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"Princisia vanwaerebeki" - more 'just curious' questions


Nhewyt
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So I have read many things about P. Vanderbeckie - I have seen at least 5 varieties (black, big black, tiger, common, giant) offered for sale. Some sources say that all the types are one and that if you keep a large colony of any of them long enough you will see all of the various morphs. Then some sources say that P. Vanderbeckie isn't even a valid genus/species. And still, others say that the various color varieties are distinct species. I have been digging and digging for information for weeks now, and everything seems to be contradictory. So I turn to my fellow roachers :D

What do all of you think? What have you learned from your research and reading on P. Vanderbeckie? Do you all keep your colors of P. Vanderbeckie separate or are you so certain they are all the same species (just different color morphs) that you throw them all together in one big bin?

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What do all of you think? What have you learned from your research and reading on P. Vanderbeckie? Do you all keep your colors of P. Vanderbeckie separate or are you so certain they are all the same species (just different color morphs) that you throw them all together in one big bin?

So I gather you mean Princisia vanwaerebecki ??? ;)

First of all, I would strongly consider the source of the information you find. There are loads of hobbiests out there that make up whatever they want, and the info gets passed to dealers or from here to there, through one ear then to another and is eventually assumed valid. There are several entomologists out there that work specifically with roaches that can clarify alot of this for you (look up the BCG (Blattodea Culture Group) in England). You may also find that on these forums Orin is the most experienced in these matters, so you could message him.

Second of all, when it comes to hissers the taxonomy is really screwed up and very confusing. You can even find contrary taxonomic papers written because two taxonomists may have had different opinions. The taxonomy is still in play to a point, so clarity is tough to come by. You can be certain, however, that the various color varieties are not distinct species, but color variations of P. vanwaerebecki. I have a few of them myself, and what has grown out of each colony has been interesting.

I am not sure I understand what you mean by "...so certain they are all the same species (just different color morphs) that you throw them all together in one big bin?". If you have distinct color variations you certainly would not want to throw them all in one bin.

But then again, one entomologist suggests that P. vanwaerebecki and G. grandidieri are really just Gromphadorhina portentosa anyway, and all 3 could live together.... not something I would want to try.

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If this were a valid species and genus it would be spelled this way: "Princisia vanwaerebeki" van Herrewege. 1973

Don't feel bad this crazy name has been spelled a thousand ways on accident (I notice it's even spelled with a few extra letters in one spot on a usually very accurate taxonomy website and then spelled the correct way the other times on that site).

This "genus" has the same male genital structure as Gromphadorhina portentosa and readily breeds with it. The only identifying structure is the notch in the front of the pronotum on males. However, definite G. portentosa sometimes throw specimens with this exact same notch. Some "Princisia" throw males without the notch from time to time and different stocks have different notches. Hybrids usually have no notch or minor, inexact indents. The various color forms are likely from different collection areas (races) and some will likely never look exactly like others unless you cross them.

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So I gather you mean Princisia vanwaerebecki ??? ;)

I am not sure I understand what you mean by "...so certain they are all the same species (just different color morphs) that you throw them all together in one big bin?". If you have distinct color variations you certainly would not want to throw them all in one bin.

Matt, Orin - I was being facitious in both cases ;) - I took the most unlikely spelled version of the name I found online as a point of how screwed up the information I am finding is.

Same for the 'throwing them all together' - a play on the fact that so much information I have found seems all thrown together lol.

I thank you both for sharing your personal information and experience on this very confusing species. Orin - you mention how they will readily breed with the standard portentosa - is this something that has gone on (in your opinion) more than we roachers realize? Matt - your comment about mis-information becoming 'gospel' would seem to fit in with the possibility that folks have cross bred a number of the hissers and then sold them as pure - then those cross breeds end up with someone down the line who believes they have the real deal and sell them as such, through no deception of their own. Which might explain why, as Orin said, in p. vanwaerebecki some individuals show the notch and others do not as well as some having different notches in different cultures. Actually, the whole thing makes me wonder if there aren't a lot of cultures out there that are actually hybrids which have been bred to each other long enough to be somewhat stable in color?

I guess that, long story short, the roach hobby collectors themselves have likely added to the taxonomy confusion through accidental and/or deliberate inter-breeding :(

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All this is why I only keep G. portentosa.

lol

I can see how they could all be the same thing; I get all sorts of weird colors in my hisser colonies, some that you could ever group out and call "tiger" morph or "black" morph.

From my restricted experience (I've only have G. portentosa and have had G. grandideri and E. chopardi,) I'd say the only separate species of hisser that have been discussed in this thread should be G. portentosa, G. grandideri, and E. chopardi.

But that's just from my wee work with them. :P

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