Bactrododema hecticum "Windhoek"  CLP 665
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)

 

General Informations

  • provenience: street about 35 km south-east of Windhoek, Nambia
  • collected in February 2014 by Westley Price (NA)
  • collecting site (Google maps link):
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1e1qZSl8HbuRpCYNjBCKzwxkP3Js&usp=sharing
  • ID by Paul Brock (GB) in 2014
  • F1 CB culture in 2015 by Bruno Kneubuehler (CH)
  • further taxonomical informations ➤ phasmida.speciesfile.org
  • this is a pure culture, and serious breeders are asked to avoid mixing this culture with similar populations from a different provenience. When spreading this culture to other breeders, then always use the full name with provenience
  • this culture has the number CLP 665  (Online Phasma Culture List)

Females

  • big, long-legged, rather sturdy species
  • body length 15 - 16 cm
  • different shades of brown
  • few females are very ornamentally mottled
  • few (2 - 4) spines on the thorax
  • two borad tubercles on the head
  • membranous part of hind wings black with some white dots

Males

  • slender, long-legged
  • body length 11 - 12 cm
  • no spines on the thorax
  • two, often backward-bent spines on the head
  • ocelli are well visible just behind the spines on the head
  • long wings
  • membranous part of hind wings black-white chequered

Nymphs

  • freshly hatched nymphs are light brown and appear rather hairy
  • about 20 mm long
  • on how to distinguish between male and female nymphs - and pics on the right

Eggs

  • 6 x 2.5 mm
  • brown mottled
  • suface rough
  • operculum (egg lid) is slanting toward the longitudinal egg axis
  • a slanting operculum is a characteristic found in all phasmid species which glue their eggs (exept ooth-laying phasmids). This is an essential characteristic, which helps hatching nymphs to free themselves from a glued egg
  • Bactrododema hecticum "Windhoek" do not glue their eggs, yet they have an operculum (egg lid) which is slanting towards the longitudinal egg axis
  • it is safe to assume that B. hecticum "Windhoek" did glue it's eggs at some point in the past, but lost this ability along the way
  • another species of the same genus, Bactrododema cf. tiaratum "Etosha", does (still) glue their eggs

Food Plants

  • bramble  (Rubus spp.)
    well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • Salal  (Gaultheria shallon)
    well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • Acacia
    well accepted by nymphs and adults   (info Westley Price, NA)
  • Mesquite (Prosopis)
    very well accepted by nymphs and adults   (info Westley Price, NA)
  • pepper tree (Schinus)
    well accepted by nymphs and adults   (info Westley Price, NA)

Breeding, Behaviour

  • quite easy to breed
  • active mainly during the night
  • they try to escape when being touched, or they drop to the ground
  • they can spray a clear, non-smelling defensive secretion from glands behind their head (on the prothorax)
  • males can fly a few meters, females can not fly
  • males and females open up their hindwings with a rather loud rustling noise when they feel threatened (defence against potential predators). Sometimes they wander about like this for a short time ▷ defense display (Youtube video)
  • eggs just drop to the ground
  • about 10 eggs per female and week
  • the climat in their original habitat knows two main phases:
    • a rainy season October - February
      quite humid, often and strong rain falls, lush and dense green vegetation
    • a dry season March - September
      very dry, little or no rain, few green leaves remain on the trees
  • thus the eggs should be kept dry for the first 5 - 6 months, to simulate a dry period. During this period the eggs are just exposed to the humidity in phasmid room (room temperature)
  • after this dry-incubation period follows a humid-incubation phase (Cup-Incubation-method) on medium damp vermiculite at 20 - 23 °C
  • total incubation time can easily be 10 - 12 months, or even longer
  • eggs can be covered by vermiculite (about 5 mm high), which makes it easier for the nymphs to hatch without getting stuck in the eggs shell
  • eggs of this species are not prone to get mouldy
  • nymphs hatch during the night
  • a humidity of about 60 % seems to be good enough for nymphs and adults
  • best to be kept in a rather airy cage
  • one can spray them 1 - 2 times a week with chlorine-free water, but the water must dry up before spraying again
  • males and females will be adult after 8 - 12 months(at 20 - 24°C)
  • most probably they mature much quicker in their natural habitat, which temperatures often up to 40°C

Basics of phasmids breeding

  • keep only one species per cage, overpopulation is one of the main reasons for breeding failures
  • keep nymphs seperate from the adults, mainly to protect them during the crucial moulting phases
  • choose the cage big enough. When in doubt, too big is (usually) better than too small
  • a ventilator often supports good breeding results, as it seems to increase activity and feeding
  • provide enough light, but avoid direct sunlight (overheating)
  • try to keep day time temperatures below 25°C
  • a nocturnal fall of temperature is natural, and thus advantageous
  • do not spray too much, phasmids are no fish ! The water should dry up before you spray again
  • minimize disturbances (loud music, commotions, light at or during the night, opening up cages in the morning [often a moulting phase] ect.)

Useful informations

detailed infos on how to breed phasmids
www.phasmatodea.com/web/guest/199

infos on newly cultured phasmid species
https://www.facebook.com/phasmatodea

Online Culture List
www.ulft-ict.nl/phasma/kweeklijst/

PSG list
www.phasmatodea.com/web/guest/psg

how to recognize the difference between male / female nymphs
www.phasmatodea.com/web/guest/tips-and-tricks

eggs for breeding
http://www.phasmatodea.com/web/guest/222

 

direct link to this category

direct link to category: hecticum (Windhoek, Namibia)