Monday, October 28, 2019

Hormetica apolinari = strumosa... Sorta...

So some of you lot may remember when I kept the beautiful "Hormetica apolinari" from Ecuador that Gil Wizen collected a couple years ago. However, it appears that ID is incorrect, H.apolinari has only ever been recorded from Colombia as far as I know, and the type specimen has completely different coloration compared to the "apolinari" collected by Gil.

I first noticed this in February, when a European breeder, Ferry Pribik, was showing off some new Colombian Hormetica species he was breeding, one of which looked almost exactly like the type specimen of apolinari, (and they likely are apolinari, as the range matches too). I pointed this out to Gil, citing the differences in coloration, which he then attributed to locality coloration variability, and maintained that his Ecuadorian stock was still apolinari.
(It is worth noting that the tegmina length on Ferry's Colombian apolinari lookalikes appear shorter than that of the type specimen, however I personally attribute this to the fact that the type specimen is dried up and the abdomen is shriveled, it would likely extend quite a bit more past the wings if it were alive).

However, a new paper on the group was just released, see here. It describes a new genus, Quadrihormetica, (which in my opinion should just be a subgenus of Lucihormetica, but that's besides the point), and a new Lucihormetica species, but ALSO features a redescription of the Ecuadorian species Hormetica strumosa... After looking at the specimens shown in the paper of H.strumosa, and reading the distribution info, I was positive that H.strumosa must be the true identity of the "apolinari" Gil brought into the hobby.

After bringing up the matter with Gil in a PM, and showing him the images, description, etc., he also agrees that H.strumosa does appear to be the correct ID, the overall coloration and patterning (as variable as it may be) of H.strumosa is pretty much a perfect match for Gil's stock, and the fact that these are found in Ecuador makes a lot more sense too, (seeing as the true H.apolinari may very well be a Colombian endemic species).

So now, to everyone still breeding this species, you know what to do! 😉 Change your labels before it's too late, especially since there does appear to be a true Hormetica apolinari strain in the EU... And we don't want any more confusion!

Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed this post, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for an upcoming update on one of my roach colonies, (plus maybe a new addition?). 😁


  1. Thanks for the investigation you put into this! Makes clear sense and I'll change my label right away. :)

    1. No problem, happy to help, gotta make sure these beauties are ID'd correctly, especially since we are getting more Hormetica species to enter the hobby, (including what appear to be real apolinari!).