Aschiphasma annulipes "Tapah"
(von Bruno Kneubühler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAreolatae 
SuperfamilyAschiphasmatoidea Brunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
FamilyAschiphasmatidaeBrunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
SubfamilyAschiphasmatinaeBrunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
TribeAschiphasmatiniBrunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
GenusAschiphasmaWestwood, 1834
SpeciesAschiphasma annulipesWestwood, 1834


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General Notes

  • Etymology
    • annulipes from lateinischen annulipēs = ring-shaped foot
  • further taxonomical informations → Phasmida Species Files 

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Culture History

  • 2012 - first successful culture by Bruno Kneubuehler
  • 2013 – distributed to other breeders as Aschiphasma annulipes „Tapah Hills“

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Origin

  • this culture originates from the Tapah Hills in Peninsular Malaysia

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Females

  • about 7.5 – 8 cm long
  • females are very similarly colored amongst each other
  • dorsal body color is a very contrasty pattern in green and black
  • ventral body color is a light brown
  • ventral abdominal ending darker brown
  • subgenital plate just slightly longer than abdominal ending
  • legs turquoise-green and black annulated
  • long hindwings with a contrasty yellow-green and black pattern
  • membranous part of hindwings (alae) is black and translucent
  • forewings strongly reduced, almost not visible
  • yellow knees
  • black eyes
  • black antennea, much longer than forelegs

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Males

  • about 5.5 – 6 cm long
  • coloration is more or less like the females
  • antennae much longer than forelegs

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Nymphs

  • about 12 mm long
  • hairy
  • shiny black
  • legs and antennae annulated

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Eggs

  • lens-shaped, round
  • about 3 mm in diameter
  • red-brown
  • very hairy
  • micropylar plate runs around the whole egg

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Food Plants

  • it is very much recommendede to cut away the edges of the leaves for nymphs in L1
  • regularly change the plants and the water in which they stand
     
  • non-indentified willow (maybe Almond Willow Salix triandra)
    a specific willow species (see photos on the right) is very well accepted by nymphs and adults. This might be Almond Willow, but this indentification is not confirmed. Willow is hybridizing easily, thus it could be a hybrid
  • Ficus (Ficus spp.)
    well accepted by nymphs and adults. These are the species I have tested so far:
    • Ficus lyrata, Ficus benajmina
    • if given the choice, the prefer F. lyrata over F. benjamina
    • F. elastica is also well accepted, but they do not thrive on that plant (maybe due to the white, sticky sap ?)
  • black mulberry (Morus nigra)
    well accepted by nymphs      (info by Rainer Piller)
  • Beech (Fagus sylvatica)
    nymphs were feeding quite well on this plant, but they all died at L3
  • Silver Birch (Betula pendula)
    nymphs were feeding quite well on this plant, but they all died at L3
     
  • here you find an extensive report on rearing the first generation

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Behaviour

  • this species is in all stages VERY active and VERY quick
  • nymphs hatch around noon time
  • especially nymphs, to a lesser degree also adults, are active and feeding during the day
  • nymphs and adults react VERY frantically when they feel threatened – this can be when the breeder is just moving in front of their cage, but especially when one opens the cage up
  • upon opening their cage, often ALL nymphs start to run around frantically – and they are very quick. This makes changing their food plants a time consuming adventure. And it is very easy to loose specimens
  • adults can also fly very well, even the females. This makes it even more difficult to track escaping specimens
  • if males discover a new female, then they approach her very passionatly. Therefore one should not keep more males than females in the same cage. Otherwise females can be very much stressed
  • matings are frequent, males do not stay with the same female for more than a few hours
  • females just let the eggs drop to the ground

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Developement

  • incubation time (HH-incubation on slightly damp sand at 20 - 23 °C) is usually about 8 weeks only, but can also be up to 3 - 4 months
  • spread some dried  (!) moss over the eggs - this will make it much easier for the nymphs to hatch unscathed and it also reduces mould growth to some extend
  • hatching ratio is very high (> 50%)
  • using the LTD-Method, one can store eggs in the fridge (10°C, r.H. around 90 %) for at least 3 months – to prolong incubation time artificially. Incubation time after this storage at low temperature, is about 3 months and hatching ratio is still around 40 %
  • males will be adult after about 3 months (at 20 – 23°C), females after about 3.5 months
  • females start laying eggs after about 2 – 3 weeks
  • about 15 – 20 eggs per female and week
  • adults can live for several months

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Breeding Notes

  • my general notes on how to breed phasmids are an integral part of this care sheet ...
  • it is rather difficult to breed this species, mainly cause they are difficult to handle and cause their food plants are not easily available for the avarage breeder in Europe
  • for a succesful culture it is inevitable to keep nymphs seperate from the adults. This makes it much easier to monitor their developement and they are protected from being disturbed or even harmed by the much bigger adults (like during their moults)
  • keep the nymphs in a cage with good ventilation, but take care that the humidity does not drop too low
  • a constantly wet paper towel on the floor of the cage helps raising humidity
  • a humidity level of about 60+ % rH (for adults) and 75+ %  rH (for nymphs) seems to be fine
  • nymphs can be kept in a Faunabox (or similar cages like Faunarium)
  • move nymphs to a bigger cage as they grow bigger
  • a cage of at least 30 x 30 x 30 cm should be provided for 3 – 4 adult couples
  • I have never sprayed nymphs, adults or their cage with water
  • make sure that nymphs, which are about to undergo their adult moult, do not find places in the cage which would not offer them enough space beneath to moult successfully
  • generally I recommend to keep only one species per cage – the culture is much more likely to be successful than in an overcrowed cage

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References

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

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