Apple Slice trick

sometimes it is difficult to get freshly hatched nymphs to feed on a specific food plant, even though this particular plant seems to be a good food plant for that species. In this situation, the Apple Slice trick can help.

Nymphs of many phasmid like to suckle on the juice. This might mainly be because they wanna take up some liquid, but nymphs of some species also like the sweet taste very much (like nymphs of Aschiphasma annulipes). When they take up some juice, then they get water and some nutrients (as well as some bacteria). The consequence migth be that their digestive system gets jump-started - and they might develop some "feelings" of hunger. Of course these are just interpretations of my experiences. But it has helped with some species to get them feeding - including the following species:

  • Aschiphasma annulipes "Tapah"
  • Micadina sp. "Tay Yen Tu"

Also other fruits could also be offered - see the nymph of Aschiphasma annulipes on banana (photo on the right)

This is how it is done:

  • offer freshly cut, thin apple slices - stick them on a needle and attach these to the ceiling (or near the ceiling) of the cage with the freshly hatched nymphs. Nymphs are much more often on the ceiling of the cage than at the bottom
  • best is to offer the fresh slices in the evening, before dawn, as nymphs of most species are mainly active during the night
  • leave the apple slices for one day, then remove it (it starts to rot and get mouldy quickly)
  • the next day, do not offer a fresh slice - they shall starve and get hungry and thus (hopefully) become a bit more eager to feed on the offered food plants
  • then after one day of "starving" - they are offered more apple slices, again in the evening
  • go on with this rythm (one day with, the next day without) for some time, then you might increase the "starving" period to two or even three days
  • stop offering apple slices (or offer at longer intervals) once they feed nicely on the food plants

direct link to this category

direct link to category: apple slice trick