Comments for Wild Type or Designer, and a Final Note

The Prose and Controversies article last month about breeding wild type vs. “designer” geckos generated just two comments, which are reproduced below.   The Prose and Controversies feature was begun nearly a year ago in the hopes that it would generate comment and discussion about husbandry and ethical controversies that are already known to exist in the gecko-keeping world.  During the past year, we have explored the most ideal size and type of  enclosure, the number of individual geckos and gecko species to house in a single enclosure, the types of geckos to breed and the decision about when or if to cull a specimen with birth defects.

Despite our excitement about raising these issues for the gecko community, we find that they have not generated the degree of discussion we were hoping for.  Regretfully, we say goodbye to this feature with this issue.  There is always the possibility, of course, that some interesting controversy will lead to an article describing it.

Without further ado, here are the comments we received:

Sharon Webb

I believe that breeding all captive geckos should be done.  It is not safe in the wild anymore, with habitat destruction and weather changes. Then there is the feeling that “some” need to be left in the wild to be able to monitor the climate and its changes.

Breeding for new color morphs is definitely exciting and does not hurt the species at all.  It gives us new colors to love and lets us have a more varied collection.  I would wish that breeders would keep pedigrees on their breeders so whoever buys the new morphs will have a better idea of what he  or she can produce by pairing it with another color morph.
Breeding should also be done for the betterment of the species.  I read the “thread” of a bearded dragon breeder who had hatched a dragon with no eyes.  She wanted help in keeping it alive.  I feel it should have been culled and the parents set-up with different mates so this doesn’t happen again. This is where pedigrees would be handy.
I would like to think that just like in the dog world (where I breed purebred show quality Boxers) that some breed to keep the quality of the original breed, even if they have others that they are breeding to try and make a new color morph.  I remember when Newfoundlands only came in two types:  black or black and white (landsear); now we have cinnamon, bronze, red and all are beautiful. 

I even believe in cross breeding some of the species as the hardiness of hybrids is real and a lot of hybrids are sterile so it won’t get out of hand.

Albinos of any species are gorgeous.  These new color morphs make more geckos available and increase the desire of people to have the species and the more people we get into geckos the better it is for everyone.

Not to wax religious but in Genesis it is clearly stated that God put all the critters in the world here for our use and enjoyment.

This is and should remain a free country: if you don’t like color morphs then don’t buy one but you have no right to tell others what to do.  PETA people can kiss my…well can’t talk like that so lets just say “rear end”.

As long as there is no abuse of a critter and I hope no “Gecko Mills” like puppy mills start up.  If you are taking care of all of your stock correctly and not having a collection so large you can’t adequately care for I am all for you.  Would love to see someone breed a color morph of a leopard gecko with the black and white markings of a Panda Bear.  Who couldn’t love one?


Jessi Delo

I believe that these “living art” geckos are beautiful and if well cared for you can have this art displayed for quite awhile. Though they are not necessary, they are very beautiful. As for wild caught I believe we should not go out and get wild caught leopard geckos if we have such a large diversity of breeders and morphs already. I believe we need to maintain the “keeping a wild population” rule for leopard geckos and let the wild geckos stay in the wild. After all, if we made these artistically designed geckos for pets and breeders and collectors in domestic life, and there’s such an abundance of them, why do we need to take more from nature that can be hand made?

What do you think?

Written by Aliza

Aliza is a home care speech therapist living in the Boston area. She successfully bred a variety of gecko species between 2005 and 2017. She currently cares for a large number of geckos as well as a few frogs and bearded dragons. Other interests which she pursues in her copious free time include work in ceramics, practicing aikido and surfing the internet.


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  1. There has been a vicious disregard for the animal in the breeding of English Bulldogs: the short snout is a terrible obstacle to respiration, it is a cruel breeder-affectation. Are the bizarre color morphs competent physically or just pretty breeder-pleasing, commercially lucrative monsters? We need an objective herptologist to tell us. It all seems like collecting postage stamps–who’s got the rarest, irrespective of esthetics, who cares how grotesque the animal is as long as no one else has it? Therefore all natural beauty, empirically crafted by evolving nature, is to be discarded, distorted into something that could never survive in nature: “make a blue, a chartreuse, a green, a red, so we can sell it. Some tasteless fool will go by at a reptile show and buy it.”

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