3/27/2022: A new line of pure portentosa?
The Alabama trip was incredibly fruitful and it’s been a chore to prioritize what things get put away first with everything that needs to be done. One thing I set up almost immediately was a “new” line of Gromphadorhina portentosa, a relic from captive stock that’s been isolated for a long time.
There was some discussion that a “Black” line of hisser may have infiltrated this colony at some point, however upon examining the line in question intriguingly it was labeled as being yet another portentosa line from another academic source. It’s suspected that our “black tiger hisser” entity may be portentosa (or a hybrid) as it currently stands, and there is some husbandry evidence and morphological evidence to support this. The hobby stock is quite old and its origins perhaps lost to time, so a definite answer may only be possible with line-crossing experiments or genetic work.
Regardless, despite the possible contamination I was hard-pressed to find much extreme variation in the colony, which I would expect to see if “Black” genetics had truly slipped in. The adult coloration was very consistent, and upon pulling out all the “weirdo” males I could find (less than ~5% of the adult male population) none struck me as being so aberrant as to suggest intrusion from another line.
This line has been separated since 1985, and originates from… the same infamous UCR lab that gave us the craniifer line of the same name. It’s important to note that the culture date is listed as 1985, however the stock was being propagated for some period of time before a colony was split to the current location.
I’m excited to have some stock from this colony in my collection, as it adds to the growing number of hisser strains and localities that have been popping up recently after many years of few new things.