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With the hybrids that people are producing these days and the possibility that very different species can interbreed, is there a good dichotomous key or other ID guide to tell the different species from each other? I am just getting into hobby roach keeping so it has not be an issue until now (with the feeders) but I don't want to start breeding only to find out that my colonies are not pure. As I said, until now it hasn't mattered as all of my species (except B. dubia and B. discoidalis) have come from reputable sources.

Thanks in advance

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With the hybrids that people are producing these days and the possibility that very different species can interbreed, is there a good dichotomous key or other ID guide to tell the different species from each other? I am just getting into hobby roach keeping so it has not be an issue until now (with the feeders) but I don't want to start breeding only to find out that my colonies are not pure. As I said, until now it hasn't mattered as all of my species (except B. dubia and B. discoidalis) have come from reputable sources.

Thanks in advance

As a VERY general rule... Most genuses outside of Blaberus and Gromphadorhina/ "Princisia" will not have hybrids. The species are far too distinct to cross or there is only one species per genus currently available making crosses impossible.

With Blaberus and Gromphadorhina it's best to get them from a roach hobbyist, who will more often than not take extra precaution to keep the strains/species isolated than say, a bulk breeder.

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There really are very few hybrids in the hobby and they are of species that aren't exactly species by definition. The only two Blaberus that have ever crossed were B. fusca AKA B. craniifer and B. craniifer AKA B. trapezoides but though they look quite different they have the same male genitalia (all other crosses of Blaberus are misinformation). Gromphadorhina is a little worse, all known species of Gromphadorhina have the same male genitalia and cross readily in captivity and includes the so-called "Princisia". "Princisia" hardly fits the definition of a separate species and erecting a new genus was a serious mistake on the part of one taxonomist. There is no such thing as "Princisia", only Gromphadorhina. Even though it seems the hybrids are just errors in taxonomy, the different lines have unique characters so they're still hybrids, just hybrids of different races rather than distinct species.

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