Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Princisia Conundrum...

Unfortunately, the purity of my Princisia vanwaerebeki "Big" culture has become quite questionable... I've been waiting on my subadult male to mature, and he finally has, but unfortunately his coloration is abnormal for adults of pure stock...

Here are some pictures of him as a subadult:

Now, I was hoping that he'd display more vibrant abdominal coloration as an adult, as is typical of this species, (see my "key" here), but unfortunately, that was not the case:

As you can see, the yellow abdominal border, while technically present, is so thin it's practically nonexistent... 😕 In fact, the second and third abdominal segments seem to lack the border entirely. But, he does have the proper pronotum shape for Princisia, with the pronotum shape being quite variable in hybrid stock. However, that feature is again, variable in hybrid stock, so I'd need a larger sample of males from this strain to determine if the pronotum shape is consistent or not. 

Here are a few pictures of my adult female, who has normal, pure coloration:

So, I am seriously doubting the purity of this strain now. One one hand, the adult female and my other subadult female have completely normal coloration for pure bred P.vanwaerebeki "Big", but on the other hand, the male lacks the normal, proper abdominal coloration. However, this strain is very finicky and slow breeding like pure Princisia are supposed to be, hybrids are typically much hardier, and the male does have the proper pronotum structure that pure bred Princisia have... So I don't know. 

I'm gonna have to wait see what the adult males of the next generation look like, if they all have the proper pronotum shape then they may very well be pure Princisia, and this individual just had abberant coloration. However if even the females of the next generation and more of the males have abberant coloration, and the males have variable pronotum shapes, then this strain is definitely hybrid stock. I'm already leaning towards them probably being hybrid stock with this latest revelation. 😐

Also, one last thing I would like to note, I have this pre-subadult female that has weird coloration, which in itself isn't that unusual, but she has also been stuck at this instar for an abnormally long time, and refuses to fatten up and molt... I suspect she's going to die, don't know why, but she suddenly decided to stop growing. 

Anyways, that's gonna do it for this post, kind of a downer, because if these aren't pure, then there probably aren't any pure Princisia vanwaerebeki "Big" left in the US hobby. Oh well, guess you can't win them all! 

Well, thanks for reading, stay safe, and I'll see you all in the next post! 😉

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