Glossary of Alpaca Terms
AGGREGATE BREEDING VALUE:
Also net merit. The breeding value of an individual for a combination of
Thought to be a locus on the chromosome where color occurs. Sometimes also
called the wild or natural color gene (this would be vicuna color in alpacas).
An alternative form of a gene.
The high plateau in southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia located around Lake
ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION (AI):
A reproductive technology in which semen is collected from males, then used in
fresh or frozen form to breed females.
Selection that is under human control.
Small remote Peruvian communities of Indian shepherds.
(1) The mating of a hybrid to a purebred of a parent breed or line. (2) The
mating of an individual (purebred or hybrid) to any other individual (purebred
or hybrid) with which it has one or more ancestral breeds or lines in common.
The population of animals whose parents are either unknown or ignored for the
purposes of inbreeding and relationship calculation. Typically the individuals
appearing at the back of the pedigrees of the original animals in a herd or
Backcross one. The first generation of crosses between hybrids and-purebreds of
a parent breed or line.
A male who was afforded too much affection by humans as a cria and shows no
fear of them as an adult.
A classification for animals with similar genotypes for traits of interest.
Examples include heavy draft types (horses), prolific wool types (sheep), large
dual-purpose types (cattle), and tropically adapted types (many species).
The application of biological knowledge to practical needs. Often refers to (1)
technologies for altering reproduction, or (2) technologies for locating,
identifying, comparing, or otherwise manipulating genes.
The highest quality fleece which begins at the shoulder, runs the full length
of the back and down each side until it meets the more medulated fiber on the
belly. Excludes neck, leg, chest, belly, and britch. The term originated from
the image of a horse's saddle blanket.
Breeder's term that alludes to pedigree.
A race of animals within a species. Animals of the same breed usually have a
common origin and similar identifying characteristics.
(1) A weighted combination of traits defining aggregate breeding, value for use
in an economic selection index. (2) A general goal for a breeding program -- a
notion of what constitutes the best animal.
(1) The value of an individual as a (genetic) parent. (2) The part of an
individual's genotypic value that is due to independent and therefore
transmittable gene effects.
Alpacas breed true if two parents with a particular, simply inherited phenotype
produce offspring of that same phenotype exclusively.
The look of an alpaca.
A grouping of microstaples that together form a larger staple. The formation of
the microstaples is determined by the arrangement and density of the follicles
in the skin. Bundling is said to be an indicator of a dense fleece, due to the
evenness of follicle size and consistency of shape in the skin. (Cameron Holt,
Removing vegetable matter from fiber during processing through the use of
An agrarian peasant of Peru.
The final cleaning process, accomplished by either hand or machine, through
which alpaca fiber goes before spinning.
A vicuna drive or capture that originated with the Incas.
A specific phenotypic trait, such as crimp or fineness.
One of a number of long strands of DNA and associated proteins present in the
nucleus of every cell.
Quechua word for the color sorrel.
A measure of the degree of relationship between ancestors. The more the
relationship, the closer the inbreeding.
CLOSED NUCLEUS BREEDING SCHEME:
A nucleus breeding scheme in which germ plasma flows in only one direction -
from the nucleus to cooperating herds or flocks.
A population that is closed to genetic material from the outside.
CO-EFFICIENT OF VARIATION (cv):
The variation around the mean expressed as a percentage.
Relatives that are neither direct ancestors nor direct descendants of an
individual--siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.
Genes which determine an alpaca's coat color.
The mating of alpacas that is intended to correct faults. For example; mating a
dam with a bad bite to a stud with a good bite.
A camelid less than one year old.
The regular undulation along the length of an individual fiber or lock of
fiber. A higher number of crimps per inch can indicate a finer fiber.
A reciprocal exchange of chromosome segments between homologues. Crossing over
occurs during meiosis prior to the time the homologous chromosomes are
separated to form gametes.
The process that determines which animals in a herd will not be bred.