11/16/2021: The lesser known but equally important Blaberus craniifer line
Adding to the list of things I’ve been propagating for a while but continue to put off/keep forgetting to add when I do species dumps is a third traceable line of pure Blaberus craniifer. Although it isn’t currently distinguished (as many lines historically haven’t) at its origins, the stock appears pure as the adults are consistent and the look is distinct from our other two traceable craniifer lines.
Blaberus craniifer “Euro” has crisper black wing coloration with clearer costal margins. The namesake “death’s head” on the pronotum is variable and larger. This is the most lightly built of the three craniifer lines, more like a fusca in proportions and mass. Considering the proportions and all the confusion around Blaberus identities, I’ve begun to wonder if maybe multiple species of related Blaberus have converged on a similar phenotype that was lazily grouped together under the assumption that solid (or nearly so) black wings only evolved once. Maybe future genetic work will shed some light on the darkness.