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Hybrid Herps

Psst…come here. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.

Did you know that reptiles can be hybridized? The math is simple: take 2 different species, put them together in a dark room with a little mood music, and ba-da-bing ba-da-boom, you get wicked-awesome baby hybrid reptiles.

Okay, maybe it’s not that simple. But you get the idea.


An Intro to Hybrid Reptiles

The subject of hybrid reptiles is hotly debated. For example, this article from Reptiles Magazine strongly argues against breeding two different species of Phelsuma geckos together. And yet there’s a whole website devoted to mutt reptiles! But it’s not always an issue of snobbery, so get your nose back down here—there’s a whole stew of ethics involved, too. When breeders mix two pools of very different DNA, the results can be infertile, riddled with birth defects, or worse: stillborn. And even if the offspring turn out healthy, disposition and care requirements require a good bit of guess work. Furthermore, hybrids that get bred to purebloods can destroy valuable bloodlines.

*Whew* Now that’s out of the way,

THESE THINGS ARE COOL LOOKING!!!

Hybrid Snakes

Hybrid reptiles - Yellow ball python x Jungle carpet python

Yellow ball python x Woma python = Wall (First produced by NERD)

Hybrid reptiles - Borneo blood python x ball python

Borneo short-tailed python x ball python = Superball (Produced by Roussis Reptiles)

Hybrid snake - Pueblan milksnake x Banana California kingsnake

Pueblan milksnake x Banana California kingsnake (For sale at Mesozoic Reptiles!)

Hybrid snake - Borneo Bateater x Reticulated python

Borneo Bateater x Reticulated python (Produced by NERD)

Snake hybrid - reticulated python x ball python

Golden Child reticulated python x ball python (Also produced by NERD)

Hybrid reptiles - Colombian boa x yellow anaconda

Colombian boa x yellow anaconda (Photo from Crystal Palace Reptiles)

Hybrid snake - Amazon tree boa x emerald tree boa

Juvenile Amazon tree boa x emerald tree boa (Produced by Dr. Warren Booth, USARK Director)

 

Hybrid Lizards

Lizards are a lot harder to hybridize. Not only are the genetics more complicated, but those who wish to hybridize lizards (for example, Tiliqua species) face especially strong antagonism. But some have managed to do it inside a genus, and subspecies crosses are fairly common in the wild. Also, don’t Google “lizard hybrids”…you wouldn’t BELIEVE how many conspiracy articles exist about a lizard-human hybrid Armageddon. *insert eye roll*

Hybrid reptiles - Chahoua gecko x crested gecko

Chahoua gecko x Crested gecko (Produced by ?)

Hybrid lizard - Varus panopte horni x Varus flavirufus

Varanus panopte horni x Varanus flavirufus (Photo by Jeff Hoffman)

Hybrid lizard - Aspidoscelis exsanguis x Aspidoscelis inornata 

Aspidoscelis exsanguis x Aspidoscelis inornata. This whiptail hybrid has 4 sets of chromosomes AND is parthenogenic. Eat your heart out, mourning geckos!

 

Hybrid Turtles & Tortoises

Yup, happens here too.

Hybrid turtle - Red eared slider x Yellow bellied slider

Red eared slider x Yellow bellied slider

Hybrid reptiles - Ouachita Map turtle x red eared slider

Ouachita Map turtle x red eared slider (Photo from The Turtle Source)

Hybrid turtle - Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) x loggerhead (Caretta caretta)

Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) x loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle (Click photo for link to research study)

Hybrid tortoises - Sulcata x leopard tortoise

Sulcata x leopard tortoises (Produced by Reptile Odyssey)

 

Bottom line: Hybrid reptiles are not sustainable animals for the pet trade. But they are incredibly beautiful. If you feel up to the challenge of adding one of these beautifully unusual herps to your collection, visit Mesozoic Reptiles or the classifieds at HybridHerps.com.


If you could cross any two or three reptile species, what would you do?

Tell us in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe and follow us on Instagram!

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