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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so...really weird thing happened today. Story first....

About ten months ago I had a guppy born with a curved spine from a store bought pregnant fish. Likely either inbred, or mushed in the womb since mom did have about 70 babies and of them she was the only one born crippled.

Anyways, when she was a week old it became clear it wouldn't fix, so I removed her from the others. Tried to find her a home, failed...after I got my crayfish I let her go in there. >_>; Yeah, cruel. Didn't happen though. She seems to have been born with some massive bad luck, but has since gained huge good luck.

She has been by herself, NO other fish since she was a week old. As a breeder of guppies I know they need to be a minimum of 3-4 months to reproduce. She was nowhere near. I think you guys know where I'm going with this, especially after the clone thing...

She had babies. In fact she's having them now and has already popped about 20. I simply thought she was fat since she's by herself and has no competition, she's always looked, well, wide from her spine bending around so bad. She's one of the worst deformed guppies I've seen in the back area.
Nice looking babies, BUT HOW? I swear, she's not been with any other fish(save for a gold gourami temporarily and that was female...). So how is it that she is having babies? She couldn't possibly have bred and stored sperm from less than a week old from only other siblings of the same age, could she? I didn't want her to breed. >< I was going to make a nice female sorority for her eventually since she just seems to keep on going and wont be eaten. I didn't want her to breed because...dying in child birth has to be the worst way to go and her back is so deformed I thought it'd kill her. x.x

Anyone had this happen before or heard of it?
 

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Can't help with this Sylverclaws, but, OMG, how strange! I've read a lot online about guppies and endlers, but never read anything even close to something like this! I can't wait to hear what others say!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I also posted this on Yahoo and someone gave me a link to this:
Letters to Nature

Nature 171, 437 (07 March 1953); doi:10.1038/171437a0


Spontaneous Parthenogenesis in a Fish


H. SPURWAY

Biometry Department, University College, London, W.C.1. Dec. 8.

THE guppy, Lebistes reticulatus, is a viviparous fish the reproductive physiology of which has been well studied (bibliography in Gordon1). A female, D9, of English domestic stock of this species born October 5, 1950, was separated from adult males twelve days after birth. The litter of which she was a member were placed in separate jars when thirty-nine days old. The first sign of differentiation of the anal fin into a gonopodium was seen in one of her brothers twelve days later, the family being raised at 20° C. The isolated female, at the age of 216 days, bore a female offspring which died at the age of 304 days. The mother was then mated to a male litter-mate, and bore four litters of at least twenty-six, of which twenty-four were females and one male. The male mated with D9 died before the birth of the second litter, consisting of seven females and one male which were separated from each other at the age of four days. One of these females, DD20, gave birth to three young at the age of 193 days.


Gordon, M. , "The Care and Breeding of Laboratory Animals", edit. by E. J. Ferris, 345–449 (New York and London, 1950).
Winge, Ö. , J. Genet., 18, 1 (1927).
Rostand, J. , "Le Parthenogenèse animale" (Paris, 1950).
Melander, Y. , and Montén, E. , Hereditas, 36, 105 (1950).


I guess it's rare, but it happens. How odd. I hope they don't have back problems too though. ><
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here's my poor deformed girl and her clone babies. x.x She doesn't look so bad from that angle, but from the front/side front she looks mangled. She looks ok though, bit stressed. Hopefully she wont have complications and wont clone herself again...I feel so bad. I didn't know they could clone themselves. I knew some mollies could, but I didn't know guppies did that. =(







 

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Well, some of the weirdest things happen in nature! Let's hope the problem is not a genetic deformity, but the result of an accident or problem in the womb. Let us know how the babies and mom do!
 

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Look more closely at her age...

My guess would be she was probably stunted at birth with that spine, could have been much older than you thought, and actually mated with a male before you separated her. (Stunting in stores is very possible, and who knows the age when they get them, so perhaps she was born before you think, even though you say it was in the litter of the pregnant fish -- maybe she hid while nobody was looking). I have heard that guppies a few weeks old can try the mating routine... about equal to cloning, huh?

So if this happened, she was carrying all the time that you have had her, in that single fish tank. Seems like the most plausible possibility.

But if she has lasted this long, then she is like a slightly deformed person, can make babies, give birth, and survive it all! Good luck, she needs your love, too...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My guess would be she was probably stunted at birth with that spine, could have been much older than you thought, and actually mated with a male before you separated her. (Stunting in stores is very possible, and who knows the age when they get them, so perhaps she was born before you think, even though you say it was in the litter of the pregnant fish -- maybe she hid while nobody was looking). I have heard that guppies a few weeks old can try the mating routine... about equal to cloning, huh?

So if this happened, she was carrying all the time that you have had her, in that single fish tank. Seems like the most plausible possibility.

But if she has lasted this long, then she is like a slightly deformed person, can make babies, give birth, and survive it all! Good luck, she needs your love, too...
She was one week old, 150% positive. lol You know me, I keep track. Mom was born in a twenty gallon where there were no other fish but her siblings and mother since I made it a temporary birthing area JUST for her. She was removed at ONE week old from her siblings. There is no way for them to breed so young, the males are still female at this point and females are still young and undecided as well. They can however, play at mating after a couple weeks, but they cannot conceive nor inseminate.

And yeah, she seems to do ok. It's just...I mean it looks painful but she doesn't seem bothered, nor does it affect her ability to swim. It used to, but she now swims pretty well. The side view I got her from you can see it's bent, but from the other side she's curved around and twisted. x.x I'll have her a little sorority soon, soon as I can get some sweet girls to be with her. See if we can't kick this ability of hers if she's got friends as guppies are supposed to have.

At this point it's hard to tell with the kids, but I can' see any bends. You can see through babies pretty darn good, the problem is they're spines are so tiny. But unlike mom, they don't have any obvious bends or issues. The little stinkers came right up like my older fry and fish do. o-o Acted hungry, that was out there. Fry usually don't eat right after being born, nor do they know who gives it. But I DID put in a small amount of food for mom when she was giving birth...I fed her and THEN realized she was having babies. I said "That's not food I just put in..." lol
 

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Glad to hear the new kiddies don't have her problem

It is good that the new babies don't have her spinal curve, so they may be fine. But do keep a watch on them -- my oldest babies are 4 months old now, all of the early ones from 2 balloon belly Mollies, and now I can see their shapes changing to BB as days go on. It is very noticeable now to see the enlarged belly, the slanted shape to their heads, and the shorter bodies. They were all "normal shaped" to start with, saw nothing indicating that they would be BB. Some portion of them is BB, some is still normal looking. So I guess there was more than one father, or the genetics don't feature all BB. I would think that BB father and mother would yield mostly BB children, but that doesn't seem to be so. Or else Mom had multiple matings with some normal males.

Anyway, keep an eye on them, as I know you will, and see how their spines all develop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's harder to tell when they're fry. I had one give birth and they just looked like normal fat babies until they were a couple months old.

Yeah, I am going to give them a nice calcium rich diet. Well, not too much as that can have adverse effects, but they'll get a bit more. Guppies are delicate about that, lacking enough calcium they can get rickets which also deforms the spine. Once done it can't be undone but it can be stopped with proper food. I've always given them foods that are good and have some calcium anyways(after I found that out anyways!), they should be good to go. They are pretty babies...but they're kinda odd color-wise. They're red. I've never had any red ones, but then her father could have been, her mother was a mix who had a green and red tail, so I guess I'm not too shocked. I have a red endlers, but she's never been with him. We'll see how it goes, clones, from what that link reads, seem to have shortened lives.
 

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Dancelady, I had a balloon molly mom that had fry, and I still have two of those (had too many fish and took a few to an LFS). It took those babies FOREVER to balloon! I swear, it took between 4-8 months, depending on the fish, but they all did balloon in the end. I thought at least half would not be balloon, as some had bellies and some didn't but yep... they all ballooned. I had no idea it would take THAT long! These are two years old, this month. And they say balloons don't live long!

Sylverclaws--red guppies! Should be intereseting. I can't wait to see pics when they get older and start really coloring up.
 

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RackinRocky, so I just have to wait for the balloon bellies

OK, now I see much waiting in the future for some of the balloon bellies. I do have some at 4 months, but I better wait it out for the rest -- amazing how what started out as normal-shaped turn into BB Mollies. I know that this is a hybrid, supposed to be more fragile, but you should see my BB Gold Dust Sailfin Dad -- he is the big boss of the tank, all the others kowtow to him. And he is small as males go -- have some much bigger males that run away from him. They say this is true of Cremesicle, they are also the bosses of their tanks (don't have any of those). But he certainly seems to be strong and aggressive, and randy.

So they will all be balloons then, that says something about the genetics of BB Mollies. What happens if half of a pair is BB and the other half is normal shaped? Will the fry be mixed, some BB and some not? Or all normal shaped? I do have other females in with this BB male -- in a community tank -- and want to know what to expect if fry are born? I will say that he seems to ignore the normal marble females and the teenage ones, maybe he is waiting until the young are his size? This is pretty hysterical -- I need a treatise on the genetics of BB Mollies...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Actually...it doesn't mean all will be balloons. Even balloon mollies breeding together does not insure all will have the gene. I had two that were balloons and three that were not, this was with breeding two balloons together. =)
 

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I am certainly no fish expert, but have had some experience with animal genetics (used to breed dogs, etc) and I guess if both parents were both BB, it would be possible to get some offspring that do not balloon. That is because as Sylverclaws pointed out, they have to have the gene. And balloons haven't been around as long as the normal Molly body type, so one, some, or all could conceivably turn out to be normal bodied mollies. Both parents have to carry the balloon gene. I had two German Shepherds that were black/tan. Over half the litter of 10 were solid black. That means BOTH parents had to carry the all-black gene. I suppose the same would be true with BB mollies. There is the matter, also, of dominant and recessive genes, but that gets a little complicated for this post.

As your "macho male" balloon demonstrates, balloons can be quite healthy. Mine show no difficulty in doing what all the other fish do, with the exception of being a bit slower. (Not when it comes to eating though!) So I don't know if I agree about balloons "suffering" because of their deformities. Maybe in some, but certainly not in all.

Now, if you had a "normal" molly breed with a balloon, that is a whole different story, and you could end up with just about anything, ie; all balloon, no balloon or a percentage of balloon. Sylverclaws said she had two balloons that didn't produce all balloon fry, and that was probably because the NON-balloons were throw-backs to normal bodied mollies. This does happen in the animal world, and that is why breeding is so unpredictible. Unless that trait is absolutely FIXED, you might get a few surprises.
 

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Thanks to both of you, so it is a waiting game for me

It is very good that some non-balloons will results from a BB female, have no idea who she might have mated with before I bought her. But she is healthy, her babies are very healthy, so I will just have to wait and see how they turn out.

I have some beautiful young non-BB marble mollies, the colors are outstanding. I am hoping some turn into male so they can mate with others. Is a GOLD marble molly a normal thing, or do I have some that are very interesting and different? Their gold background and black speckles are very pretty.

Even if very ordinary, they still look beautiful, and maybe will have some lyretails as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I had two German Shepherds that were black/tan. Over half the litter of 10 were solid black. That means BOTH parents had to carry the all-black gene.

Hahaha, you know that reminds me of our dog Hobbes. He was an English Black Labrador Retriever. GORGEOUS dog. Both his parents were yellow labs....Sugar's(the mother) -entire- litter of 10-12(I can't remember, I just know it was in double digits) came out black. lol
Labs are funny like that, so are some other dogs. They only have the three colors: Yellow, chocolate and black. Well, some occasionally come out red or white instead of chocolate or yellow. They don't come out mixed even if you do mix them. Although...on the subject of genes here, there was one that came out half and half. His body had split the gene right down the dogs center and he was part yellow and part chocolate. I THINK they call that a chimera. I can't find that, but I did find one that looks calico, and this one of a half black and half yellow lab. http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y100/wigwaglabradors/chimeraadult.jpg

Genes are indeed funny things. That dog isn't a mutt either. lol
 

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Wow! That dog is gorgeous! I've never heard of that happening. Like you said, it's almost exclusively a solid colored dog that would result.

Yes, dance lady. There are absolutely gold balloon mollies that also have white on them and black as well. This isn't a very good pic, but is the only pic I could find of the two I had.


Freshwater aquarium Plant Fish Aquarium Organism
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ah, Leopard Balloons. =) Some of them are pretty, I like the calico ones you see sometimes too. They're spotted like leopards with the main body color being cream or orange, but the spots aren't just black, they have darker orange spots, yellow spots, white spots as well, they're pretty neat looking. Color-wise anyways. I have to say I started finding them cute after owning some, but I'm really not a fan of how they were made. They get more issues like constipation and their backs surely can't feel very good. LOL I'm not a fan of balloons because they're all severely inbred sailfin mollies for that balloon gene. Which is also a reason why the balloon gene doesn't always pass to the kids....and nor do the colors. It's such an over-bred thing though, that even if you breed balloons with a normal molly or unrelated balloon, sometimes you still get them.
On that subject...I had a pale gold(same color as the creamsicle/butterfly mollies) and a really dark orange male who had bred...one baby came out sorta brown, the others were pure white. =o
 

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It should be higher for Balloon bellies

It doesn't matter what the genes indicate, I have a Balloon Belly father and mother and all the babies seem to be BB. Not 25% BB and 75% normal. So I am also raising some that are BB mother and normal father to see what the babies look like. It is too early yet to tell how many are BB and how many are not. I may even have some fry that were from a normal mother and possibly a BB father. We will know after a few months when the gender and BB indication are showing up. Already I can see some that are young male BB and are chasing the young females that are BB. Will they chase a normal female is the question? I say because the father is BB and doesn't seem to care about the female normal Marble in there, who has had several sets of babies. He ignores her completely. She was pregnant before I got her...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ah, that BB Male I had bred with a bunch of my normal females. A gold dust, two creamsicles(one of which never did have any babies from him), a white lyretail, two marbles and a black sailfin molly....not a single one came out BB, but several had his orange coloring none of my other males had, even from my white sailfin. x.x Sometimes I really wonder about those genes...obviously some people have done a great deal of research and testing with them to get their number results, but I sure didn't see them. LOL I was happy for it though!
 
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