The correct climate

Apart from the suitable foodplants the correct climate is an important factor for the successful breeding of Phasmids and mostly depends on the origin of the concerned culture stock or species. Generally the natural environment and climate should be as close to nature as possible.

PC-Lüfter1. Humidity & Ventilation. Species from very tropical habitats usually require a more humid atmosphere than species originating in more dry habitats like savannas. Consequently, a distinction must be done between species requiring humid or rather dry conditions. As a general rule, most island inhabiting species even also from tropical regions (e.g. Caribbean Islands or West Indies) require a rather dry and well-ventilated atmosphere and species living in the canopy or costal regions like the living-leaves (Phyllium) most small and well-flying species (subfamily Necrosciinae) or e.g. species of Eurycnema and Anchiale require good ventilation during the day but plenty of humidity at night to ensure successful moulting of the nymphs. In such cases a ventilator should either be placed in ones breeding-room or a small PC-ventilator can be installed at the top of the concerned cage. During the day this can be switched Luftbefeuchteron for several short periods (e.g. 5 times for 20 minutes) by using an electric timer. Furthermore the adults usually prefer a somewhat less humid climate than nymphs. Mostly however, due to the production of eggs which have a liquid content, females of most species seem to require plenty of drinking water to prevent them from dehydrating. This can be offered by placing a flat jar or plant pot saucer on the cage-floor (useful for more massive and large species like e.g. Eurycantha, Haaniella, Heteropteryx, Aretaon) or by regularly spraying the foodplants with fresh water. For species which require a humid atmosphere but should not get in direct contact or drink water, a plastic-container filled with damp sand or vermiculite or a layer of damp kitchen-paper should be placed on the cage-floor. The container should however be covered with gauze to prevent eggs and excrements to fall into it. This reduces the development of mould and makes the cleaning of the cage easier.

2. Temperature. Generally Phasmids do not severely demand very precise temperature ranges, as the temperature mainly takes effect on the duration of the development of the eggs and nymphs. For most species room-temperature of + 20°C and even short cold periods (up to a few hours) as cold as 10°C are endured. Tropical species should however not be exposed to temperatures below 16°C for more than a few hours or a day and otherwise also too high temperatures (above 35°C) should be strictly avoided. Often, temperatures of 24-28°C during the day and 20-24°C at night have proven to be ideal. Species from cooler regions like e.g. the Mediterranean or from highly mountainous habitats should be kept cooler than tropical species with temperatures not rising above 25°C.

3. Lighting. Corresponding to the day-lengths in the tropics, most Phasmids are best lighted with a bulb or Thermometerfluorescent tube for about 12 hours a day. As most Phasmids are night-active the lighting is not a very important factor for a successful breeding but is more attractive for the breeder and allows watching the insects during the day. Care should be taken, that the cage or insects are never exposed to direct sunlight as this does not correspond to the natural habits of Phasmids and may raise the temperature in the cage to an extreme (especially if not well ventilated)!