- Nov 3, 2002
I was wondering which of the current pet trade Pokies are a result of crossbreeding, intentional or accidental. It it as bad as Avicularia?
lots of them are only distinguishable by experts on the genus as they look identical to the next one and the next one.... Take sp peru and huriana for example, mix a dozen of each up in a cauldron and then try to single them out again.I guess I don't know much about this. Which of the Avicularias are a result of crossbreeding? Thanks
I thought the same and was recently reading something on this, I thought I saved the article as a .pdf but I guess I didn't so i can't back this up with any source.I was pretty sure that every species of Poecilotheria in the hobby is 'pure' with the possible exception of P. smithi.
I'd definately agree with this. I Really don't think the Avicularia genus is really as screwed up as beleived. A lot of misidentifications when collected and etc. Being collected from the same location as others but being exported from 2 different locations by different collectors and then assuming they're different sp's. As well as this hobby is great but most hobbiest are amateur a best when it comes to identification. 90% of the time hobbiests are looking at arbitrary physical characteristics. Using colour varients and slight superficial differences to justify them as a different species. Majority of hobbiests take most of what they are given at face value and aren't doing tons of research into holotypes and getting gritty into the taxiconomy and identifying what they own. (Not that most hobbiests need to for what they are keeping them as pets and not breeding, etc) but I do think a lot of the problem is people not distinguishing between variations and slight differences in locales of the same species and then actual different species. (Same for herps, inverts, etc)Im not too sure about how much hybridising occurs, mostly because its immeasurable. Its often quoted and I believe some of it is a misconception of the argument.
What we have in the hobby are lots of Avics with lots of names. These names are often pet trade names given to associate one from the other, or worse to demand higher prices.
We have much of South America inhabited by Avics. The collectors go out to a particular area, find some Avics and give a location, hence we have A. sp. Isla Margarita, A. sp. Kwitara, A. sp. guyana, A. sp. Amazonica. Some Avics are given name that refer to colouration and others due to those who have found them. Few are actually ID'd to species.
That all creates a huge melting pot
People extend that error in one of two ways - by believing every variation to be a distinct species, or by believing variations to represent "hybrids". Both of these are overcome by recognizing what is or is not likely to be a variable trait for the group in question. See enough, and it should become obvious. While many variations may be found in a particular area, those which only occur in particular combinations and have their own unique distributions are likely to be distinct species. Those which mix and match traits, with the traits having separate distributions, are likely variants within a species. Mantella are a great example: Mantella nigricans, M.pulchra, M.cowani, M.bernhardi, M.haraldmeieri, M.baroni, and M.madagascariensis were all treated as a single species 20 years ago. Understandable, given that 3-4 of these may occur in a single location. Each, however, has a particular set of colors and patterns, details of voice, habitat, and a separate distribution. IE, just because M.baroni, M.madagascariensis, and M.pulchra can be found at a single location does not mean that where you find one you will automatically find the other "variants" (because they are not a single entity).
The hobby is problematic that way. More particularly, the hobbyists are, since very few make the effort to learn the traits which are ACTUALLY useful for distinguishing species. Most go by "it kinda looks like..." The traits exist. Knowing what they are and how to use them would go a long way to resolving the problems. For instance, a number of Avicularia have males WITHOUT tarsal spurs. By identifying mature males from their exuviae or spurs, one can rule out a whole raft of species from any further consideration. Good, clear macro shots on a neutral background with a ruler in view will allow color comparisons, approximate and relative lengths, hair counts and arrangements, etc. It doesn't matter so much WHAT the traits are, only that they are different between some animals, and similar in others. As long as you have two or more traits in common and at least one different from others, it's a good indicator of separate species.
Mantellas, BTW, remain a good example. While voices and details of behavior do differ, the casual observer wouldn't notice this, especially if they are not already suspecting the animals to be different. Such details could well be present in avics as well, such as slight details of courtship behaviors, stridulation [present or absent], poo-flinging, etc. The Mantella were problematic largely because three species which are sympatric appear to form a continuum of color and pattern [baroni ==> madagascariensis ==> pulchra]. Looking closely though, each has peculiarities which only occur in a particular combination. M.pulchra has a brown back and brownish stripe around the nose, brown legs, and squared off shoulder blotch. M.baroni has a black back, distinct thin white stripe on the nose, usually not connected to the shoulder, orange limbs, and a round shoulder spot. M.madagascariensis is variable, but has a squared shoulder blotch, distinct nose stripe which often connects to the shoulder - legs may be brown or orange, and the back will be anything but smooth brown. At a glance, they blur together, but a detailed look shows that each has more than one trait in combination and at least one different from everything else.