- NAIB True Sipaliwini: animals from this lineage are the original True Sipaliwini brought in by the National Aquarium. Sean Stewart acquired a pair and has been releasing F1's to the hobby since the 90's. I have not seen Stewart release additional animals in several years, and the last time I contacted them Barbara said they were holding back their animals for international zoo sales moving forward.
- 2012 Blue / True Sipaliwini: a group of animals surfaced on Kingsnake in 2012 as "Blue Sips" which were re-classified as True Sips by hobbyists. Attempts were made to obtain locale data, but no data was ever published. There is additional anecdotal information that some Cobalt offspring can throw similar looking animals to a True Sip, so the origin of these animals and their relationship to the NAIB line remain in question.
- NAIB/2012 outcross: there's at least one hobbyist selling an outcross of an NAIB and a 2012 animal.
- DFW "Sipaliwini Savannah" hybrid: DFW has released a phenotypically sorted hybrid animal that they claim resembles an NAIB True Sip. Visually I don't see the resemblance, but they occasionally use the NAIB reference when advertising this class of hybrid. I'm including it here for informational purposes since it has used the name.
Management Questions / Debate
Setting aside the DFW animals which are (in my view) completely illegitimate and not part of any management discussions, we are left with three hobby lines. In my opinion the NAIB and 2012 animals should not be crossed, as there are too many open questions about the 2012 import to ever warrant an outcross with the limited NAIB stock within the hobby.
I don't know what to call them, but in my opinion this is now a third category of animals that need to be maintained separately from the original two imports. In a quick survey of animals being offered last year, the volumes being sold of these crosses seem to be greater than animals from the original two lines. This is problematic to me, as all three lines use "True Sip" for shorthand, which will inevitably create confusion for new entrants in the hobby. Couple this with the price point of the outcross at $40 or so per animal, and you are left playing a numbers game where the outcrosses will quickly eclipse the NAIB and 2012 numbers present in the hobby.
- Do we agree on the four categories I have listed?
- Do we agree there are two legitimate, separate lines that share the same name (NAIB and 2012 being the distinction)?
- Is there any disagreement that these lines should not be crossed?
- What do we call the outcross? How do we handle it within the hobby? Will people take offense to being called out for lax labelling when it happens?
- Is the NAIB line essentially dead? Do people care about the history of the lines, or do they just want a $40 animal that looks like an NAIB True Sipaliwini?
This reminds me of the Regina, GO, and "corrected" animals that were prevalent in the hobby at one time. They have seemingly fallen out of favor in the hobby, and I think that is in part due to the confusion in the labels and the way they were managed. I don't want to see that happen to True Sips. I've gone through several stages of reactions to the 2012/NAIB outcross. I was appalled when I first saw it happened. I still get annoyed every time I see animals up for sale, but I am glad they are at least posted as an outcross, though not as obvious to most as I would like. So now I'm trying to enlist the hobby to figure out a path forward so we can guide the proper management of the lines.
I'll stop there and open it for debate. There really isn't one in my mind, but perhaps I'm missing some angle here that puts me in the minority.