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Feeding and breeding issues
#1
I'm just developing an interest in keeping PDFs, but I am a long time keeper of tarantulas with breeding experience, and the reading I've been doing over the past week or so has raised several questions in my mind regarding standard practices of keeping and breeding PDFs.

First off, unless I am mistaken, it seems that when people on this board talk about breeding pairs, the frogs in question are usually (if not always) siblings. When breeding tarantulas it is extremely important to avoid mating related subjects because the offspring down the line will suffer anything from deformities to sterility, or simply not survive to maturity due to various complications arising from genetic problems. There have repeatedly been bloodlines of high priced and highly prized species that have turned out to be of very poor genetic quality, most of which have died prior to maturity, and inbreeding has been highly suspected as the cause. Of course, with tarantulas, the males mature in a year or two in most species, dying shortly afterward, while their female siblings are not ready to breed until they are about 3-5 years old and can live as long as 20+ years, which naturally prevents inbreeding between siblings but does little to prevent breeders from using male offspring to breed the mother again a couple years later. In the arachnid keeping community this is HIGHLY frowned upon for obvious reasons, and I'm wondernig if the same simply doesn't hold true in the PDF keeping community? It strikes me as a potental cause for some of the breeding problems that are being addressed here.

Another issue that has me wondering is the concept of meadow sweepings... Also highly frowned upon in the arachnid keeping community, as many flying insects can and do travel tens of miles, or even hundreds of miles in some cases, in the course of their lives, simply sweeping a field where there is no chance of pesticides or other contaminant within a couple miles at the most certainly does not ensure pesticide free or otherwise contaminant free insects are being fed to your pets. With frogs being one of the most highly sensative creatures on the planet when it comes to polution, this also strikes me as a potentially counterproductive method of keeping potential breeding stock.

One more thing I'm wondering about is a intro post by Dr. Frye... In your post you indicate that the VAST majority of PDFs have various parasitic worms in their digestive tracts and recommend a particular med for it if fecal samples collected in quarantine show the presence of worm eggs. I'd appriciate more direct info on where to obtain this medication, doesages (amount and frequency) and the average cost of treatment if you don't mind. As I only intend to have a few PDFs in one vivarium, it seems logical to simply purchase them all at once, then quaranteen and treat them prior to introducing them to their new home just in case, considering the percentages mentioned of tested PDFs having some sort of intestinal worm parasitism.

Please correct me is I am off base on any of these matters.

Thanks,
Allen
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#2
Arachnid Wrote:I'm just developing an interest in keeping PDFs, but I am a long time keeper of tarantulas with breeding experience, and the reading I've been doing over the past week or so has raised several questions in my mind regarding standard practices of keeping and breeding PDFs.

First off, unless I am mistaken, it seems that when people on this board talk about breeding pairs, the frogs in question are usually (if not always) siblings. When breeding tarantulas it is extremely important to avoid mating related subjects because the offspring down the line will suffer anything from deformities to sterility, or simply not survive to maturity due to various complications arising from genetic problems. There have repeatedly been bloodlines of high priced and highly prized species that have turned out to be of very poor genetic quality, most of which have died prior to maturity, and inbreeding has been highly suspected as the cause. Of course, with tarantulas, the males mature in a year or two in most species, dying shortly afterward, while their female siblings are not ready to breed until they are about 3-5 years old and can live as long as 20+ years, which naturally prevents inbreeding between siblings but does little to prevent breeders from using male offspring to breed the mother again a couple years later. In the arachnid keeping community this is HIGHLY frowned upon for obvious reasons, and I'm wondernig if the same simply doesn't hold true in the PDF keeping community? It strikes me as a potental cause for some of the breeding problems that are being addressed here.

Another issue that has me wondering is the concept of meadow sweepings... Also highly frowned upon in the arachnid keeping community, as many flying insects can and do travel tens of miles, or even hundreds of miles in some cases, in the course of their lives, simply sweeping a field where there is no chance of pesticides or other contaminant within a couple miles at the most certainly does not ensure pesticide free or otherwise contaminant free insects are being fed to your pets. With frogs being one of the most highly sensative creatures on the planet when it comes to polution, this also strikes me as a potentially counterproductive method of keeping potential breeding stock.

One more thing I'm wondering about is a intro post by Dr. Frye... In your post you indicate that the VAST majority of PDFs have various parasitic worms in their digestive tracts and recommend a particular med for it if fecal samples collected in quarantine show the presence of worm eggs. I'd appriciate more direct info on where to obtain this medication, doesages (amount and frequency) and the average cost of treatment if you don't mind. As I only intend to have a few PDFs in one vivarium, it seems logical to simply purchase them all at once, then quaranteen and treat them prior to introducing them to their new home just in case, considering the percentages mentioned of tested PDFs having some sort of intestinal worm parasitism.

Please correct me is I am off base on any of these matters.

Thanks,
Allen



Hi allen,

No You are not all the way off But anyone who cares about dart frogs, cares about getting diff blood lines. At this moment I have a colony of 6 D. pumilio bastimentos that I want to pair off, and every single frog is from a diff bloodline that is what I was told. I got 3 frogs first of which i got 2 males and 1 female (farm raise)and then 3 month later from a diff breeder i got 3 more(CB). Just in case, i will not pair off same group frogs, because there might be a brother and a sister. Probably there are people that does not care about keeping diff blood lines going but a good side of people in the dart business cares about this. Same is happening with Hybrids darts. Some keepers "not at a business level", are mixing diff morphs of frogs. I saw 1 that the dad was an D. auratus and the mom was a D. tinctorius. I do disagree on inbreeding diff bloodlines but some people just do not care and think of getting that perfect magic frog that will cost $$$$$$$$$$$.

Cheers

Xavier
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#3
Yah, it is a problem in the arachnid hobby as well, but it's not a common one these days. Same with cross species breeding (hybridizing), such as Brachypelma auratum with Brachypelma smithi for example. Most people in the arachnid keeping hobby understand the problems this can create in the pet trade, and if an experienced private breeder chooses to do it they will only keep a few for themselves and destroy the rest of the hatchout. It's very uncommon though, being as it's it so highly frowned on for one thing, and so difficult to pull off as well.

Thanks for the input. Smile
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#4
Hi Allen,
Welcome.
I will take a stab at a few of your questions. I think they are important.
Issues that should be cleared up or distinguished:
1-Genetics-line breeding
2-Hybrids
3-Mixing of lines.
4- Meadow plankton

Dart frogs can be breed sibling to sibling without any genetic problems for many (most say easily 10+) generations.
The F1, F2, ect that you see can be a bit confusing. "Fs" are used to tell how many generations away from wild caught the frog is.
Some use it to describe froglets from a pair they bought , but this can confuse matters. For example; If I had a pair of wild caught pumilio and they produced froglets , the froglets would be F1. First captive breed froglets. If those froglets produced offspring, they (the froglets) are F2, and so on. Some get froglets , raise them, they produce froglets and are labeled F1 because they are the first froglets produced by those frogs. You can see how this would be a confusing to the lineage.
The bottom line is that siblings can be breed to siblings and their froglets can be breed to each other, and so on for a number of times without any genetic problems.

What is not suggested by anyone with an understanding of the hobby is hybridization. This is the mixing of two species or sub-species.
There is no benefit to this practise . It helps/serves no-one and nothing. There is no-one out there with any kind of understanding of the hobby wishing to create a "designer" hybrid for mass marketing (or its equivalent in the Dart "hobby") The "hobby" does a pretty good job of policing and dissuading that practice. Basically, do not cross Dart species or sub-species. This is QUITE different than line crossing though.

Line crossing is the practice of mixing two know different lines to add to genetic diversity.
There are some who argue against this, and probably as many who would argue for mixing. The against argument would go along these lines; do not because you want to keep the genetic differences separate from other know lines so as to be able to distinguish line from line. In other words, if I had a Kelly line imitator and a Sens imitator, the "Againsts "would say not to mix because the two look a bit different in color and should stay that way.
The "Fors" argue that they are the exact same specie and should be mixed in order to ADD genetic diversity to the captive specie.
I think this is a personal choice, not one to be taken lightly, but to be thought about and digested.
I can argue either way depending on the specie involved
I have a mixed line of lamasi breeding now with the intent to add genetic diversity to a specie having issue in captivity.
The most important thing to remember is that records must be kept of what ever the breeding situation is.If we know exactly what we are working with it makes thing a few years from now sooo much easier.

Field sweeping/meadow plankton.
This one scares me and will continue to.
There are a great many "gurus" who would sooner die than stop collecting bugs via the great outdoors.
The fact is that anything you bring in from outdoors has potential for contaminating your viv. This is fact. It does not mean that you are doomed if you collect field sweepings, it mean you have a chance ( it has happened numerous times) to contaminate vivs. There are a great number of parasites that can be introduced, not to mention the pesticide issues brought up be Allen.
I will not do it, but am CONSTANTLY on the lookout for small, culturable, nutritionally diverse food sources.
Some of the froggers call it "dirty" frogging and "clean" frogging and are proud to be on the dirty side. That is their choice.

My brother can be contacted at his clinic. Instructions are on my website.
www.fryebrothersfrogs.com
I hope this helps a bit.

Rich
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
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#5
Thanks VERY much for your very informative answers on these issues. I greatly appriciate them. Big Grin

I find it hard to believe that anything in nature can be inbred and not suffer some sort of genetic consiquences, but I am certainly not a geneticist myself and have no experience with PDFs to base my impressions on. What studies or research has been done to confirm this belief?

I agree that hybridization between species is simply problematic on numerous levels for the pet trade, the hobbyists, and the frogs themselves in the event that a clean line is ever needed to replenish wild populations at some time in the future should that species become exctinct (or close to it) in the wild.

I agree that selecting WC prey items and then captive breeding them for the purpose of using the offspring as a ready food source is a good idea, but I'm dead set against using WC prey items directly for all the reasons listed above, and appriciate your input on that issue. What advantages do these "dirty froggers" claim to gain by this, aside from saving money on CB prey items?

Thanks again for your input. Big Grin
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#6
Allen,

I am not a geneticist either, but if you go to Frognet and search for "line breeding" or some such search term, you should get some in-depth info on multiple generation breeding.
It is widely accepted though .

The reason for meadow plankton would be the nutritional diversity.
The fact that nutritional diversity (much as genetic) has pros and cons, coupled with the fact that I may get added un-wanted surprises throws me to the "clean" side of the field sweepings argument.
Again though, I do not wish to be complacent with my search for more diversity in my frogs diet.

Rich
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#7
Thanks. I'll do that search. I agree with a need to diversity in their diets, but there are certainly far less risky ways of getting that if someone is willing to put in a little effort towards maintaining cultures.

One such culterable food source that I've wondered about using for PDFs is termites. Has anyone tried this that you are aware of?
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#8
They are used , but are very high in fat and should be a "treat" not a staple.
Rich
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#9
RichFrye Wrote:Allen,

I am not a geneticist either, but if you go to Frognet and search for "line breeding" or some such search term, you should get some in-depth info on multiple generation breeding.

Ok, I went to
http://www.frognet.com and it's not a frog site. It looked like some sort of company website. Can you give me the direct URL for this frognet you're talking about please?
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#10
Here you go.
http://www.frognet.org/
Rich
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply
#11
i am very new to this hole thing i not concerned with breeding i as much as just having happy healthy frog babies are just a bonus. as far as treatment for those internal parasites is this difficult and can the meds to correct the problem be bought at most local pet shops. like a few i am a newbi and would appreciate and help i can get. like i said i just want happy healthy frog. i've already kind of gotten attached to the little guys and don't want any thing to happen to them. mine don't show any signs of illness but usually when things do its too late. they are a pretty big investment and i don't want that to happen.
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#12
WWW.fryebrothersfrogs.com
If you go to the "Dr. Frye" page, there are descriptions and info on meds.
Most Dart meds are vet only stuff.

Rich
Darts with parasites are analogous to mixed tanks, there are no known benefits to the frogs with either.


If tone is more important to you than content, you are at the wrong place.

My new email address is: rich.frye@icloud.com and new phone number is 773 577 3476
Reply




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