Acanthoxyla inermis
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)

FamilyPhasmatidaeGray, 1835
SubfamilyPhasmatinaeGray, 1835
TribeAcanthoxyliniBradley & Galil, 1977
GenusAcanthoxylaUvarov, 1944
SpeciesAcanthoxyla inermisSalmon, 1955


General Notes

  • synonyms: Acanthoxyla prasina inermis (Salmon, 1991)
  • this species is since quite some years in culture, though it is rarely cultured
  • a species recommended to the more experienced breeder
  • sometimes this species is also called Acanthoxyla prasina inermis
  • this is a truely parthenogenetic species – only females are known from the wild



  • my stock culture originates directly from New Zealand in the area of Wellington (unfortunately I do not know from which exact locality)



  • wingless phasmids, about 9 – 10 cm long
  • when the females are ready to lay eggs, their abdomen becomes quite fat
  • adult females are coloured beautifully bright green
  • there is a thin black line on the back of the prothorax (dorsally), which extends just a little bit onto the head
  • thin yellow lines are on the sides of the abdomial and thoracial segments (laterally)
  • the inside of the frontlegs (part near to the body) is red
  • feelers are about half long as the front legs
  • there are a few small, spines on the thorax and  the head – some of which are dark coloured



  • about 4 mm long, 2 mm wide
  • the eggs are dark brown with an irregular rough surface


Food Plants

  • they feed on bramble (Rubus sp.) and firethorn (Pyracantha sp.)
  • other accepted food plants are Eucalyptus sp., Hypericum sp. and even Cupressus lawsoniana (= Chamaecyparis lawsoniana)


Breeding Notes

  • eggs should be kept in the fridge for about 3-4 weeks at around 5 – 8 °C. In winter temperatures in New Zealand can also drop quite low. Therefore keeping the eggs for some time at cooler temperatures (hibernation period) seems to be advantagous for a healthy developement of the embryos
  • keep the eggs on damp sand (or something similar), avoid them getting soaking wet
  • incubation at room temperatures (18 – 25 °C) is fine
  • eggs will hatch after about 4 months - but this depends of course on how long they have been kept at fridge temperatures
  • trim the edges of the food plants for the newly hatched nymphs
  • there is quite a high death rate amongst first instar nymphs
  • keep nymphs quite dry in an airy cage (fauna box) at room temperatures (18 – 25°C)
  • as this species originates from a temperate area, they may also be tolerate towards lower temperatures
  • they mature in about 4-5 months, depending on the temperatures
  • females just fling the eggs away, so they just drop on the ground



  • Phasmida Species Files  (


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