Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Gromphadorhina sp. "Unidentified" Adults! (Super Picture Heavy!!!)

So, I've finally got adults popping up in my Gromphadorhina sp. "Unidentified" enclosure! 😁 Now, the adults are pretty small, because I've got all 15 of mine in a 2 gallon enclosure, was planning on moving them to a five gallon bin before they matured but never got around to it... But whatever, I can worry about size next generation, what I'm mostly concerned about right now is if they're pure or not...

Unfortunately, I'm seeing quite a bit of variability in the adult coloration, as I'll show here... So, here is the first and largest adult male to mature, displaying coloration that is a spot on match for the adults I've seen pictures of online:


Fully darkened

Now, that's good and all, a beautiful specimen displaying typical coloration of pure stock of this hisser phenotype... However, another male matured more recently, a true minor male, (whereas that first male was a normal male that was made a bit small by a small enclosure), and while the abdominal patterning is much the same, the base coloration is a very dark brown, almost black. 
So that, along with the characteristic light orange striping this species has along the abdominal margins, almost makes it look like a Princisia male, (though it's worth noting that the pronotums of both my G.sp. "Unidentified" males lack pronotal notches and match the pronotum shape pure stock of this species is supposed to have).

Now, this could just be a particularly dark individual, sometimes abnormally dark individuals pop up in pure hisser colonies, and I hear that this is not too uncommon of an occurrence in this particular phenotype... 

So let's say it's normal that a percentage of adults of this species come out dark, but still with the same abdominal patterning, OK? I'd STILL have doubts these were pure, because one of the female nymphs matured too, and she doesn't have the same abdominal patterning of the males at all, her abdomen is basically a monotone dull red, maybe a bit lighter along the margins, but no clear striping to be seen. She looks different from a typical G.portentosa or "portentosa" mutt female for sure, but also different from what pure females of this strain should look like. 

So, that greatly worries me as far as purity goes. However, it's worth noting that the female still felt a little soft when I was handling her, softer than the males at least, so it's possible she just hasn't darkened up completely and she may yet develop the normal striping pattern... But I'm skeptical. 

Here are some more pictures, comparisons this time:

Both the adult males

All three adults
Small male with the female
Larger male with the female

So yeah, I'm a bit conflicted when it comes to the purity of this stock. I'll be sure to keep you updated on how the rest of the nymphs look when mature, and will confer with other breeders working with this species to see if this variation is normal or not. 

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

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