Its not often that a chance like this comes up, especially for breeders here in the UK, but when you get the chance to make the biggest reptile project you have ever been part of even better, the dream seems to good to be true.
The Black Pearl as a base morph is unbelievable!
Over the years many people have randomly hatched dark "melanistic" geckos, but to have a gene that produces such a vast amount of concentrated dark pigment is a massive head start. To date, no other genetically reproducible melanistic morphs have arisen.
Something that has played a big part in the delay of our Black Pearl web updates, was some news we received from TUG early in 2011. We were sworn to complete secrecy until otherwise stated.
We can now reveal how this news affected us, and why the delays have been so crucial.
Craig from The Urban Gecko described events to us regarding his Black Pearl collection, that were to leave us gob smacked!
Craig told us how upon receiving the entire Black Pearl collection, he made a viable business decision to re-coup some of his investment. This meant that he sold ALL but two original of the visual Black Pearl's to various people around the world. This left TUG with a bunch of het Black Pearls that would produce a generous number of visuals the following season…. or so they thought.
Before the two original geckos could be bred both died, which meant the large group of hets were now Craig's only chance of visuals.
The season following TUG's acquisition, they bred these hets, but the results left them shocked…. They did not hatch a single Black Pearl, and have yet to hatch a visual Black Pearl from any of the geckos in the "het Black Pearl" group they received from Living Art Geckos.
It then became apparent that The Urban Gecko had fallen victim of one of the biggest scams in the reptile world for many years. What made it worse was that TUG had no Black Pearls in their possession what so ever.
Although at the expense of TUG which was very disappointing, it meant our Black Pearl's values had soared in a matter of minutes. We faced the dilemma of releasing some of the lessers we had planned to sell in 2011, with the world thinking there was still a lot more BP's out there and they weren't as valuable as we were making out, or holding back everything for another year or two…. The later is what we opted for.
Out of the handful of geckos that were sold only 3 other original Black Pearls are still known to be in existence. All of which are in the USA.
2 out of 3 of these geckos were immediately crossed into other Melanistic projects, the other is still not thought to have been bred from.
As far as we are aware, our Black Pearl project, is to date, the only line of Black Pearl's that have not been crossed into another melanistic line.
You may have seen a number of different names now being used for the project such as, "The Dark Project", "D Project", "Code Black" these are all Black Pearl crosses.