ideas on managing limited founders stock Dendrobates tinctorius "Lorenzo"

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So I've been thinking for a while on how best to manage limited founders stock for more uncommon morphs. For me, this is Dendrobates tinctorius "Lorenzo" where there are currently only two consistent sources of froglets in North America - Understory Enterprises (2008 import) and Herpetologic (UE and "old line"). I have 1.3 from Sean (2013), 2.0 from UE (2009), and 0.0.4 from UE (2015). My current groupings are:
  • 2014A-1ss.2ss – 1.2 Stewart (UE x Gagliardo) broken up
  • 2014B-2ue.1ss – 2.1 UE males with Stewart female broken up
  • 2015C-1ss.1ss – original A group reduced to 1.1 Stewart animals
  • 2015D-1ue.1ss – original B group reduced to 1.1 UE male with Stewart female
  • 2015E-1ue.1ss – dominant UE male paired with dominant SS female

I plan on breaking up 2015C when the 0.0.4 from UE grow out and can be sexed. At that point I will group non-sibling animals and that should give me 4 pairs or groups of animals to work with. I thought that would be sufficient to get me to the point where I can sell groups of 4 non-sibling froglets to help get folks started in breeding Lorenzo on their own.

However, after doing more reading, I'm wondering if I should also consider rotating males year over year - I don't have amphibian references to cite, but in other breeding programs pairs were rotated to improve diversity. Am I over thinking this, or would some kind of rotation help strengthen the available genetics? Perhaps this is futile, but as a lay person and by no means a biologist I would like others input on managing severely limited lines of animals. I'd imagine this would be applicable to any population or species, I'm just using Lorenzo as an example.
Jim from Austin |
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata
Jim, the difficulty with this is that we have no idea where the founder animals of either of these "lines" actually came from. We know that Sean's are originally from EU, but where did UE get theirs from? As far as I know, they've never done any importing with species not from Peru, CR (through CRARC), Ecuador (through WIKIRI), or Colombia (through Tesoros) which means they obtained their animals from someone on the hobbyist level. This means that all of these could very well be from that same Stewart Euro line (or multiple EU lines if multiple 'imports' to EU occurred).

I'll look into this a little more at work tomorrow, but here's how I'd proceed prior to me doing any research:

Breed them across lines as often as possible so make as many UE x Stewart pairings as you can since these would be in theory least related. Then, if you have more left to pair, aim to pair the different Stewart imports on the chance that EU got new genetics in between the imports to the US. Then, breed offspring from UE/Stew 1 to UE/Stew 2 (or 3, 4, etc.). Continue this through the F generations. I think your best bet is to avoid breeding siblings if at all possible and that's really the only way you know you're at least providing for some diversity.

You could rotate males yearly, but I would rotate keeping in mind that you want to pair UE with SS as much as possible. In a perfect world if you had 2.2s from both lines, I would do something like this:

Year 1
UE M 1 x SS F 1
UE M 2 x SS F 2
SS M 1 x UE F 1
SS M 2 x UE F 2

Year 2
UE M 2 x SS F 1
UE M 1 x SS F 2

At some point offspring of "unrelated" pairings could also be added to the mix if you really wanted to, but with this method, you'd have 4 lineages of F X (the first offspring YOU produced; your "F1s") that are at least somewhat unrelated that could produce some semi-diverse F X2, X3, etc.
Thsnks Zach! I should be about a year away from getting the SS male UE females (my first guess at the 0.0.4 UE animals I have is they are 2.2). If my guess is right, I'll have 4.2 UE and 1.3 SS, so my 2016 projected groupings would look like:
  • 2015D-1ue.1ss – original B group reduced to 1.1 UE male with Stewart female
  • 2015E-1ue.1ss – dominant UE male paired with dominant SS female
  • 2016F-1ss.2ue - C group male with 2015 UE suspected females
  • 2016G-2ue.1ss - C group female with 2015 UE suspected males

Is the male rotation concept something you would do? It would be limited to 2015D, 2015E and 2016G, and I would just leave the SS male group 2016F alone. The moves could be disruptive, so assuming I get four "less related" pairs / groups going, then maybe I shouldn't mess with a good thing? Smile Any rotation is still pretty far off at this point, but I thought this would make for an interesting line management discussion.

As a side note I've been looking at mouse colony management software so I can better track any rotations. I don't think I'll attempt the rotations unless I have a good database and tracking system setup - it's already confusing enough Smile If you have advice on decent open source solutions I'll poke around to see how they can be adapted to frogging.

The information I have on Sean's animals is from a combination of folks, but what I have reconstructed so far is my 1.3 SS animals are from a UE x Gagliardo pairing. Sean's UE animal was from the same 2008 EU import line that my 2009 and 2015 animals are from. So ultimately the UE and SS animals I have are related. The interesting thing about Sean's pairing is the Gagliardo animal is said to be from Bill Schwinn's "old line" 90's EU import. There are not very many of them around (I think Kris has one male from Bill's line as well).

In the end it's likely all Lorenzo were EU imports at one point, best I can tell. There are *very* few 90's line left, and a growing number of UE animals. I have no information on the sources of the animals beyond "EU".

I really appreciate the advice!
Jim from Austin |
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata
Hey Jim,

Sorry I haven't gotten back to you before now. I got busy and kind of forgot...

I personally would not worry about the rotations. Because these are all very likely related at some point (or at best the old EU are unrelated by highly watered down and inbred), I would recommend focusing on producing the least related offspring and crossing them.

I like your 4 pairs/groups set up. One recommendation I would make is to eventually pair the extras in the groups with offspring of the crosses from other pairs. You'll be breeding partially related animals, but at least it opens up another set of pairs to further mix non-sibling offspring.

Good luck with this and feel free to keep asking questions! I'll be happy to answer them as best I can.
Thanks Zach! I think I am looking at late 2016 before I really have the four pair established so in my case a rotation would be pretty far off. I thought the generic discussion was pretty interesting though so I threw it out there. It almost seems funny to be talking about late 2016 Smile.

Thanks for the advice on the extras. I'll definitely keep that in mind as I work out the pairings. I really appreciate the advice and the discussion!
Jim from Austin |
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata
Here's another scenario that is interesting to cover - NAIB true sips. So there is a limited available stock of NAIB animals - only 1 pair of WC's still producing that I am aware of (Sean's). There are limited F1''s available, of which I have 2.1. I also have F2's and I'm wondering what the best management plan for them is. I have discussed swapping F2's with Sean and Barbara, but barring that, what are you thoughts on managing the F1's (2.1) and F2's?

My current plan is to take the subordinate male from the F1's and group him with F2 females. Then take offspring from the F1.F2 and group them with F2.F2 offspring from my original group. Does that make sense? Is that the best path forward with what animals I have?
Jim from Austin |
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata

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