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John Cuoco

Housing Hisser species communally w/o hybridization

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I've recently obtained pure strains of these MHC species (G. portentosa, G. grandidieri white tiger, P. vanwaerebeki) and plan to obtain (G. oblongonota, E. javanica).  My question is:  Which of these species can safely be housed together without there being any possibility of hybridization OR harm to adults or nymphs?  I already read that the Princisia Giants will hybridize but what about the others?

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All of those species can and will hybridize with each other, except the Elliptorhina javanica, those can possibly be housed safely with the larger Gromphadorhina or Princisia.

However, seeing as even Gromphadorhina and Aeluropoda can hybridize, I'm hesitant to recommend housing ANY combination of Gromphadorhini species communally anymore... 

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Also, be aware that most Princisia stocks in the US and Europe are hybrids, where did you get yours?

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You could split the colonies by gender like I do, though be aware that the larger males will fight and can actually injure each other so you may need to further separate out some males.  Otherwise, I would follow @hisserdude's advice.  

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22 hours ago, John Cuoco said:

Thanks for both of your input.  I obtained the Hisser species from Orin M. and were sold to me as pure strains.  

Unfortunately after talking with Orin directly in PMs, it seems as though his Princisia aren't pure, (probably hybridized before he even got them). The coloration of his individuals varies and the occasional large, really dark individuals pop up, not at all characteristic of pure bred Princisia. Only vendor I know of selling pure stock in the US is Cape Cod roaches, theirs came from Roachcrossing's pure stock and has extremely consistent coloration that matches what the original pure Princisia "Big/Standard" stock looks like. We should phase out hybrid Princisia in the US in favor of pure stock, even though pure stock is far more finicky than hybrid stock, (another good way to tell if stock is pure). 

This is what pure Princisia adults should look like, with little to no variation among adults:

ccs-3-0-99287500-1389300119.jpg

sketch-1586169519594.png

All adults should have consistent, thin yellowish abdominal borders, and no thick abdominal striping. The thoracic segments have large red spots on them. 

This is a male from a colony started with individuals from Orin's stock, note the very atypical dark coloration, no abdominal bordering and very small red spots on the thoracic pads. The horn structure is also rather weak for Princisia

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I started with one female as a pet and she was preggo.  18 months later and you can imagine how many I have. They all grew up together and I separated the males from females about 6     months ago but I noticed the some of the males are starting to fight.  It was the first time I ever observed the behavior.  They were fighting over apples, which I don't overly feed. I'm not sure if it was a food fight or if they were being pissy in general. I'm going to thin them out by gifting some to my friends that have larger reptiles. Since I sell them as part of my feeder/breeder business I need to find a better setup for them without taking up a ton of room. They are currently in 10 gallon tanks with aspen shavings, egg crate and wooden hides. Suggestions welcome.  

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One thing to remember is if you house adults together for even a few  hours you have probably destroyed your lines. Also nymphs can get into the wrong cage and grow up so if something looks off feed it to something before it matures. However, the hybrids have inconsistent color and horn structure among individuals whereas the pure stocks only throw a black or odd specimen on occasion (1% or less).

I'm surprised the male  in that photo is offspring from this colony since they nearly always have the gold borders. I traded them from someone on  this forum a long time ago as Princisia giant but I don't know what they housed them with. 

My list has explanations:

Tiger hissers namesake color, original pure 1996 stock

Standard hissers (Gramphodorhina portentosa 1972 pure stock) 

"Princisia giant" commonly traded stock, adults usually with gold margins

Gromphadorhina oblongonota untainted stock 

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53 minutes ago, Allpet Roaches said:

One thing to remember is if you house adults together for even a few  hours you have probably destroyed your lines. Also nymphs can get into the wrong cage and grow up so if something looks off feed it to something before it matures. However, the hybrids have inconsistent color and horn structure among individuals whereas the pure stocks only throw a black or odd specimen on occasion (1% or less).

I'm surprised the male  in that photo is offspring from this colony since they nearly always have the gold borders. I traded them from someone on  this forum a long time ago as Princisia giant but I don't know what they housed them with. 

Exactly, so it's likely whoever sold them to you had them housed with something else at one point. As for Cody's weird black individual, he was also very careful about preventing hybridization, and that was one of the individuals that grew up from the nymphs he was sent, (those types of individuals never pop up in pure colonies). Peter Clausen's are also quite variable, definitely hybrids, and I think he said they're from your stock as well. Pure Princisia are supposed to always have the borders, it may be fainter on a few individuals, but every single individual has borders, without exception in pure stock.

One of the easiest ways to tell pure stock from impure stock is by looking at how finicky they are, hybrid Princisia are very easy since they've been mixed with one of the easier to breed Gromphadorhina, whereas pure Princisia, (both the pure "Standard" line and the recently imported "Androhamana" strains) are quite finicky, with some young nymph die offs not being uncommon, and females giving birth sporadically to small broods. I believe this is why they've started fizzling out in the hobby, some people's colonies of pure stock don't do so well, and either die out, or they introduce new hybrid bloodlines to keep the colony going. 

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4 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

Peter Clausen's are also quite variable, definitely hybrids, and I think he said they're from your stock as well. Pure Princisia are supposed to always have the borders. 

These three statements may or may not be true.

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15 minutes ago, Allpet Roaches said:

These three statements may or may not be true.

Well Kyle's pure stock, (which he got directly from DoubleD's), never has the kinds of variations that we see in other stock, which leads me to believe most other stocks that have such variations were hybridized at some point or another. Variability can be a natural feature in wild hissers, but in captivity it's the first sign of hybridization, and not only that, but pure stocks have likely been inadvertently line bred for their colorations over multiple generations... So when there is variability in those stocks nowadays, it's almost certainly a sign of them being mixed with something else. 

I found someone who has individuals descended from Kyle's stock, who appears to have kept them pure this whole time, coloration appears consistent and they have been pretty finicky compared to his other hissers. I'll be getting some this week, hopefully they are indeed pure and I can measure the consistencies and any normal, subtle variations in pure stock of this species myself. If they are indeed pure I'd be happy to send you some later on when my colony is established, (free of charge), so you can compare to your current stock. :)

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On 5/15/2020 at 4:58 PM, Hisserdude said:

Only vendor I know of selling pure stock in the US is Cape Cod roaches, theirs came from Roachcrossing's pure stock and has extremely consistent coloration that matches what the original pure Princisia "Big/Standard" stock looks like.

Also, little disclaimer, while back in 2017 CCR's stock appeared to be pure, they've evidently since added new blood to their colony, (purposefully to help the colony breed better, or by accident, I'm not sure), as I know someone who bought from them very recently, and not only did the small nymphs they bought have a 100% survival rate, (kinda unusual, but not impossible for pure stock I suppose), but some matured to be a chocolate brown color, others lacked any yellow abdominal margins... So I'd say they're hybrids now. 

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4 hours ago, Allpet Roaches said:

One thing to remember is if you house adults together for even a few  hours you have probably destroyed your lines. Also nymphs can get into the wrong cage and grow up so if something looks off feed it to something before it matures. However, the hybrids have inconsistent color and horn structure among individuals whereas the pure stocks only throw a black or odd specimen on occasion (1% or less).

I'm surprised the male  in that photo is offspring from this colony since they nearly always have the gold borders. I traded them from someone on  this forum a long time ago as Princisia giant but I don't know what they housed them with. 

My list has explanations:

Tiger hissers namesake color, original pure 1996 stock

Standard hissers (Gramphodorhina portentosa 1972 pure stock) 

"Princisia giant" commonly traded stock, adults usually with gold margins

Gromphadorhina oblongonota untainted stock 

Yeah, you did have that qualifier in there about "commonly traded stock" but they're still really nice.  The adult M&F Princisia have the best overall disposition than the G. portentosa and Tigers I received.  More active, inquisitive, better appetite, etc.  I do think that photo from Poland (?) above looks a little enhanced.  Those borders are very intense in color 🤔.  Could you post a photo of the pure G. oblongonota I wanna see how they look next to the ones available at theinvertshop.com 

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7 hours ago, John Cuoco said:

I do think that photo from Poland (?) above looks a little enhanced.  Those borders are very intense in color 🤔

Eh might be a teeny bit edited, but the patterning scheme is what's important, I believe the Roachcrossing picture is more accurate in terms of what they look like in person color wise. 

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