Friday, January 29, 2021

US Blatticulture Taxonomy PSA: Rhabdoblatta formosana = R.rustica

Thanks to Chih-Ting Hsu, we now have taxonomist confirmation that the "Rhabdoblatta formosana" in US culture (and I believe some people in Europe still have this stock as well) are actually Rhabdoblatta rustica. The stock supposedly originates from Taiwan, though the exact locality is unknown.

Both species can be found in Taiwan, with R.formosana being found on Taiwan Island (and Ryukyu Japan), whilst R.rustica are found on both Lanyu Island and Ludao Island (as well as the Philippines), but apparently R.rustica are often misidentified as formosana for some reason. The subgenital plates of the two species are different though, and after sending him pictures provided by Kyle Kandillian, Chih-Ting has confirmed that the "formosana" in culture are actually rustica. So, time to change your labels people! 😅

Also, the common name should probably be changed to "Rustic leaf roach" or something like that, "Taiwanese leaf roach" should be reserved for REAL formosana, if/when those ever enter culture.

I don't have this species anymore, (too annoying to culture long term, what with the frequent overpopulation and filth buildup related colony crashes Epilamprinae are prone to), but I'm glad to see that despite their finicky nature, they've managed to persist in US Blatticulture for years now, probably because they often bounce back quickly after a culture crash once their old setup is cleaned out and re-done. 

Anyways, thought I'd let y'all know, figured I should probably make a post about this change, you know, considering it's an image of a freshly molted R.rustica that is the background of this blog and all... 😂 Hope you found it informative, take care!

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