Ron Tremper, who could rightfully be called one of the “fathers” of leopard gecko selective breeding, has recently launched a new app (for iphone and android) called “Leopard Gecko Pro”. This new app is
one of a series of leopard gecko morph, gecko care and the most comprehensive of the apps that he has released (others include leopard gecko, snake and tortoise care). I was unable to resist this app and its $9.99 price tag which includes a “lifetime” of free updates in a field that is constantly evolving. snake tortoise care apps that he has released. I was unable to resist this app and its $9.95 $9.99 price tag
Overview of the App
The app consists of two sections: a long article about leopard gecko genetics (“Introduction” and “Overview of Morphs”) and a photo gallery of captioned leopard gecko morphs. Tremper states in his introduction that he has no intention of trying to provide photographs of every possible new morph, but has put together a fairly exhaustive, indexed collection.
The article that accompanies the app, “Overview of Morphs” greatly expands upon material which can be found in other Tremper publications: The Herpetoculture of Leopard Geckos (with Philippe de Vosjoli and Roger Klingenberg, 2005 Advanced Visions Inc.; out of print), his website www.leopardgecko.com and a video-based presentation produced for the museum show Geckos: Tails to Toepads currently exhibiting at the Museum of Science in Boston MA (January to May 2012). It includes a general summary of leopard gecko genetic components (color, pattern, eye color, size), designer morph combinations and tips for breeders illustrated by examples of his own successes and failures: “How to Design a New Morph” and “So You Think You Have Something New?” The morph section also provides a much awaited update on the “blue morph” leopard gecko. The photographs of specific morphs include one or more pictures of the morph in question with relevant, though not exhaustive, notes about each morph.
On the whole, I consider this app to be money well spent both in terms of the quality of the photos that have been provided to date and the promise of future updates, which I expect to primarily reflect Tremper’s developments with his breeding programs. The overview article does have minor punctuation and wording errors (which, in an email to Mr. Tremper, I have offered to correct) and contains a few more significant debatable points, some of which I will describe as examples:
— Tremper describes the circling and clumsy behaviors of the enigma morph and states “this behavior is intensified when enigmas are bred together”, an assertion which many would disagree with, maintaining instead, that the manifestation of the enigma syndrome has been found by many breeders to be inconsistent within the morph regardless of the behavior or genetics of the parents.
–The RADAR is described as an “albino Bell RAPTOR” even though the “T” of “RAPTOR” stands for “Tremper (albino)”.
–”When a blizzard is bred to a murphy patternless you get young that are normal banded in appearance (phenotype), but are called “double hets” since they carry the genes for “blizzard and murphy patternless.”
Despite this quote, there is no mention anywhere in the article or the morph photographs of the “banana blizzard” which is the common name for the patternless blizzard cross.
–”Albino blizzard: AKA Tremper Patternless Albino=TPA. This morph is the result of combining two recessive traits. The Tremper Albino and Blizzard were used to create this new homozygous morph. This means it is not carrying any recessive genes, and therefore, cannot be “het” for anything”
Actually, the TPA is carrying only recessive genes. By definition, an animal which expresses a trait both phenotypically and genotypically cannot be “het” because it has only recessive genes. In the bigger genetic picture, though, these genes are still recessive.
This last quote is the source of my most serious, though still minor criticism of the app, and a caveat to those who will consider buying it: I find the use of some genetic terms and phrases to be occasionally sloppy and mis-applied.
Those who consider purchasing this app must be clear to take it for what it is: a wonderful photographic archive with notes from one of the more successful and innovative leopard gecko breeders in the field. It is not, however, a genetics textbook or even a reliable breeding “cookbook” because of some of the inconsistencies. However, as a print version of the experience of following someone like Ron Tremper around, listening to his comments and anecdotes about his work and creations, this app can’t be beat.
Any edits made to this article will be
marked and replaced with corrected information.