Friday, August 19, 2022

Surprise Pseudoscorpions & Princisia vanwaerebeki Comparison

Huh, well, while doing maintenance on my Cubaris sp. "Rubber Ducky - Blondish", I found half a dozen Pseudoscorpions hiding under the various bark slabs in the enclosure! They were all SUPER well fed, (there's a ton of tropical pink springtails in the setup), and I'm sure are now breeding in there. This is fantastic news, as I LOVE springtails, but my past attempt at breeding Chelifer cancroides ended in disaster (I think due to using carboard hides and not feeding them enough). However these seem to be thriving, and I'm sure a couple of the larger ones are gravid females. 

However, I am now left with the dilemma of finding an ID for these... Which is difficult because I don't know yet whether these came from bark I collected myself and failed to sterilize properly, or whether they came in with the isopods themselves. In which case they either came from somewhere in TX, or possibly are straight up an exotic species from cork bark imports...  So yeah, tracing where these came from is gonna be fun... 😅 Which will make getting an ID very hard, unless they have some distinct morphological features that can be used for identification.

Anyways, here are some pictures of one of the fatter ones I could find:

Such cute little chonks! Hope they continue to do well for me and breed successfully, so that I may spread them around in the hobby!

EDIT: After talking with Pseudoscorpion expert William Samojeden, he says they're something in the family Chernetidae, but that he can't ID them to genus from these pictures. The one in these pics is also a subadult apparently, so that doesn't help. I'm interested to see what adults will look like though, this was the largest one in the setup I could find.

EXTRA EDIT: Well Ty Randall (the person who sent me my rubber duckies) wrote me back, and he says he can't find a single Pseudoscorpion in his colony's enclosure. SO, these almost certainly were brought in with bark from Boise, ID that I collected and failed to completely sterilize before using for my isopods... which is both very concerning because of the pathogen risk, but also a relief in terms of finding out where these Pseudoscorpions came from. 😅

Now, on the opposite end of the size spectrum, I took some comparison photos of my major male Princisia vanwaerebeki "Big/Black" and major male Princisia vanwaerebeki "Androhamana". The two strains are very similar, the "Androhamana" male just looks a bit broader in proportion (probably because it is a larger individual), but both have essentially the same pronotum structure, morphology, etc., obviously different coloration though. That, combined with the fact that I'm now getting my third generation of "Big/Black" adults, and ALL the adult males still have proper Princisia pronotum morphology, leads me to fully believe that my "Big/Black" strain is a pure Princisia strain, just with some unusual color variation (which isn't too outside the norm for this strain IMO).

Here are some pictures of the two side by side:

Such amazing, large hissers, glad I have these two pure strains, looking forward to making them more common in the hobby! 😁

Lastly, on a related, weird note, I did find a weird nymph in my Princisia "Big/Black" bin with an abdominal segment deformity. Such deformities aren't that uncommon in roaches and other inverts, usually it's a dorsal segment that gets all twisty and overlaps other segments. However, this nymph had the first ventral abdominal segment deformity I've ever seen... Really weird, looks like the last couple segments got split down the middle, the white tissue is not guts, just a lot of intersegmental membrane.

Here are a couple pics of the deformity:

Neat right? Curious to see how this one matures, will keep ya'll posted if anything interesting happens.

Well, 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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