Thursday, November 19, 2020

New Hissers in the US Hobby?!?

Ty Schaben Order Pt. 3/8
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Getting a bit click-baity with these titles aren't we? 😄 The title does not lie though, thanks to this latest package of mine and Ty's, I've just obtained a starter colony of a strain of hisser that's only been bred overseas until now, which may or may not be an entirely different species than any in culture in the USA... They're currently being traded under the name "Gromphadorhina sp.", no locality data or catchy strain name yet, so I'll just be refering to them as G.sp. "Unidentified" for now.

This strain has only been in culture for around 8 years now, which may seem like a while, but that's fairly recent for a new hisser introduction, and they've not spread around in the hobby much since their initial introduction to the hobby. Unfortunately we have absolutely no locality data for this strain, like most of the hissers in culture. It's one of the largest hissers in the hobby, with major males reaching up to 85 mms, and they're supposedly more bulky than oblongonata males. They have very interesting coloration, you can see images of them in my "Pure Hobby Hisser Key", along with more information on their defining features.

When asked, George Beccaloni, a taxonomist who specializes in the Gromphadorhini, noted that he's seen this form of hisser in the wild before, and while he can't ID them properly as of yet, (they need more thorough examination), he thinks they're the closest to G.portentosa, and may be a local form or even new subspecies of portentosa.

Unfortunately, as with any other Gromphadorhina species in culture, the risk of getting hybrids is quite high, and the dealer who sells these in Europe has a few hybrid hisser colonies... However, despite that, he has been selling them for years, and most customers who have bought off him have had the individuals come out with rather consistent coloration and morphology, and thus they are likely still pure bred. Plus, most people breeding them report that they are slow breeding and quite similar to pure bred Princisia in ease of culturing, which also leads me to believe they're pure, as hybrids are usually very virile.

So, assuming these are pure bred, we may have a new species in the US hobby now, or at the very least, a new strain or subspecies of a species we already have in culture! 😅 A distinct new hisser type for the hobby any way you slice it, so long as they're pure. 

I've got 14-15 small nymphs, and I've got them set up in a well ventilated 2 gallon bin with a thin layer of coconut fiber for the substrate, and hardwood bark for hides. I'll be feeding them unmedicated chick feed, fruits, and the occasional bit of artificial pollen. I'm keeping most of the enclosure dry, with a corner or two kept moist, and will be keeping them at around 75-85F°.

Anyways, here are some pictures of my new hissers! 😁

They look kinda drab right now, but as adults they are gonna look really awesome, hopefully I can get a breeding colony established, confirm they are pure, and spread them around in the hobby! 😁

Anyways, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading everyone, hope you enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

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