1/25/2021: Isopod Project Sneak Peek
With this week’s orders delayed by late heat packs and my drive to clear the backlog in full force, I couldn’t help but get a jump start on sorting and prepping some projects.
When crossing isopod lines for projects it is CRITICAL to know where each came from. Working with tracked wild locales minimizes the chances of homozygous recessive phenotypes or pesky incomplete dominant traits from skewing your project goals. Additionally, traits in some lines or populations may express very different in others.
For example, these Porcellio scaber F2 select “Lava” x pure “Dalmatian” crosses exhibit large, chunky spots varying from orange to black to both. Without knowledge of this line and slapping “Dalmatian” on it, you would receive a very different culture than a pure “Dalmatian” with its variable spotting. There is some evidence that spot size and distribution, which is NOT heritable in pure “Dalmatian” scaber, may be heritable in this cross. Another thing to note is the eye color; though the markings are predominantly orange and someone keeping untracked lines may think these are “Orange Dalmatian”, the presence of black spotting as well as black eyes says otherwise. This is the chaos I have spent years avoiding in my lines and projects!
Another project I have been working on for several years are these “White Tiger” scabers. These come from a different line of the same California stock that produced “Lucy”, and they have thrown a few black-eyed leucistics in their refinement trial F3. I would expect a Mendelian ratio if the white tiger phenotype was an incomplete dominance phenomenon, but the occurrence of black-eyed whites in the population is far less than 1/4 so it’s more likely the mutation occurs frequently in this line or some happen to be carrying it. I will be performing further crosses of the best phenotype individuals to confirm, but as is the line is extremely stunning and unique from other released scaber so far.