1/26/2021: Magnanimous Magmas and the future of isopods
For the next week and a half expect a barrage of isopod related posts on my supposedly cockroach site. I’ve been cracking open the project bins and opening many Pandora’s boxes and that will continue as I do my big sort, cull, and clean.
Years ago I called out the dangers of mixing isopod strains without proper labeling and the belittling of letting people who have isolated things name their lines. The fruits of this toxic seed are now beginning to show several years later, with external cultures of my beloved vulgare “Magic Potion” line infiltrated by orange and Japanese dalmatians. Many scaber lines were doomed from the start and will continue to follow suit; I cling to my pure scaber “Spanish Orange” from Orin as if they were doubloons.
Hope is not lost as I continue to compile information about various lines and attempt to track their origins and standards. Simultaneously, I will be releasing more of my own as more projects come ready. But before anyone rejoices, let’s look at an example.
Below is an orange colored Porcellio scaber. Maybe somebody received a line of “Spanish Orange” or similar, expecting solid orange isopods they could use for a project or simply to enjoy in their new vivarium mixed playfully with other colorful species. But if you look closely, something is a bit… amiss…
Heads up, pencils down! Did you spot the… spot?
On the pleon of this isopod is a small dark spot. Those who can see past the grain of the wood chip and the shadows cast by the light may also notice dark antennae tips too. This is no simple recessive orange isopod… This is a “Lava” that has been selectively bred for minimal markings! Crossing this individual to a normal orange will produce wild types and (most likely, though obscured by the non-recessive orange patterning that tends to dominate the front half of select “Lava” crosses) visual hets. Thus, those wishing to purchase a solid orange isopod for the sake of having a visually consistent culture, for breeding, or for pleasure, would have been deceived!
For those interested, the working name for this project is “Magma” and I haven’t decided if I’d like some relics of dark coloration on the finished line. The speckling does attract the eye and make for an albeit slightly more visually unique strain, but ultimately these would be used for crossing into other lines that need orange coloration WITHOUT the visual domination of the simple recessive orange gene.
Some food for thought. More to come soon!