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Lucihormetica verrucosa × Lucihormetica subcincta hybrids

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A few years ago I saw people keeping the two species in the same enclosure, and I've seen people mislabel L. verrucosa as L. subcincta before, so it's possible for newbies to put them together by accident. I've seen people claim they cannot hybridise, but nobody seemed to have actually tested that. Since I own both species and have space for more, I decided to give it a go. FOR SCIENCE! But mostly for everyone's peace of mind. This experiment has been going since about 2022, I decided to put it here now too so everyone can actually look it up and find it instead of it being trapped within a niché social media audience.


Enclosure is large critter keeper with about 7cm (~2,8 inches) of soil, both species love making burrows and little underground tunnel systems and seem happier when they have plenty of room to do so. Original set up had coconut fibre but I noticed a significant loss in nymphs that I did not experience with the more earthy soil I use in my other enclosures, so I switched it out. Leaf litter was always available as food source and the occasional fruit snacks, rotting wood, and fish flakes (for protein) were given, too. They also really like rodent food sticks with seeds and nuts. Misted regularly so the soil never dries out completely. Kept at room temperature between 20-26C.


Note - To make sure the females had not already mated, I picked female nymphs and placed them in an enclosure with males, then waited until they reached adulthood and produced nymphs. Most images are labelled for clarity/image search engines.


First experiment: Lucihormetica verrucosa (male) × Lucihormetica subcincta (female)

Have been kept together for almost an entire year. No sign of offspring.


Second experiment: Lucihormetica verrucosa (female) × Lucihormetica subcincta (male)

Produced hybrid offspring! Here's the only survivor from the coconut fibre disaster. At this stage it's impossible to visually tell that it's a hybrid because their nymphs look pretty much the same (my older L. verrucosa nymphs tend to develop interesting orange patterns on their body while L. subcincta nymphs remain mostly black looking more like the pictured hybrid nymph here, but I don't consider it reliable enough for identification).


Once the hybrids reached adulthood though, it was fairly easy to tell.

Pure and hybrid males comparison:




Females comparison:


More adult hybrids (the light colour in some hybrids is due to them having molted recently): 








Appearance notes: Wings in all hybrids tend to be an interesting mix between the parent species, appearing like a square with rounded sides. The antennas of hybrids have a small white section towards the end just like in L. subcincta, something that is absent in L. verrucosa. Their wing colour is darker than L. subcincta and in person appears closer to L. verrucosa.

More inconsistent appearance notes: The size of hybrids is similar to L. verrucosa, but can vary a lot between individuals. Pronotum pattern on hybrid females tends to be closer to the L. subcincta I own rather than the common pattern in my L. verrucosa colony, but the pattern can vary a lot even between individuals of the same species. Same goes for the head pattern, even being absent in some individuals of either species.


Fertility of hybrids: While they can and do mate, no offspring has been produced yet. I am experimenting with offering pure bred individuals and see if any of the hybrids are actually fertile. Will update with the results eventually.


TL;DR: I personally wouldn't recommend housing Lucihormetica verrucosa and Lucihormetica subcincta together.

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This is good information- very interesting. I'm not sure I can really tell the difference between the two species, like you mention it is somewhat difficult. 

Hopefully stuff like this is openly visible to newer hobbyists so we can maintain pure lines.

A little off topic here but like in the discord I don't see how information that has been shared can be retrieved as opposed to information being easily available here on the forum. (Also the speed in which the topics change almost make me dizzy on discord)

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Awesome post, thanks for summing it up here in a nice manner! Good to spread awareness of hybridization possibilities and what said hybrids look like.

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