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Sterile Lines and Sterile Gliders: Please note that everything on this page is actuate to the best of my knowledge based on the information currently available. There is not much information to date on this topic, so I am basing my knowledge on my own personal experiences, and that of breeders I have spoken with. We are all continually learning new information about the sterility in sugar gliders. If you have any questions, comments, or would like to see more information added on this page, please contact me.

Why are some sugar gliders sterile?
Will the females produce?
I was told the male "should produce", how do they know?
I was told the line is "Proven" what does that mean?
After a male from a sterile line is "Proven", are his male offspring going to be sterile?
I heard that even when males start to produce from sterile lines, there is a higher cannibalization rate due to a possible problem with the fetus. Is this true?
What is the difference between a "slow producing" male and a "sterile" male?
The brother to my "possible sterile" male produced, does this mean my male will be fertile as well?
Do sterile males have bald spots and other scent gland?
I was told the male "developed normally" does this mean he will have babies?
How are the sterile lines bred out?


Q. Why are some sugar gliders sterile?

A. Early on, some lines of sugar gliders were excessively inbred to reproduce color. At the time, it was likely unknown how the specific color trait was passed on. In order to attempt to reproduce the color, the breeder(s) over inbred the line without introducing sufficient "new blood" into the line. As a result, the males began to develop deformed, and under developed testacies. In some cases, the testacies did develop properly, however they never dropped into the sac. If the testacies do not drop into the sac, healthy sperm will not be able to develop.

Q. Will the females produce?
A. Yes, the females will be able to be bred. The inbreeding did not appear to affect the females. However, the females are responsible for passing down the sterility gene. In other words, if you have a female from sterile lines, and she has a male joey, it will be likely that the male will be sterile.

Q. I was told the male "should produce", how do they know?
A. It has already been proven that the sterility can be bred out with the proper introduction of "new blood" into the line. In some lines it takes 3 or 4 generations out from the original "sterile" gliders to start seeing males produce. In others lines could be quite a bit more generations needed to begin seeing fertile males. In honesty, it really depends on the specific line, and how much inbreeding was done. Breeders working with sterile lines will often check the joeys testicles to determine if they are developing properly. If the testacies drop, are firm, and average size, it is possible that the sugar glider will be able to produce. However, that is NOT a guarantee that the male will be able to have joeys.

Q. I was told the line is "Proven" what does that mean?
A. This means that the males in the line have been proven to produce healthy offspring and that no sterility has been passed down from that point on. In order for a line to be considered "proven" a full generation should be able to produce healthy and fertile babies for at least one full generation. Please note that a pair of sugar gliders from sterile lines can have both sterile, fertile, and slow producing males. This means that just because a brother has proven to be fertile does NOT mean that another brother will prove to be fertile. A true proven line should have several males within the a generation all producing healthy and fertile offspring.  

Q. After a male from a sterile line is "Proven", are his male offspring going to be sterile?
A. There really hasn't been a lot of information in this area. Before we can say 100%, we need more information from various breeding programs. From my personal experience and from speaking with other breeders with experience with the sterile lines, I would say no the males will not be sterile. After the male has been proven, his male offspring should be able to produce without complications. With the information we currently have now, it is believed that the "sterile" gene is passed down from the female. This means that a fertile male from a "sterile line" paired with a female not of "sterile lines" would not have the sterility gene to pass down.

Q. I heard that even when males start to produce from sterile lines, there is a higher cannibalization rate due to a possible problem with the fetus. Is this true?
A. While it is possible this may be happening is some cases, there just hasn't been enough information to really come to a conclusion as to why or even IF it is happening. Cannibalization can occur for a number of reasons, not all of them are genetically related. Social structure of colonies, inexperienced/young mothers, diet deficiencies, and illnesses can be possible causes of cannibalization. Anytime cannibalization occurs in sugar gliders, regardless of what line the sugar glider is from, there could be a genetic cause. Unfortunately, there is usually no way to tell why a cannibalization really occurred. 

I have spoken to at least one breeder that has worked with the "sterile lines" for many years. She has stated that she has seen very little cannibalization in gliders from "sterile" lines, and it certainly doesn't appear to be any higher than what would be normally seen amongst other breeding gliders.

Q. What is the difference between a "slow producing" male and a "sterile" male?
A. A "slow producing" male will produce joeys. It may be only once or twice a year, or even once or twice EVER, but he IS able to produce offspring. A sterile male is UNABLE to have joeys, ever.

Q. I was told the male "developed normally" does this mean he will have babies?
A. Breeders will often check to see if the male's testacies have developed normally. Normal testacies are the first sign of the fertility returning in the males. If the testacies drop properly, are firm, and average to large in sized, there is a chance that male can produce healthy offspring, but this is NOT a 100% guarantee. While it may be possible for the male to be fertile and produce as a "normal" male, it may also be possible that he is a "slow producer". "Slow producers" are believed to have lower sperm counts, or lower sperm quality. Slow producing males often only have 1 or 2 joeys a year, and will often only father a few joeys within his lifetime. 

Q. The brother to my "possible sterile" male produced, does this mean my male will be fertile as well?
A. NO, this does not mean your male will prove to produce. Each male must be proven on his own terms, and not that of his siblings. Being that a brother had proven, it is a good sign that the fertility is returning in that particular generation. This may increasing the chance your male will produce, but is NOT a guarantee.

Q. Do sterile males have bald spots and other scent gland?
A. Yes, they sure can. Usually sterile males do tend to have "less active" scent glands and MAY be considerably smaller in size than a fertile male, but that certainly is NOT a rule. They can have full size "bald spots" and still be sterile.

Q. How are the sterile lines bred out?
A. The lines are bred out when a sugar glider of an unrelated, non-sterile line is bred the the sugar glider from the "sterile" line. Each time this is done, it is considered 1 generation out.

 

Our Experience with Sterile Gliders:

Willow/Lorie: Willow was bred by Sheila Willson from To and Fro Gliders. When we purchased her, we did not know she was from a sterile line. We were extremely excited about our new addition. She was the most docile, and beautiful white faced champagne. We had no idea what to pair our beautiful new girl with. I knew I wanted something that would produce beautiful champagnes like Willow, but didn't know how to achieve that. Sheila informed us that if we waited for her female, Jolene (platinum) to have a male, that he would be the perfect for Willow. At that time, Jolene was with a 100% let for leucistic with a white face. Shortly after, Jolene (platinum) had a beautiful white face 50% possible het male named Twister. Though I knew the pairing could never "prove" Twister to be a leucistic het by pairing him with Willow, I was excited to see what would happen with this pairing. Soon after 2 of Willow's full brothers were proven sterile, the breeder was notified. Sheila quickly notified me of the sterility in the line, and informed me that Willow's males would likely be sterile as well.

To date, of Willow's males, two of her males were obviously not going to be able to produce. Their sacs were flat, and their testacies never dropped. One of her normal colored sons did have one joey oop, and one of her white face champagnes did develop large and firm testacies, but to date hasn't been with a suitable female to have joeys. We kept one of Willow's normal colored females we named Lorie. Lorie had been nipped in the face by mommy while nursing . Because of that, we decided we'd wait until it healed before placing her up for sale. In the end, we became attached and couldn't part with her. At the time, I had a 50% possible het Linus, who was alone. I decided to put them together. Never in a million years did I believe that they would have a white baby. However, they're very first baby was white, proving both Linus and Lorie to be 100% hets.

Lorie has had several males to date, and even some grandsons. ALL children and grandchildren of breeding age, in a breeding situation, has bred without complications. Testacies have been quite large, and firm. As a result, I believe this a proven line. No sterility has been found beyond Lorie. I firmly believe Lorie did not inherit the sterility gene from her mother, therefore it can not be passed down to her offspring or further generations.

This line has created a great controversy with a couple of sugar glider breeders. However, there is reason to believe that their conduct is more than to be the "glider police", but more of a financial motive. Usually their "warnings" are followed up with an offer for you to buy a glider from them or one of their "friends" instead. If you are contacted by someone concerning this line being sterile, please contact me directly to discus this. We are looking into taking action as needed against any false information about this line. I would never purposely misrepresent any of my babies, as that could put their happiness in jeopardy. Our top priority is our babies welfare. I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have about this line anytime via email. I invite you to see the status of this line below so you can decide for yourself:

Lorie's Line
"Proven Line" (updated 06/13/08)
Children Grand Children Great Grand ChildrenGreat Great Grandchildren
Candace (Leucistic)
OOP: 5/1/06
Status: PROVEN
Shannon (WF 100% Het)
OOP: 05/14/07
Status: PROVEN
Charmin (Leucistic)
OOP: 2/26/08
Status:
Proven
Male (Het)
OOP: 8/14/08
Status: Under 6 Months
Maverick (66%PLH)
OOP: 2/26/08
Status:
Lost contact w/breeder 3/30/09
 
Female (WF/66% PLH)
OOP: 06/18/08
Status:
Lost contact w/breeder 3/30/09
 
Female (WF/66% PLH)
OOP: 06/18/08
Status:
Lost contact w/breeder 3/30/09
 
Quade (WF 100% Het)
OOP: 05/14/07
Status: PROVEN
Levi (WF 50% PLH)
OOP: 01/14/08
Status:
Lost contact w/breeder 3/30/09
 
Venice (WF 50% PLH)
OOP: 06/06/08
Status:
Lost contact w/breeder 3/30/09
2 IP
Lost contact w/breeder 3/30/09
Vienna (WF 50% PLH)
OOP: 06/06/08
Status:
Lost contact w/breeder 3/30/09
 
Amira (WF 100% Het)
OOP: 09/05/07
Status: Waiting on Info
Male (Leucistic)
OOP: 09/17/08
Status:
Lost contact w/breeder 3/30/09
 
Male (66% Het)
OOP: 09/17/08
Status:
Lost contact w/breeder 3/30/09
 
Sawyer (WF 100% Het)
OOP: 09/05/07
Status: PROVEN
Male (Leucistic)
OOP: 05/25/08
Status:
Lost contact w/breeder 3/30/09
 
Female (100% LH)
OOP: 05/25/08
Status: Lost contact w/breeder 3/30/09
 
Topaz (Leucistic)
OOP: 03/14/08
Status: Lost contact w/breeder 3/30/09
  
Tesla (Leucistic)
OOP: 03/14/08
Status: Pet ONLY home, neutered
   
Winter (Leucistic)
OOP: 08/12/08
Status: Pet Only Home
   
Warner (Leucistic)
OOP: 08/12/08
Status: Pet ONLY home, neutered
   
Casper (Leucistic)
OOP: 7/26/06
Status: PROVEN

Lost contact with new owner (3/30/09)
Keely (100% LH)
OOP: 08/19/07
Status:
Lost contact 3/30/09
  
Tiffany (100% LH)
OOP: 08/19/07
Status: Not with a male
  
Bob (100% LH)
OOP:
08/30/08
Status: Neutered
  
Rita (66% Possible LH)
OOP: 10/21/06
Status: Pet ONLY home
Non-breeding contract
   
Jeremy (WT 66% Possible LH)
OOP: 1/23/07
Status: Proven
Female Introduced 10/2007

Female was retired 10/2008
Yogi (33% PLH)
OOP: 01/07/08
Status:
Pet ONLY home
Non-breeding/neuter
   
BooBoo (33% PLH)
OOP: 01/07/08
Status:
Pet ONLY home
Non-breeding/neuter
   
Phil (33% PLH)
OOP: 07/20/08
Status:Pet ONLY home
Non-breeding/neuter
   
Poland (Leucistic)
OOP: 1/23/07
Status: PROVEN
Male Joey (Leucistic)
OOP: 10/07/07
Status: Passed Away 10/09/07
   
Dyno mite (100% LH)
OOP: 01/08/08
Status:
PROVEN
Male (Champagne)
OOP: 08/08
Status: Proven
Male
OOP: 02/2009
Status: Under 6 months
Male
OOP: 02/2009
Status: Under 6 months
Female (100% LH)
OOP: 01/08/08
Status:
 Pet ONLY home Non-breeding
   
Male Joey (Leucistic)
OOP: 06/13/08
Status:
Waiting on Info
  
Aimee (66% Possible LH)
OOP: 6/11/07
Status: Waiting on Info
   
Nevada (Leucistic)
OOP: 9/11/07
Status:
Waiting on Info
   
Gage (66% Possible LH)
OOP: 9/23/07
Status: PROVEN
Mary Kate (50-66% PLH)
OOP: 05/16/08
Status:
Lost Contact 3/30/09
  
Ashley (50-66% PLH)
OOP: 05/16/08
Status:
 Lost Contact 3/30/09
  
2 IP  
Berkley (66% Possible LH)
OOP: 04/26/08
Status:
Pet ONLY home, neutered
     
Gary (66% Possible LH)
OOP: 07/20/08
Status:
Pet ONLY home, neutered
     

Nathan/Chastity: I purchased Nathan from Priscilla Price. I knew that Nathan was from a sterile line, but was told he would likely produce for me. Nathan was alone for a while, due to not having the "perfect" mate, but quickly he became lonely. At the same time, Dolly, one of my first gliders from "colored" lines began fighting profusely with her mate. I decided I needed to separate them sooner than later before someone was hurt. Dolly's new cage was next to Nathan's, and I'd continuously hear them chitter back and forth all night long. I decided after a while, to go ahead and see if they would really get along. It was love at first site, no crabbing, no fighting, they instantly cuddled up and went to sleep. Right after placing Dolly with Nathan, she got pregnant. They ended up having a beautiful ringtail female named Chastity. Soon after Chastity was out of pouch, I noticed some major changes in Dolly's behavior. By the end of her relationship with Nathan, she started over grooming, and fighting continuously during her heat cycle. I decided now was the time to retire her, before she was injured. Nathan is currently alone again, awaiting his "girl friend" to become "of age". We do not know if Nathan is a "slow producer" or if he will produce normally, at this time. Please see the below table for "updates".

Nathan's Line
(updated 06/13/08)
Children Grand Children Great Grand ChildrenGreat Great Grandchildren
Chastity (ringtail mosaic)
OOP: 5/1/06
Status: PROVEN
Fern (33% Possibl leu het)
OOP: 06/10/07
Status:
Pet Only Home
Non-breeding contract
   
Fisk (33% PLH)
OOP: 06/10/07
Status: PROVEN

(Now Neutered)

2 IP
Babies lost after mate escaped the cage.
 
Xenia (Gray)
OOP: 08/12/08
Status:
Under 6 months
 
Xerxes (Gray)
OOP: 08/12/08
Status: Under 6 months
 
Squishie (Mosaic)
OOP: 02/08/08
Status: Proven
Porkie (Mosaic)
OOP: 02/22/09
Status: will be neutered
 
IP (updated 3/30/09) 
Mae (Gray)
OOP: 05/23/08
Status: Pet ONLY
   
Ashley (White Plat Mosaic)
OOP: 08/20/08
Status: Under 6 months
  
Norbert (White Mosaic)
OOP: 11/20/08
Status:
Under 6 months
  


 

~Pet Sugar Gliders~

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