Our hobby breeding standards need to be better

8 Replies, 1963 Views

OK this is a rant and I try to avoid these, but I think it's needed to spark a debate. I'll throw this out there - if we don't improve our standards in managing our hobby lines we are no better than Dart Frog Warehouse / USA Frog. There. I said it. Confusedhock:

I cannot believe folks are crossing NAIB D. tinctorius "True Sipaliwini" with the 2012 imports that were originally labelled as Blue Sips on KS and re-identified as True Sips by hobbyists without any proof of site data correlated to the NAIB import. There was talk at the time of the import how another importer said that Suriname Cobalts often threw patterns resembling these animals (as posted on another forum). There was further talk about trying to go back to the importer and get site data, but nothing ever came of it. Now this, crossing NAIB animals with these 2012 True Blue Sips...

How is this any better than DFW crossing locales and sorting animals by phenotype?

Why are we not doing a better job managing out founders stock and talking about how to ensure we maintain lineages? This is not an effort limited to Pumilio. We should be caring just as much about tinctorius. Is it because they are "cheap"? Or easy to breed? An NAIB True Sip is one of the most uncommon and unique tinctorius in the hobby. If we don't pay attention to it, we're no better than DFW.

It seems to me as a hobby we focus more on "wide" collections with limited programs to sustain our stock rather than "deep" collections with multiple pairs of groups or animals that can maintain these representations of different less popular locales in our hobby. I'm not suggesting everyone has to do this, but as a hobby shouldn't we be more concerned about the sustainability of our stock?

As one frogger recently put it to me, it's our privilege to house these animals and we need to do a better job maintaining them. Perhaps as a hobbyist, should we each be selecting a project frog where we focus on multiple unrelated or less related pairs as a way to give back and sustain our hobby?

Jim from Austin | https://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata
I agree with ya Jim, but here on some 'constants':

DFW, safe warehouse, USA frog, Top frog, Goof frog type businesses and hobbyist will ALWAYS be present. Just like you can always buy a 'broke down' POS, crappy car, bike, TV, furniture on Craigslist, Backpage, flea market, trailer park sale yada yada

To 'rail' against not adhering to 'best hobby practices' and their implementation and calling out the scary bugbear / goblin of the washcers as a bedtime scare story is akin to shaking your fist at the wind and the waves. Beating head against the wall type stuff.


Lets try this...but it's going to take fortitude and aggressive action - something most people are a'scared to do on the interwebz these days.

It's going to require REVERSE psychology of sorts. We need to 'out' the bad people and the bad practices. When someone post a for sale advertisment with that kind of mixing - the sip stuff AND with a aggressive attitude like the Wash people, then it's up to us to post to 'counter' that and question and ask ect. We (the hobby) have shown that we can make a difference and the evidence is all over the fact that DFW logs in both here and over there MANY times a day and is in fact, somewhat beholden to us for info and current 'pulse of the hobby'.

More later....long, tough subject to be sure. Feel free to interject and reply in the meantime.


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
It has always bothered me that these blue sips were relabeled as true sips based on nothing more than their outward appearance. Set aside the silly website at DFW and the weird online rants and incorrect advice and focus on the product they are producing. The "true sip lookalike" they are generating are based on sorting their animals by appearance. Fundamentally the hobby is doing exactly the same thing with the 2012 blue sip import.

More generically, how can we cast blame on a kid that is sorting by phenotype when long time keepers are doing the same thing? That is the crux of my argument - how are we any better at protecting our locales if we're not putting forward a better effort to manage these frogs?

I'm taking a bit of an extreme position here, but I'm bringing this up because I place value not on the pattern and color of a True Sip, but rather that it represents a standard in the tinctorius portion of the hobby that we strive for - locale data. We don't get it often (once if I am correct) and when we do, we should be doing a better job managing it.

My suggestion is for any dedicated keeper to focus on "deep" collections that span fewer locales. I would like to see more hobbyists investigating the voracity of the animals they are acquiring with solid lineage records, and grouping unrelated (or less related) animals wherever possible. What is preventing more folks from focusing on fewer morphs and investing in sustaining the locales that we have?
Jim from Austin | https://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata
I'm not a seasoned dart frogger but I have been into goldfish for many years. This may seem like an odd connection but I know of a few cases that are a good example for what is being said here. The one that comes to mind is the true black moor. They are all but gone in the hobby now because no one works with the breed like they did in times past. Sure you can goto any pet store that sells fish and see a tank of "moors" but they are 99.9% more than likely not true moors. A true moor has some distinct traits one being its velvet black color. In a true moor this color will not fade or chage as they get older. All that to the side the point is that the reason they they have diminished is that people would not put thought into preserving the breed. They would get one or two to accent their other fish. They breed produced offspring and some of then look like a moor for a few years then they lose the black coloring. The problem with this is that before it becomes evident that the fish is not a moor they are sold as such. This gets back into the true moor breeding stock along the was and now a literal 1000 years of breeding is being undone in just a few decades. And even worse is that people are still doing the same thing today paying as much as $400 for a ture moor just so that they have one in their collection. They don't care or worry about future generations having this breed.

Sorry if this is a bit far off topic and Mods feel free to remove this if you believe its too far off the mark.
Yes Dan that is the point, and thanks for contributing. We are lucky to have access to these wonderful animals, yet we're not doing enough to maintain them so generations of hobbyists to come have access to them as well. Make decisions on crosses that benefit the locale / morph and the long term viability of our captive population. We need to think about that, and discuss / debate what steps we need to take to better preserve them.

As I said on other threads, we need a core group of dedicated hobbyists that maintain the frogs that we want to see available long term. Discussions like this are just as important as build threads and rants against the likes of DFW. I'd like to see 1/10th of the effort that has gone into taking down DFW shifted to discussions on preserving our morphs to generate something positive. So maybe I'm coming back around to Phil's point on how to shift thinking into a more positive direction. How about we quit bashing DFW for a week and focus on spit balling how we can improve our husbandry? Or make a commitment to contact folks to trade adult animals that are of known lineage and unrelated or less related to strengthen the quality of the froglets we produce? Make iterative improvements on failed lineage database attempts? What else?
Jim from Austin | https://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata
One issue that fights against better breeding practices is the hobby and good breeders are discouraged from flipping. Whoa you say flipping is BADDDDD, however the problem is if a seller is not supposed to flip frogs then it makes the most sense for the seller to set up a diverse range of small groups of different morphs / species rather than a deep managed population of a single morph. After all they aren't going to be able to sell hundreds of a single morph and compete at shows and on the internet when their competition has a wide assortment of frogs unless they have huge volume. On top of that if you are a breeder and you have a frog set producing you don't want to break them up as you might find yourself out of that morph for a whole year or more while a new pairing gets established. And on top of that you could have new aggression issues, people like to get frogs young, put them in tanks and let them grow up together as you can often overstock a tank under these circumstances and get away with it.

However if a breeder moves more purely to breeding and instead wholesales frogs to "flippers" then they have the ability to better manage a larger group of frogs. They can also stagger the times at which they decide to mix up pairings so they have even production throughout the years of this morph. This would also feed back into the hobby in general as less hobbyist would feel obligated to sell their own frogs because breeders don't want flipped frogs and would be more willing to push them into channels. More over if it was OK to flip frogs a seller could source their frogs from multiple breeders, track the lineage and sell customers frogs that were at least not from the same parents.

On top of that the selfish motivations of breeders and hobbyist has to be confronted when it happens. The dart frogging community has stricter morals on hybridization, care and many things than I have seen in most exotic pet hobbies, but when it comes to inbreeding they are among the worst. Goto the forums, facebook, anywhere and watch tons of very seasoned veterans tell people who are asking it's perfectly fine to breed siblings together. And they will cite a unusually strange and diverse set of reasons often. I post often looking to trade people same frogs for same frogs to simply diversify my groups and I get very little interest even when I do get interest it seems to mostly be someone who just doesn't have the right sexes trying to sort that issue out.
I don't know how we got onto the topic of 'Flipping or Flippers' but here's my take:

"Flipper" is a derisive hobby term that only gets applied to the bottom feeders - the 20% or so...the worst. It's a relatively new term but I'm hoping it catches on and provides a decent amount of shame for those who are truly worthy of it's label.

Some Re-sellers can be ok. They are re-selling the animals.
Some Jobbers can be ok and we can call them Jobbers.
Some Importers can be ok and we can refer to them as importers.

Some of those are NOT ok...and we call them....'Flippers'.


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
What is the difference between a reseller and a flipper? We just call people we don't like flippers?

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