Here we want to show you some curious, strange or funny things from the world of Stick and Leaf-Insects. Just as in our world, failures, misunderstandings and confusion happen in their world as well...
Below is a photo which gives a view into an over-crowded breeding cage. How many phasmids can you spot on the photo? You will find the answer by placing your mouse above the picture.
If different phasmid species are kept together in one cage it may happen that different species or even representatives of distinct genera will mate with another! These "copulations" however are not successful and do not produce hyrids. In the wild such "foreign matings" are very rarely encountered.
"Kopula" of a male Brasidas samarensis Rehn & Rehn, 1939 (Subfamily Obriminae) from the Philippines with a female Oxyartes lamellatus (Kirby, 1904, Unterfamilie Necrosciinae) from Vietnam.
"Kopula" of a male Brasidas samarensis Rehn & Rehn, 1939 (Subfamily Obriminae) from the Philippines with a female Oxyartes lamellatus (Kirby, 1904, Unterfamilie Necrosciinae) from Vietnam. A male Proscopid makes a closer inspection...
A male of Haaniella grayii (WEstwood, 1859) from Borneo mates with a female Heteropteryx dilatata (Parkinson, 1798). At least these two ""turtle-doves" belong into closely related genera of the subfamily Heteropteryginae!
Just as in human kind, some women appear to be more desired than others... On the picture below three males of Spinohirasea bengalensis (Brunner v. Wattenwyl, 1907) from Vietnam try to mate with a single female at the same time!
Gynandromorphism is the presence in one sex of characteristics belonging to the other sex. The portions belonging to either sex are variable, but are distributed along the length-axis of the insect usually with the left and right side dimorphic. Such abnormal insects are most spectacular in species in which males and females look very different (= sexual dimorphism), e.g. having a different colour of wings only present in one sex. In such cases a wing may only be present on one side of the insect, whereas it is strongly reduced or lacking on the opposite side!! Gynandromorphism is known to occur in e.g.: Heteropteryx dilatata (Parkinson, 1798), Diapherodes gigantea (Gmélin, 1789), Oreophoetes peruana (Saussure, 1868), Clonopsis gallica (Charpentier, 1845), Carausius morosus (Sinéty, 1899) und Ramulus artemis (Westwood, 1859), Extatosoma tiaratum (Mac Leay, 1826) and Phyllium bioculatum (Gray, 1832)
The following three pictures show a gynandromorph specimen of Diapherodes gigantea aus Grenada, raised in captivity by Mieke Duytschaever (Belgium) in 2008. This insect shows mostly male characteristics on the left, while there are obvious female characteristics on the right, e.g. the green colouration on the right and presence of a fully developed hind wing on the left only.
Some years ago two phasmid species have developed pest-like in the greenhouses of the well-known Botanical Gardens in Munich (Germany) and have caused considerable damage on the old and unique plants housed there. The two species concerned were Sipyloidea sipylus (Westwood, 1849) and Ramulus artemis (Westwood, 1859), both of which are known to be extremely productive in European cultures. It is presumed that the insects were either released by a someone or were introduced accidentially. Due to the defoliation of rare plants pesticides had to be applicated to control the pest.