Boa constrictor | genetic testing | subspecies | determination | genetic testing in boas | subspecies determination by genetic testing |

This is the summary of the thesis of Michael Rauberger for getting the degree of an Dipl. Medicinae Veterinariae at the Vet Med Uni Vienna.

Examination Of Mitochondrial Variations In CytochromB-Gene Of Boa constrictor Subspecies In Captivity



The breeding and rearing of the Boa constricta and other boids is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and North America. So far only a genetic study of the Boa constricta has been available, namely the genetic variability of the Boa constricta. The aim of this paper/study was to make a contribution to the efficient supervision of trading, breeding and rearing of the Boa constricta. The research was carried out on the skin remains of the skinning of 74 animals of various subspecies and varieties of species. All animals examined were kept as pets. The phenotyping and taxonomic classification of the samples were undertaken by an experienced and reputable breeder. Using sequence analysis a 372 bp long fragment in the mitochondrial CytochromB gene was genotyped. In the fragment examined 26 different haplotypes were found. In the phylogenetic examination within the Boa constricta group there are 3 clearly distinguishable clusters in the dendrogram with Python regius as an external group. Cluster 1 appears to be closely related to Cluster 2 although the bootstrap support is only 64.6%. The three groups can also be ascribed to three different habitats, namely North America, (Mexico), Central America and South America. In contrast to the past it is strongly recommended to treat the three clearly definable groups as a subspecies and all other samples within the three clusters as varieties of the particular subspecies.









Our comment:

The author writes in his thesis that his results are similar to those of HYNKOVA et al. (2009). This shows that the taxonomy is subject to permanent changes and things that we thought to know for sure are suddenly obsolete when new knowledge arises.

It also shows, that it is absolutely insignificant for a boa breeder or boa keeper whether a boa from Coloumbia is described as boa c. constrictor or as boa c. imperator. Or whether or not a boa from Taboga/Panama is rather an Imperator Boa than a Sabogae Boa. Or if the status as subspecies "Boa c. sabogae" can sustain at all.

The only important thing is to breed only boas to one another who are proven of the same region. Whether these boas are called Jack-Boas or Rambo-Boas or Kermit-Boas in the week after next is of little interest for the breeder or the future owner. It is only important to preserve these locality specific boas Rauberger is pointing out on in his thesis by carefulness and responsibility in breeding. Only this way these animals who are threatend by extinction can be preserved for future generations.