Chondrostethus sp. "greenlegs“
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAnareolatae 
FamliyPhasmatidea Gray, 1835
SubfamilyLonchodinae Brunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
TribeLonchodiniBrunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
GenusChondrostethusKirby, 1896
SpeciesChondrostethus sp.(species is not yet identified)

 
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General Notes

  • 2006 - first successfully culture by Bruno Kneubühler
  • 2006 - distributed as Chondrostethus sp. "greenlegs - Guadalcanal"  to other breeders

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Origin

  • the culture stock of Chondrostethus „green legs“ originate from Guadalcanal – which is the main island of the Solomon Islands. They were caught near Honiara, the main city of Guadalcanal and the capitol of the Solomon Islands

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Females

  • wingless, twig-like shaped phasmids
  • about 10 – 11 cm long
  • antennae are almost 1 cm longer that the forelegs
  • their colouration are different shades of brown, some parts of the body may have a tinge of green. This gives them a very bark-like appearence
  • but there are also speciemens which are almost black with some light brown spots
  • some dorsal parts of their body are usually very light brown in colour
  • there are some spines on their meso thorax and on dorsally on abdomial segments
  • the number of these spines and their size are varying from specimen to specimen. Generally these spines are light brown in colour and blunt
  • there are two foreward pointing spines on their heads

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Males

  • thin and wingless, about 7 – 7,5 cm long
  • legs of this species are bottle – green
  • the body is rusty red to brown
  • antennae are longer than the forelegs
  • on the metanotum are two humps
  • their abdominal tip tends to be darker brown in colour than in the „red legs - Malaita“ males

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Eggs

  • 2 mm long and 1,5 mm wide

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Food Plants

  • they feed easily on „cherry laurel“ (Prunus laurocerasus). This is a very common garden plant and it is wintergreen
  • and they will also feed on different fern species (which seems to be their natural food plant)
  • I have heard that other breeders even keep them successfully on bramble

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Breeding Notes

  • this species is very easy to breed and thus also recommended for beginners
  • eggs will hatch after an incubation time of about 3 months on damp sand (with spring tail to inhibit mould) at room temperature
  • nymphs grow up without problems in a airy cage with wet paper towel in the bottom
  • choose the size of the cage according to the size of the nymphs
  • nymphs will mature after about 3,5 months for males and 4 months for females
  • copulation will take place at night and lasts for several hours
  • about 3 weeks after their final moult, females start to lay eggs (7-10 a week)
  • as normal, adults will need a bigger cage than the nymphs. A cage of about 30x40x40 (cm) will be good for some adult pairs
  • keep them at room temperature – around 20 to 25 °C in summer and 18 to 22 °C in winter workes fine
  • Important:  when you will share this culture with others, then make it clear where your culture is originating from! This shall insure that these two island Chondrostethus species do not get mixed up again

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References

  • Phasmida Species Files  (www.phasmida.orthoptera.org)
     

 

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