HerpRegistryTM American Cornsnake Registry Frequently Asked Questions
What does American Cornsnake Registry do?
American Cornsnake Registry allows users to participate in tracking pedigrees. We also have free classifieds so that people can buy and sell their pedigreed stock.
What good is a pedigree?
A pedigree is a record of where a snake's genes have come from. This helps breeders in many ways: to find new genes, to find the source of a new gene, to find if a new gene is related to a previously known gene, to weed out bad genes, and to avoid unintentional inbreeding or hybridization.
I already keep track of the lineage of my snakes, what's the difference between that and American Cornsnake Registry?
Many breeders keep their own records, but that information does not cross from one colony to another. American Cornsnake Registry will have that information available to other breeders at any time, including after you are no longer breeding snakes. As long as someone knows the Sire and Dam of their snake they can look up the information on their own time, without having to ask you and wait for your response.
Can't the seller just tell the buyer about the lineage?
The usual process is a buyer asks and the seller gives them a verbal description, which goes something like this:
"I got the parents from Bob, who bred them together. Bob got the female from Betty and the male from John. John said the father was an albino and the mother was anery. Betty said she bred the mom herself."
It can be extremely difficult to get any useful information out of these exchanges, and it's very easily forgotten within minutes, too. Compare this to a pedigree, you'll quickly see that a diagram is worth a thousand words!
From this you can already tell that your snake is possibly carrying other genes. It has a 50% chance of carrying hypo, 25%chance of carrying stripe, and a 1 in 6 chance of having the caramel gene. This information also goes back through several different breeders, some of whom haven't been involved in the hobby for over a decade and you otherwise would not be able to ask them anything about their animals. Here are some other scenarios where this pedigree would be of great value:
- Betty's 2002 Albino Het Anery is discovered to be the origin of a fantastic new gene. Your snow is now known as a possible carrier. Betty could find out who has possible carriers and could help propagate the new gene. Without the pedigree, everyone who had any stock from Betty would have to guess.
- People with offspring of John's 1996 Anery have found a recessive defect and traced it back to that snake. Without a pedigree the only information you'd have is "mine came from John too" and you would have to suspect your snake of being a carrier. With the pedigree you can tell that John's 1996 Anery is unrelated to any of your stock, and your snow is clear of the defect.
- You and a friend both have snakes from Sally. Are they related? They could be full siblings or ninth cousins. Without a pedigree you would have no way to tell.
- Someone is selling locality snakes. A pedigree is the only way to see where they come from and who has worked with their ancestors.
- These last two situations happened in real life.
Why does American Cornsnake Registry allow hybrids?
American Cornsnake Registry offers the only way for anti-hybrid folks to actually avoid bringing hybrids into their collection: pedigrees. Without a pedigree you only have, "the seller told me that the guy she bought it from told them they heard it was pure." We all have faulty memories and some things get forgotten, and others just don't seem important enough to mention, a common example is someone who just has a pet they never intended to breed, and then sells it later to someone who does breed it. Not all people who keep herps are fanatics like us, some just have a novel pet. They never thought to ask in the first place if it was a hybrid, or they didn't care to remember how the original seller described it. When they decide to sell it a few years later, they just go by the shortest simplest description they heard of it. The buyer takes that completely seriously, assumes "I was not told it was a hybrid, therefore it is not a hybrid" and uses it in their breeding programs. The vast majority of unknown hybrids probably result from this type of situation. If you insist on buying only pedigreed snakes then the only way you would end up with any hybrids is if someone purposely and knowingly lied in their record. A pedigree offers you the opportunity to see the description of each snake in the family tree, directly from the person who made that claim. You don't have to deal with hearsay, faulty memories, or leaky histories.
What is the Grace Period?
American Cornsnake Registry's grace period is for everyone to get their stock, past and present, into the database for free. This will help get the pedigrees going, as far back as records will allow. There is no cost to putting in your snakes so there is no risk to putting in your stock. The only risk is if you don't put in your stock and the rest of the hobby does, you would have to pay to enter yours after the grace period. We will keep the site free for users as long as sponsors/banners are enough to keep the site running.
Why is there a weird yellow pattern in the upper right corner of the site?
You will see that if your browser is using an ad blocker. Our sponsors pay to keep this site free for users. Unlike other sites which use advertising, we want to make sure any ads here are on topic, not flashing, jittering, or otherwise in your face and obnoxious.
How do I get started?
First, sign up for a user account here. Next, start entering your snakes. If you have multiple generations, it is best to start with the earliest generations, and work your way toward the present.
Do I have to include photos?
Photos are not required, but records of your snakes will be much more useful for present and future users if you include at least one photo.
I have information going back a few generations, but those animals are dead. Should I enter those?
Yes, enter your records as far back as they go. The pedigrees show gene flow, which does not change when an animal dies.
I want to enter my snakes from Fred Jones, but Fred Jones hasn't entered the parents in the database.
Enter your records now and put the information about the parents into the notes. When Fred Jones registers the parents, you can then update your snakes to show the sire and dam. If you know that Fred Jones does not intend to enter his stock, you can enter the parents as dummy records.
What are dummy records?
Dummy Records act as a placeholder for a sire and dam. For example, you bought a pair of snakes from a breeder who told you they are full siblings, but nothing more. You enter dummy record male and a dummy record female, then enter your snakes with the dummy records as their sire and dam. They will then be recognized as siblings. If the breeder sells snakes with internal ID#s of the parents, you might find existing dummy records with that ID or enter them yourself. Others who buy offspring of the same parents will be able to connect theirs to the same parents.
I have snakes with the ____ gene but that gene is not in your system.
Enter your records now and put the information about the genes into the notes. To get the gene added to the system, go to this page and follow the instructions there. Whenever it is added, you can update your records to show the new gene.
I have a snow, but you don't have a checkbox for snow. How do I enter it?
A snow is not a single color, but a combination of other colors. We would have to add millions of check boxes to account for any combinations like this, and searches would be much more difficult for users. When entering genetic combinations, check each of the boxes for the genes it is made of.
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