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5 (false) stereotypes about purebred boas2013-03-24

Reading some Hungarian snake forums made me realize, there still are lot of misbeliefs circuling around about these boas. In the hope of perspicacity, we have gathered some of these.

1. "Keeping purebred boas requires special circumstances and knowledge."
In truth, there is no additonal knowledge or extra qualification needed to care purebred boas with success compared to crossbred boas. If one can care crossbred boas, one will be able to do the same with purebred boas.

2. "Crossbred boas are kept by amateurs, purebreds are for professionals."
It is a mystery where statements like that come from, anyway we have heard this from several sources. A single purebred boa could be just as good as a pet with no intention to breed like any other crossbred boas. Crossbred boas do not require less care from their keeper than purebreds, by the way.

3. "Purebred boas are expensive". Undoubtedly, all purebred boas are more expensive than crossbreds, as they are rarer, often harder to breed, which takes more efforts and a certain knowledge. Considering that cheaper localities are about twice as expensive as a crossbred, it is not a huge difference. In addition, prices are decreasing permanently due to breeders' efforts that make these rare boas available to more and more people. For instance, few years ago a wild caught Suriname redtail- that was in poor health when reached the new owner and barely lived a few months -cost 500 $. Nowadays one can get a healthy captive bred Suriname for less than a half of the that price which will live for decades. Same tendencies apply to other localities/subspecies, as well. There certainly are some very unique, rare localities that may have only one bloodline existing in captivity. It is evident that prices of these boas are not to be compared with prices of crossbreds, because these animals are not to do so, either.

4. "Crossbreds are calm, purebred are aggressive."
This is an unsubstantiated claim, as well. In our experience, temperament of a boa is determined mostly by circumstances it is kept under, how often and how it is handled and it has nothing to do whether it is purebred or not. There are specimens of certain localities that may have a more "intense temperament", but the same is true for crossbred boas.

5. "I'll tell you what locality/subspecies you have by picture!"
It can not be determined whether a boa is purebred or not by looking at a picture. Whoever states different, is not really informed in that matter to say the least. To assure the purity of a boa- aside from appearance -ancestors and their documents must be able to be traced back. Not vice versa. When a specimen has a whole different appearance (look) than the locality it has been labaled as, it is often noticeable and decisive. Obviously, for example a Suriname redtail boa  has very distinct look from a crossbred boa, so when a crossbred is labeled as "Suriname redtail", something clearly went wrong. However, a boa with typical Suriname features is not necessarily a pure Suriname. Why is that? Let's say someone breed a Suriname redtail to a crossbred boa producing 20 neonates. Most of these neonates will feature characteristics of both parents (f.i.: not as red tail as a pure Suriname's, but certainly more red than a regular crossbred's). However, some of the neonates will look much like one of the parents. In this case, it is impossible to distinguish a crossbred boa with "Suriname look" from a purebred Suriname. Consequently, only those specimens are accepted as purebreds that have legal documents and traceable ancestors.

Botond Ádám

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