Pseudophasma subapterum
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)

 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAreolatae 
SuperfamilyPseudophasmatoideaRehn, 1904
FamilyPseudophasmatidaeRehn, 1904
SubfamilyPseudophasmatinae Rehn, 1904
TribePseudophasmatini Rehn, 1904
GenusPseudophasmaKirby, 1896
SpeciesP. subapterum(Redtenbacher, 1906)

 
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General Notes

  • Redtenbacher (1906) first named this species Neophasma subapterum
  • O. Conle,  F. Hennemann and Guttierez (2011) synonymised Neophasma with Pseudophasma
  • 2006 - first successful culture of this species by phasmid breeders in the Czech Republic

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Origin

  • staff members of the Zoo in Prague (Czech Republic) found this species in Tachira (Venezuela) in 2006

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Females

  • typical stick insects with colourful small wings, about 6 cm long
  • basic colour is dark brown with a white dot on the lateral side of each abdominal segment
  • the wing are very beautifully coloured – the fore wings are meshed yellow-black and the hing wings meshed red-black
  • feelers are longer than the fore legs

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Males

  • typical stick insects with colourful small wings, about 4,5 cm long
  • basic colour is dark brown with a white dot on the lateral side of each abdominal segment. But there are also males with a predominantly reddish brown colour
  • as in the females, the wing are very beautifully coloured – the fore wings are meshed yellow and the hing wings meshed red
  • feelers are longer than the fore legs

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Eggs

  • different shades of brown, about 3 x 2 mm
  • rough textured surface

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Food Plants

  • nymphs and adults accept and grow easily on Lonicera cf nitida (the one which is used as a ground coverer), privet (Ligustrum sp.) and lilac (Syringa sp)
  • but they adore plantains (Plantago sp.)
  • Aucuba (Aucuba japonica)  - is well accepted by all stages (Sarah-Jane Dulitz, Germany)

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Breeding Notes

  • easy to breed
  • incubate eggs at room temperatures (18 – 25°C) on a damp but not too wet substrate
  • incubation time is about 4 months
  • freshly hatched nymphs are dark brown with light feeler tips
  • they grow up easily at room temperatures, males take some 3 months to mature, females about 3,5 months
  • females start to lay eggs some 3 – 4 weeks after their final moult. They lay about 2 eggs a day and just let them drop to the ground
  • from the prothoracic glands they can spray a white defensive secretion when feeling threatened. This spray has an strongly acidly smell and probably causes a (non-permanent) burning sensation when it comes in contact with the mucous membranes in the mouth or in the eyes. Thus one should be careful when handle them
  • males tend to stay permenantly on a females back. But it is not so difficult to separate pairs, as it is for example in Anisomorpha species
  • during the day they do not rest on their food plants, but rest on the side of the cage – preferably in a darker place

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References

  • Phasmida Species Files  (www.phasmida.orthoptera.org)
  • Conle, Hennemann & Gutiérrez. 2011. The Stick Insects of Colombia
     

 

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