Dimorphodes  sp. "Misool"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAnareolatae 
FamilyPhasmatidaeGray, 1835
SubfamilyXeroderinaeGünther, 1953
TribeXeroderiniGünther, 1953
GenusDimorphodesWestwood, 1859
Species(not yet identified) 

  
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General Notes

  • Etymology - morph- or morpho- from the Greek morphe (form, shape, kind, sort), and di- from the Greek dis (double, twice)
  • the genus Dimorphodes has been set up in 1859 by Westwood, the type species is Dimorphodes prostasis prostasis (Westwood, 1859)
  • at the moment (2013) there are 5 valid species (with 16 subspecies) in the genus Dimorphodes 
  • taxonomical aspects of Dimorphodes sp. „Misool“ are being examined by Paul Brock (UK), it might be a new species

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Culture History

  • 2012 - first successful culture by Bruno Kneubuehler
  • 2013 – distributed to other breeders as Dimorphodes sp. „Misool“

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Origin

  • this species has been collected by Dmitry Telnov (Latvia) in February 2013 from leaf litter in primary forests on Misool Island (Indonesia)

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Females

  • rather sturdy, medium sized phasmids
  • about 8.5 – 9.5 cm long
  • females are very differently colored
  • there are beige, chocolat-brown, dark brown and green-brown specimens
  • some are single-colored, while others are rich in contrast
  • short antennae with a broad basal segement
  • numerous small spines and tubercles on the head
  • few spines on the thorax
  • the dorsal cranial margin of the mesothorax bears two large, forward-pointing spines
  • matt surface
  • subgenital plate is shorten than the abdominal ending
  • small cerci
  • not winged

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Males

  • winged phasmids
  • coloration is rather consistent amongst males (F1)
  • body greenish-brown with a dark-brown, almost black patterning
  • the dorsal cranial margin of the mesothorax bears two large spines
  • head and thorax (dorsally) granulated
  • well developet wings, which cover the first half of the abdomen
  • winges dark-brown
  • anal region of the hindwings (the membranous part) has a fan-shaped grey-white coloration
  • basis of hindwings is red
  • short antennae with a broad basal segement

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Nymphs

  • about 20 mm (L1)
  • brown with light dots, legs are green-brown
  • short antennae
  • even in L1 it is quite easy to draw a distinction between ♀♂ (by the naked eye)

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Eggs

  • about 3.5 x 3 mm
  • round
  • contrasty light-dark brown colored
  • surface strongly textured
  • matt
  • distinct gearwheel-like capitulum present on the operculum (lid)
  • arrow-like micropylar plate, the dark micropylar pore is well visible in the hind part
  • dark spot at the rear egg pole

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Food Plants

  • bramble (Rubus spp.)
    is very well accepted by freshly hatched nymphs, older nymphs and adults
  • no other food plants have been tested by me (so far)

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Behaviour

  • nymphs and adults try to crawl away or drop to the ground if they feel threatened (like when they are touched), but they freeze again after a few steps
  • nymphs as well as adults are passive during the day, and feed during the night
  • during the day, nymphs are usually found on their food plant or on the side of the cage
  • older nymphs and adults are usually on the cage floor, where they try to hide in a dark place. Adult females have been found in leaf litter during the day in their natural habitat. Therefore one can offer them dead leaves or any other dark hiding place (like halved flowerpots) on the cage floor to hide out during the day
  • males can open and close their very ornamental hindwings several times with a rustling noise when they feel threatened – but they do so rather seldom
  • although the males have well developed wings, they have never seen to just take off for a flight
  • only when they drop down, they might use the wings for a short flutter
  • matings occur frequently during the night, usually for just a few hours at the most
  • females fling the eggs away - with a swing of the abodmen

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Developement

  • incubation time (HH-incubation on slightly damp sand at 20 - 23 °C) is about 3.5 months  (F1)
  • 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 in F1 was very high (> 50%)
  • males will be adult after about 3 months (at 20 – 23°C), females after 3.5 – 4 months
  • females start laying eggs after about 3 weeks
  • about 15 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 very easy to breed this species
  • it is recommend to keep the nymphs seperate from the adults, which 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 4 – 5 adult couples of this species
  • generally I advise to keep different phasmid species seperately (unfortunately, overcrowed cages are still too common ...)
  • 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

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References

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



 

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