Calvisia kneubuehleri "Dong Nai"
(von Bruno Kneubühler)

General Notes

  • initally known as Calvisia sp. "Dong Nai"
  • described by Joachim Bresseel (Belgium) and Jérome Constant (Belgium) in 2017
  • for further taxonomical informations → Phasmida Species Files
  • other Calvisia species which are or have been in culture → PSG-Liste, Online-Culture-List


Culture History

  • 2012 - first successful culture by Bruno Kneubuehler
  • 2014 – distributed to other breeders as Calvisia sp. „Dong Nai“



  • eggs were collected from wild-caught females by Joachim Bresseel (Belgium) and Jerome Constant (Belgium) in July 2012 in the Dong Nai NP (Vietnam)



  • body length about 7 cm
  • coloration consistent amonst females
  • basic coloration is black
  • vibrant yellow and blue markings on the thorax (dorsally)
  • carmine red wings
  • antennae with few light-colored rings and they are longer than the forelegs
  • anal region of the hindwings (the membranous part) is smoke-colored and translucent



  • slim phasmids
  • coloration is consistent amongst males
  • coloration is basically similar to the females, just paler
  • less dark overall than the females
  • yellow dots on the leg-joints (coxae)
  • legs with light-colored rings
  • anal region of the hindwings (the membranous part) is smoke-colored and translucent



  • freshly hatched nymphs about 16 mm long
  • yellow-green
  • very long antennae
  • older nymphs are very colorful
  • by L4 it is quite easy to draw a distinction between ♀♂ (by the naked eye)
  • examples on how to differentiate between male and female nymphs



  • about 3 x 1.5 mm
  • barrel-shaped
  • light to dark-brown
  • surface not smooth
  • slightly glossy
  • operculum (egg lid) is opposite to the side where they are glued
  • micropylar plate is elongate and narrow


Food Plants

  • it is very much recommended to cut away the edges of the leaves for nymphs in L1
  • regularly change the plants and the water in which they stand
  • cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
    there are many different cultivars of Prunus lauroceraus. The best results one gets with Prunus lauroceraus "Etna". Use young, "new" leaves which are still light green in color. These are quite well accepted by freshly hatched nymphs, older nymphs and adults. Old, dark-green leaves are well accepted by older nymphs and adults
  • if only "old", dark-green Prunus laurocerasus leaves are available once the nymphs are hatching, then only few will start to feed. With the apple slice trick, more nymphs will start feeding. And one can also apply an apple juice coating on the Prunus laurocerasus leaves, which helps getting the nymphs to start feeding
  • cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is NOT the same or even closely related to bay laurel (Laurus nobilis). I do not know whether the later is accepted or not !
  • Prunus serotina
    well accepted, but only summer-green
  • perhaps other (summer-green) Prunus species would also be accepted, but have not (yet) been tested
  • willow (Salix sp., unknown species)
    an unidentified willow species is very well accepted by older nymphs and adults. So far this willow is unidentified (see pics on the right), although there are some similarities wiht S. triandra. Other willos species have not been accepted 
  • Ficus lyrata
    young leaves are moderately well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • Ficus benjamini
    moderatly well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • Ficus elastica
    is moderately well accepted by nymphs and adults, but for unknown reasons they to not really thrive on this plant (maybe because of the thick, white sap ...?)
  • beech (Fagus sylvatica)
    moderatly well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • once the nymphs started to feed, then they usually grow up quite problem-free



  • nymphs as well as adults are mainly passive during the day and out and about feeding at night
  • though sometimes they can also be seen feeding during the day
  • nymphs and adults react very frantically when they feel threatened (like when they are touched). They drop down, wriggle about and freeze again after a few steps
  • adult males and females fly very well, and they do so quickly – therefore one should be careful especially when changing their food plants
  • mating occur often during the night, males do not stay with the same female for a prolonged time
  • usually eggs are glued in a straight line to different substrates near the ground (under CB conditions)
  • eggs moistened with water, can be detached easily after a short time
  • as eggs are laid in a straight line, therefore the egg lid must be on the side to allow nymphs to hatch
  • the barrel-shape of the eggs fits very well their strategy to lay the eggs in a straight line



  • GET method for a natural incubation of glued eggs
  • incubation time (HH-incubation on slightly damp vermiculite at 20 - 23 °C) is about 8 – 10 weeks
  • please note, that for phasmids it is not uncommon that some nymphs hatch a few or many months after the first nymphs hatched
  • it is possible to prolong the incubation time with the LTD-method, so that the nymphs will hatch in late spring when new cherry laurel leaves will be available
  • better not to use spring tails when incubating eggs of this species, as they can crack open and destroy eggs which have been detached from the substrate they were glued to
  • spread some 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
  • males will be adult after about 3 – 4 months (at 20 – 23°C), females after about  4 – 5 months, if fed on cherry laurel
  • if they are fed on that particular willow (Salix cf. triandra), then males are adult after about 2.5 months
  • females start laying eggs after about 3 – 4 weeks
  • about 10 eggs per female and week
  • adults can live for several months


Breeding Notes

  • my general notes on how to breed phasmids are an integral part of this care sheet …
  • it is recommend to keep this species in a seperate cage. The culture is much more likely to be successful than in an multi-species cage which are all too often badly crowed
  • degree of difficulty =  4                (1= very easy / 5 = very difficult)
  • due to the food plant situation, I rate this species as very difficult
  • 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 should be present
  • a humidity level of about 70+ % rH (for adults) and 80+ %  rH (for nymphs) seems to be fine
  • nymphs can be kept in a Faunabox (or similar cages like Faunarium)
  • the lid of the Faunabox might be covered with clear film, to raise humidity
  • move nymphs to a bigger cage as they grow bigger
  • a cage of at least 30 x 30 x 30 cm height should be provided for 3 – 4 adult couples
  • at least 2 (-3) cages are needed to breed this species – one cage for the small nymph, maybe another one for the older nymphs and one cage for the adults
  • 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




direct link to this category

direct link to category: sp. (Dong Nai, Vietnam)