Slow on the uptake

Vfox

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
530
I've been keeping roaches for a little over two years now and while on a trip to the pet store to get some scorpions I saw some large and beautiful hissers. Now, you would think that I would have had them already...almost all the pet stores carry them...but no. I never bothered, I suppose because they are so common I never really thought much about them. Well that changed today and I bought a pair, the female looks like the tiger striped ones oddly while the male is almost jet black. I'm curious if they are hybrids of somesort. At anyrate they are pretty interesting and thoroughly creep out my wife lol. She is a "look don't touch" kinda girl. :p

Anyway, here they are.
 

Scoolman

Arachnolord
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
613
They are portentosa. The colors are a result of their diet while young. The food mix I use seems to produce a lot of the dark variety.
 

Vfox

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
530
They are portentosa. The colors are a result of their diet while young. The food mix I use seems to produce a lot of the dark variety.
Huh, I didn't know their diet affected their coloration. Thanks for sharing that tid-bit.
 

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
530
I beg to differ.
While diet and population genetics have a large effect on cockroaches, the coloration shown in your pictures cannot be explained by these causes. They are most likely "hybrids."
However, in the genera Princisia and Gromphadorhina, taxonomy is systemic. If it has certain shaped horns it's x species, if not it's y species. It's very problematic. Unlike other genera, wherein species are determined by differences in genitalia, this process is solely based on structure, which varies from culture to culture and from individual to individual. The problem here is that there are also color variations within species; Look at "Princisia vanwaerebeki 'Tiger'" and "Gromphadorhina grandidieri 'Tiger'" they have the exact same coloration and genitalia, but the horn structure is different. The most extreme case of this is "Princisia" and "Gromphadorhina." The two genera READILY interbreed and create FERTILE hybrids. Coincidentally the two have the exact same genitalia. Anywhere else in the bug world cross-genera hybrids are incredibly rare if not nonexistent.

So, while it's debatable as to whether the genera themselves are distinct, I'd bet that your hissers are, at the very least, a cross of two different strains. Systemically, they'd be called hybrids.

It's all a massive mess but hopefully one day it'll be sorted out. :p
 

Vfox

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
530
I beg to differ.
While diet and population genetics have a large effect on cockroaches, the coloration shown in your pictures cannot be explained by these causes. They are most likely "hybrids."
However, in the genera Princisia and Gromphadorhina, taxonomy is systemic. If it has certain shaped horns it's x species, if not it's y species. It's very problematic. Unlike other genera, wherein species are determined by differences in genitalia, this process is solely based on structure, which varies from culture to culture and from individual to individual. The problem here is that there are also color variations within species; Look at "Princisia vanwaerebeki 'Tiger'" and "Gromphadorhina grandidieri 'Tiger'" they have the exact same coloration and genitalia, but the horn structure is different. The most extreme case of this is "Princisia" and "Gromphadorhina." The two genera READILY interbreed and create FERTILE hybrids. Coincidentally the two have the exact same genitalia. Anywhere else in the bug world cross-genera hybrids are incredibly rare if not nonexistent.

So, while it's debatable as to whether the genera themselves are distinct, I'd bet that your hissers are, at the very least, a cross of two different strains. Systemically, they'd be called hybrids.

It's all a massive mess but hopefully one day it'll be sorted out. :p

Haha, well that does explain the variation in color from the same colony then.

I'm used to raising Blaptica dubia, Blaberus fuscaxcraniifer, Blaberus disciodalis, and Blatta lateralis. These seem a lot less confusing to me haha.

Although the Blaberus seem to have the same issues with hybridization, a few good dealers actually have separate colonies of common strains...some sell the hybrids as giganteus though which adds a big of confusion there as well. Still...they are a lot easier to tell apart from one another than the Gromphadorhina in my opinion.
 

1Lord Of Ants1

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 9, 2010
Messages
312
You're so lucky dude...being in Florida sucks. I had a Blaptica dubia colony last year that I got acciedentally, they were awesome and although feeders ?I treated them as pets too. After a good year the colony was starting to boom babies, but on the one and only night I had to place the bin outside in my non-screened patio, a raccoon found them and destroyed everything.
 

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
530
Haha, well that does explain the variation in color from the same colony then.

I'm used to raising Blaptica dubia, Blaberus fuscaxcraniifer, Blaberus disciodalis, and Blatta lateralis. These seem a lot less confusing to me haha.

Although the Blaberus seem to have the same issues with hybridization, a few good dealers actually have separate colonies of common strains...some sell the hybrids as giganteus though which adds a big of confusion there as well. Still...they are a lot easier to tell apart from one another than the Gromphadorhina in my opinion.
Ugh, Blaberus is even worse. A lot of the stuff in culture are hybrids; it's very hard to find pure, for example, B. fusca, nowadays.
The good thing is it's easy to tell which ones are hybrids; there's generally an abnormally high amount of variation in hybrids colonies as well as variations in the male genitalia.
But with hissers... A lot of the confusion stems from the crappy taxonomic system by which they are sorted.
But regardless, even the hybrids are pretty cool roaches. lol
 

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
530
You're so lucky dude...being in Florida sucks. I had a Blaptica dubia colony last year that I got acciedentally, they were awesome and although feeders ?I treated them as pets too. After a good year the colony was starting to boom babies, but on the one and only night I had to place the bin outside in my non-screened patio, a raccoon found them and destroyed everything.
You know, Florida has some pretty cool roaches.
Blaberus discoidalis, Blaberus craniifer, Panchlora nivea, Pycnoscelus surinamensis, Arenivaga floridensis, Eurycotis floridana, and then a ton of Periplaneta and various other generea are native/introduced there. Sometimes I wish I lived in Florida. :p
 
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