owner who claims to love these animals spent 5 years in prison for smuggling endangered turtles...and is still well known for dishonest deals.

    The same morphs are done by many people, do not get too caught up in the one company with the most videos and publicity. Inbreeding is rampant, and good gentics are not always guaranteed by new terms or morphs.
    Also many Chicaons are not really such, just high white. Sex can NOT be guaranteed as a hatchling. Morphs have many differant names, but there are only 3 species T. merianae (localitys: argentine, invasive, Brazilian blue, and Chacoan), T. rufescens (locality's: Argentine and Paraguayan), and T. teguixin (Columbian). Anyone who tells you differant is being dishonest...and there are plenty of shady tegu sellers.

    I base my recommendations on my work with a large network of breeders, wholesalers, trappers, and Florida FWC for genetic ecology research. I have 10 years experience with tegus, 2 with research. We also have a family of 2 snakes, 2 chihuahuas, a rescued African grey parrot, and 5 tegus (1 invasive rescue, 1 import, 1 surrendered rescue, and 2 captive breds).

    Try:
    Www.Hectorshabitat.com
    Blues, albinos, hybrids done better!

    Ty Parker on Facebook
    Lots of good tegus

    Www.tegusonly.com
    Rescue a tegu

    And if your going
    wholesale I recommend
    www.reptileindustries.com
    Blues, reds, argentines, columbians

    Attached Files:

    BaiYing509 likes this.
  12. TeguResearcheR

    TeguResearcheR Member

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    Sorry for the delay, please read my
    Comment about morohs and tagged "breeder names" below...as well as who to buy from that I recommend!

    Happy to help...NO Chacoans are NOT captive bred tegu variety...selective breeding is done by humans aka domestification. The Chaco region of Argentina is separated as an island by rivers, and borders Paraguay and Uroguay. The tegus originally taken from this area as imports had evolved due to a special type of evolution known as allopatric speciation...or evolution by island isolation...Madagascar...Galapagos...Australia all have unique life due to this. These chicoan tegus are early in this process so they are still the same species. But exhibit larger body size, larger and wider heads, and a high white coloration mainly at the head and towards the shoulders. Many tegus carry such traits and it can be captive bred out of them to show...so who does or dosnt have a true Chacoan is confusing now..and breeders base this on the parents and genetic predictability ratios.
    I have caught invaisves that look Chacoan! Who knows if their relatives were or not.

    Rodney is great, and always a good idea to have a fecal done by a vet. They were wild once :)
  13. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Excellent answer. What I needed to know. Thanks. Eager to learn more about your research unfolds.
  14. TeguResearcheR

    TeguResearcheR Member

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    Will Post updates as they come! Thank you for your interest :)
  15. Roadkill

    Roadkill Active Member

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    Sorry, TeguResearcheR, but I would have to disagree with your statement. From all evidence, Chacoans are nothing more than a name given to a "line" of tegus produced by Bobby Hill with the story that they came from the Chaco region. And when you look into the complete history of Mr. Hill, you quickly find (if you look critically and not with faith) that Mr. Hill was a liar of immense proportions. He had never been to that area, he claimed to have imported the animals from that region (highly questionable...), but he also claimed to have several hundred breeding pairs of tegus, and when he abandoned his animals it was quickly found out he had no where near that amount (something like in the low tens at most), calling into question any claim this individual ever made. The Chacoan as you have written up is entirely a Bobby Hill fabrication. I'm not saying there ISN'T actually a Chacoan possible subspecies, but it has never been documented. There was a paper that tried to establish a few subspecies for Tupinambis merianae, but it never received much support and was discredited by some when they showed the immense variability within the species.
  16. TeguResearcheR

    TeguResearcheR Member

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    Hello Roadkill, first off, I have heard many great things about you!
    Yes I agree with what you have said, but there is gray area. One, I didn't know that Bob Hill coined the Chacoan claim...I do know he is a horrible man that is in prison currently. That he is also partially blamed for the northern invasive tegus, and had harmed many people and animals through poor practices. However, I have done research in Brazil and worked alongside Brazilian and Argentinian colleagues who are reptile specialists. The Chaco region does exist, and many animals from here are different looking and referred to as "Chacoan ____" ...thanks to Allopatric Speciation (evolution by isolation)....species appear very different from other localities of the same species. I am not claiming a new sub species or species here...but Blue tegus are from Brazil, and Chacoans may be from Chaco...phenotypic variation as you mentioned! The researchers there know there are tegus in Chaco, and the abundant varied food source and isolated area gives many advantages for evolving...and the tegus there are bigger than other regions. That is all I know, I am not sure if the ones being sold in trade here in the US are from the Chaco region, or ever were. But they are being selectively bred now to be bigger and have high white heads.
    The article that tried to prove subspecies...do you have it??? I would be very interested in reading it!!!
    I am having trouble tracing the decisions/research that led to the species establishments in the 1800s, and the seperation to Salvator and back again to Tupinambis.

    Thank you for your additional information, sorry for the delay in my response.

    Cheers,

    Rachel
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  17. Roadkill

    Roadkill Active Member

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    I'm not arguing on the fact that the Chaco region exists, but I think you may be jumping to conclusions that are based on little more than ignorant fantasy to begin with (and please, I am not calling you ignorant).

    Let's start with the blues, shall we. The entire "blue" story begins with the St.Pierre's (Ron and Stella). They had imported a shipment of tegus from Colombia, with the idea that they had ordered from their supplier "Tupinambis teguixin", and had gotten a mixed batch. Now, at the time of this shipment, even taxonomists were still not that clear on the differences between T.teguixin and T.merianae (If I recall correctly, the Avila-Pires monograph that clearly delineated the two had not yet been published, which wouldn't exactly have mattered as you will see). I don't know how much experience you may have with animal wholesalers, but taxonomists and experts in the animals they deal in most of them ARE NOT. Anyhow, to give credit where credit is due, the St. Pierres had enough intelligence to recognize they had something on their hands that was not "Tupinambis teguixin" and fabricated without any kind of background the myth we now know as "the blue tegu". Their initial claim was either they had a new subspecies of T.teguixin, or that they had a whole new species no one knew about (they actually pressed for the subspecies at first....). They are wholly responsible for the story of them being more docile, smaller, what their "natural" diet is, etc., etc. - I re-emphasize without knowing anything about these animals' background other than they arrived in a box from Colombia. Back in 2003, I was in a debate with the St.Pierres on kingsnake.com (hopefully this isn't a violation of tegutalk.com's TOS) and in being frustrated with the constant rhetoric from the St.Pierres and their believers, asked for the characteristics and morphometrics they used to determine that the "blues" were an entirely new species (which is what they were claiming at that time). Their answer - they didn't know what scientists use to differentiate the different species, they've never looked at any of those papers, they just KNEW. At this time as well they had started producing a rather substantial number of albino blues. As a geneticist, or so I'm assuming from your posts, you have to realise the implications of what that means, and I tried making this known to the community at large which lead to a lot of conflict - albinism is not the result of just one set of recessive alleles in all cases, albinism can result from recessive/faulty alleles from a number of genes (ie. there is NOT an albino gene - you might be surprised how many people think this), therefore to produce albinos, you have to have parents with the same recessives in the same genes, and that considering the general occurrence of albinism in the wild, the fact that the St. Pierres after only a few generations were producing albinos in significant numbers was all indicating one thing - their initial batch were all closely related, likely the same clutch rounded up by some kid for a few bucks. I think you yourself have touched on the frequency of deleterious characteristics popping up in the blues. Now, my own introduction to the notion of the "blues" was nothing of this nature. In the late nineties I was working with a colony of S. merianae at the University of British Columbia. I had gotten these from Augusto Abe in Brasil (and if you know your tegu taxonomy well, then his name shouldn't be unfamiliar). I had raised these from hatchlings and was using them in my earlier investigations into reptile hibernation. I'd often take them outside for sun, and sometimes used them for educational displays with the local naturalists and herp societies. Everytime I was out, someone who was into tegus would remark "where the hell did you get all those blues?!?!?". It would always lead to something of a debate as they were all insistent I had blues, and me not knowing (at the time) what a blue was, were of the opinion I didn't know what I was talking about. However, knowing the origin and having the ability to trace their exact lineage, I could provide providence for the fact that these were indeed S.merianae (at that time recognized as T.merianae) and that no matter what they wanted to think, I was pretty confident in Augusto's ability to tell me what animals he was breeding. The point I'm getting at here is that many people are in this hobby without any kind of knowledge behind their convictions and will tell you this or that as if it's fact solely because someone else (equally as ignorant) told them so. To further develop this, if you've looked at my postings over the years, I have frequently asked for hobbyists to define "what is a blue". No one can, no one will, at best they give vague subjective descriptions. A lot of white with some blue-ish hues as they get older (but then what about the melanistic ones from Europe....), that some have a "burnt" nose (but not all), that some have one loreal scale (but others have two), that they tend to be small (but many report same size as other tegus), they don't hibernate (but many people claim their's have been dormant for months every winter), and on and on, anything but definitive. The whole concept of what hobbyists construe as "blue tegus" is a subjective notion at best with little to back up any true "definition" of what a blue could be. The flat out best characteristic that I have heard so far on delineating blues is the lack of green on the heads of hatchings (although whether it is a complete lack or if it's just severely subdued seems to have some discrepancy depending on the source). This I would contend is the best feature so far, except I think it is confounded by the fact that Bert Langerwerf used to have photos of hatchling S.merianae with very little green at all (but were not what is accepted as "blues"). If you look around the tegu trade, you see very few people keep track of pedigree or have any providence on their animals, they'll frequently claim "this is a blue because I say it is" (well, they don't say that, but that's what their argument amounts to). There's clearly a rather large blue tegu population represented in the captive collections in Europe - from what I've heard, these didn't come from the St. Pierres. So once again, we have another group saying, without providence, that they have blues. I realise that you're quite invested into the blue paradigm, but with this information you have to acknowledge that the claim of the blue tegu is shaky at best. In my own time in Brasil, I bred in the range of a couple thousand S.merianae (er, produced that many, not had that many pairs) and in those numbers I was able to see some very amazing phenotypic variations. When I first arrived, we had one male that was black. Not melanistic in the typical sense that I'm aware of, this guy was black head to toe, no discernable markings. Had another that was pretty much white head to toe, very faint markings (not an albino, and as I understand the definition, not a leucistic but I could be wrong). We produced "high whites", burnt noses, orange bellies, very dark, I had one that was so colourful everyone insisted had to be some mishmash of blue, red, and Duseni (even though, leaving aside the blue ideas, NONE of those other species had ever graced this institution). Or to put it another way, a blue can very easily be created. Having a burnt nose is not an indication that it came from blue tegu heritage. I'm not saying that the morph that people want to describe as a blue does not exist, I'm saying there is at this time no corroborative data to back up the idea that "blues" are a distinct wild population from a distinct geographic area. At best there are photos of what look like blues, but nothing to indicate that all individuals in the area the photo was taken from are of similar phenotypic appearance. It's possible that there IS such a population, this is undeniable, but to claim that there is, that all "blues" must have been derived from this population, and then to sample DNA from the captive population and proclaim it as "blue"....well, I think you're conducting a gross Type I statistical error.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015
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  18. Roadkill

    Roadkill Active Member

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    Here's the kicker with the Chacoan extremes: they don't even have that much providence. The entire basis of the Chacoan extreme as is known in the hobbyist trade is a fabrication of Bobby Hill, and Bobby Hill is an immense liar. Proven to conjecture any ridiculous notion just so others would continue believing in him as some sort of tegu god (according to the gospel of Mr. Hill, tegus vomit on their nests to hydrate them, if they don't hibernate then their gonads stretch rendering them sterile, and that temperature plays no part in tegu hibernation - all he would claim without ever observing any evidence to support it). That alone is enough to make the case for the hobbyist idea of the Chacoan extreme to be little more than a fabricated myth. Now, having said this, yes, the Chaco region is real, and yes there is a good argument for allopatric speciation (although perhaps just geological specialization resulting from phenotypic plasticity) - but this isn't the same as saying that the Chaco tegu in the Chaco region is a true morph, and that that specific morph is what is idealised in the hobby. You as a scientist would have to acknowledge that one would have to document these differences, show they are dominant in the population (ie. this isn't just a type of tegu you find in the Chaco, but this is what most tegus in the Chaco look like) and then further show their distinctiveness from surrounding populations. Personally, I hope you do this. This is a project I would have loved to embark on (while I have argued over the years that S.merianae is extremely variable in its phenotypic expression, and that the various morphs in the pet trade fall as members of this species, I have little doubt that with thorough, stringent investigation that it can be demonstrated that what we currently think of as one species is probably a conglomeration of several very closely related species - although even this is something I would challenge as our current model of what we think of as a species is an outdated ideal that has little reflection of what we see in reality). As you have claimed yourself, there is little-to-no connection between the true, wild Chaco and what is currently being marketed as the Chaco extreme in the hobby trade. I urge you not to fall into another Type I error, do not use the ideals of pet hobbyists to define your scientific findings, let actual wild populations be your foundation.

    It is entirely possible that what we think of as blues and Chacoans do exist as distinct populations in the wild, I cannot deny this. To jump on the idea that they indeed do and then try to prove such is not exactly science, and I hope you realise this. Or, to share with you my own misguided experience: for years I faltered in the lab trying to demonstrate and investigate hibernation in tegus because of what my supervisor said reptilian hibernation would be - based on a single paper describing a single tegu. I could never achieve this magical "hibernation" state, and so instead of going for the original focus of our investigations (breathing), I went to Brasil to investigate what actually was hibernation in tegus....and at least to my own eyes found it was very different from that one paper on that one tegu (hilariously, the author of that paper himself makes the claim that that was an extreme example he himself hasn't encountered since but my supervisor still clings to that ideal). If you want to investigate actual Chacoan tegus, go to Chaco and use strictly wild tegus of the Chaco region, document everything you see, and base your findings on that. Same with the blues (although you'd have to find the blues and define what is a blue first). Once you have found the origins and defined their characteristics, THEN you can make claims as to the lineage and relatedness of those in the hobby.

    Rachel, as for what papers cover which.....I used to maintain a bibliography of all literature involving tegus in the hopes that some people might stop investing in the mythological claims and start actually trying to see what has been documented, but it lead nowhere and I gave up. It might be in the archives of a few forums (although I don't think I posted it here), but even I have troubles finding it (the search engines in the included software is deplorable). I suspect the more relevant papers are referenced by Presch in 1973 (A review of the Tegus, lizard genus Tupinambis (Sauria: Teiidae) from South America. Copeia, 1973: 740-746) although I forewarn you to bypass Presch's own claims as they were abysmal, he's pretty much responsible for the modern confusion surrounding the species of T.teguixin and S.merianae. I personally recommend getting your hands on a copy of the Avila-Pires monograph - tegus are but a very small portion of it but it really helps in tracking some of the historical changes. If I recall correctly, Linnaeus started the whole tegu thing with Lacerta teguixin in 1758. In 1788 Lacepede introduced "Le Tupinambis" a couple times. Salvator was first used by Dumeril & Bibron, 1839 in which they classify merianae and nigropunctatus (they 'erroneously' reclassified Spix's 1825 Tupinambis nigropunctatus as Salvator nigropunctatus). I think Gray first proposed the genus of Teius in 1838, and again in 1845. Bates continued with Teius in 1864 & 1876. Daudin had reintroduced Tupinambis in 1802/03 which Boulenger picked up in 1885 and seems to have carried forth up to recently where the proposal for splitting the genus (Harvey, et al., 2012) results in us having Salvator and Tupinambis. With respect to the subspecies, I think these were proposed by Müller, P., 1968 (and I think in German, IIRC).
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  19. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    This is fascinating. Once again the pet industry muddies he taxonomic field. God only knows what regional/genetic conglomeration constitutes the Homestead, Fl., population, but the variation in what Rodney traps is pretty wide.

    Like green iggies in Fl. A genetic mix of pops, races, and probable species that would otherwise never have come together if not for the pet trade. Now a Florida pop with presumed hybrid vigor.
  20. TehGoo

    TehGoo Member

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    How can I get in touch with you about the tegus ?