Sunday, June 20, 2021

Princisia vanwaerebeki: New Male Overview (PICTURE HEAVY!)

So, some of my Princisia vanwaerebeki "Big" nymphs are finally maturing (just as a newer, but far smaller batch of offspring was born), and sadly I'm a little less than enthused with how my adults look... Today we'll just be focusing on the males that have matured since they are most important for determining stock purity on account of their pronotum structure. Keep in mind that all these males, due to crowded conditions came out pretty small, so even the largest of these don't have spectacular or strong pronotum structure, thus the notches on some of them are pretty shallow compared to my first, large male.

Here's the first of the new males, which we'll call Male #2, (with #1 being the first male I started my culture with). Coloration is pretty nice, so is the pronotum structure, nice noticeable notch on the anterior margin:

That was a nice looking one, right? Well, here's a not so nice male, Male #3, who completely lacks any abdominal patterning, or even any thoracic pad spots, he's just completely reddish-black. Right away my suspicion is this is a sign of hybridization, however it's worth noting that the pronotum structure is correct for Princisia:

Now back to a normal looking one, Male #4. Abdominal patterning is a bit weird, the yellow borders just taper off halfway down the abdomen, but I'd say this is within normal variation, and the pronotum looks right too:

Here's another dark one, Male #5. However, unlike #3, #5 still has the faintest bit of abdominal bordering, it's just HIGHLY muted out, very hard to see unless you have the brightness turned up all the way on your device. No patterning on the thoracic pads though, but the pronotum looks alright: 

Now we come to the ones with the weirder pronotums... Male #6 was probably destined to be a minor male genetically even without being crowded, because in addition to his smaller size, his pronotum has the least exaggerated features of almost any P.vanwaerebeki "Big" I've seen, though the anterior notch IS still there... So looks pure to me, just a minor male:

Now Male #7 seems to have had an accident while molting, his pronotum is malformed on the left side, and didn't expand forward fully, (likely was being pressed against a hide or something as he was still soft and teneral). Despite this, to me it looks like he does have the notch on the anterior margin of his pronotum, even in this state, and if he had molted properly the notch would be even more apparent:

Lastly, we end on another dark male, Male #8. He completely lacks abdominal and thoracic patterning, and is a solid reddish black. The notch in his pronotum is quite shallow, but still definitely there. To me he looks the most Gromphadorhina-ish of any of my males so far based on the pronotum, but I think he falls within normal variation for this species pronotum structure wise:

So yeeeeeaaaaahhhhh... I really don't know if this strain is pure. I've also had a completely black adult female pop out, and I think the two female "nymphs" from my first group of five are actually adults, because they haven't molted since my last update on them, and I think one of them could have given birth to that small litter I just found in there... Either that or they are still nymphs but just stunted as all heck, I have a hard time telling with hisser females. I'll continue to monitor all new adults that pop up, and will likely send this post to Kyle at Roachcrossing for his opinion.

Anyways, that's gonna do it for this post, I'll keep you all updated, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, and I'll see you in the next post! 😉

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