Acanthomenexenus polyacanthus
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)

 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAnareolatae 
SuperfamilyPhasmatidae Gray, 1835
FamilyLonchodinaeBrunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
TribeLonchodiniBrunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
GenusAcanthomenexenusBrock & Hennemann, 2009
SpeciesAcanthomenexenus polyacanthusDohrn, 1910

 
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General Notes

  • originally described by Dohrn Menexenus polyacanthus in 1910
  • further synonyms: Menexenus horridus (Günther, 1935), Menexenus horridus polyacanthus (Günther, 1938)

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Origin

  • the culture stock has been collected by the Baudin brothers (France) in April 2007 on the Islands of Sangihe. This is a small island north-east of Sulawesi

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Females

  • very pretty phasmids - about 5,5 - 6 cm long
  • very spiny - some spines on the thorax are orange in colour, with a dark tip
  • body colour is a lighter brown with darker drawings, but colouration varies between different specimens
  • long antennae

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Males

  • about 4,3 cm long
  • also very spiny, these spines are unichrome
  • most of the males are brown or reddish-brown
  • but some males are beautifully bluish
  • this bluish coloration may depend on the food plants or the humidity
  • antennae are longer than the fore legs

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Eggs

  • about 2 x 2 mm
  • dark brown
  • flattened, irregularely shaped
  • surface is slightly rough, not shiny

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Food Plants

  • nymphs feed from the beginning nicely on Bramble (Rubus sp.)
  • adults (haven't tired these on nymphs) also like Lonicera nitida (a common ground coverer in gardens) and ivy (Hedera helix)
  • other breeders also feed them with fern

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Breeding Notes

  • an easy to breed and attractive species
  • incubation of the eggs on damp (not too wet) sand, with springtails to reduce mould growth
  • incubation at room temperatures (20-23°C)
  • incubation time about 3-4 months
  • hatching ratio was higher than 50%
  • nymphs grow without further problems, few casualties
  • a Faunabox (or similar cage) is perfect to breed them
  • I do not spray my culture. A constantly wet paper on the cage bottom provides enough humidity
  • males will be adult after about 3 months, females after about 3,5 months
  • mating can be oberved when they are adult for some weeks
  • females will start to lay eggs after about 4 weeks
  • eggs are just droped to the ground

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References

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

 

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