Eurycnema versirubra "Timor"
(by Bruno Kneubühler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAnareolatae 
FamilyPhasmatidae Gray, 1835
SubfamilyPhasmatinaeGray, 1835
TribePhasmatiniGray, 1835
GenusEurycnemaServille, 1838
SpeciesEurycnema versirubra(Serville, 1838)


_________________

General Notes

  • Serville described this species 1838 as Cyphocrania versirubra
  • for further taxonomical informations → Phasmida Species Files
  • other Eurycnema species which are or have been in culture →  PSG-List, Online-Culture-List
  • the culture stock Eurycnema versirubra „Timor“ is a pure culture, and should not be mixed with other E. versirubra cultures of different proveniences
  • the people living in the area where this culture stock has been found (Kefamenanu, West Timor) call them „Ata Lia Neno“ and consider them to be poisonous and very dangerous – thus they kill them (F. Seow-Choen, pers. comm.)
  • Dr. Francis Seow-Choen suspects that the original habitat of E. versirubra might be Timor and / or closeby islands. Most probably they were brought from there to Java and Malaysia, where they are known from captive bred cultures only (no known wild-caught specimens)

_________________

Culture History

  • 2013 – first successful culture by Dr. Francis Seow-Choen
  • 2015 – distributed to other breeders as Eurycnema versirubra „Timor“

_________________

Origin

  • eggs were collected from wild-caught females, which were found by Dr. Francis Seow-Choen in December 2012 in Kefamenanu (West Timor)

_________________

Females

  • body length about 23 – 27 cm
  • very massiv, thumb-thick phasmids
  • coloration very consistent amonst females
  • light-green basic color with dark-green and turquoise-colored areas
  • few small spines on the thorax
  • long, well developed wings
  • white spots on the forewings
  • legs, especially hindlegs, with strongly developed spines
  • distal area of the hindleg tibia is pink and broadened
  • forewings green (outside), wine-red (inside)
  • costal region hindwings green (outside), wine-red (inside)
  • membranous part of hindwings (alae) is transparent, with strongly developed green veins
  • area of wings joints turquoise-colored
  • subgenital plate longer than the abdominal ending (anal segment, 10th tergit) 
  • long, flattened cerci
  • distinct ocelli (simple eyes) on the head
  • short antennae

_________________

Males

  • body length about 13 – 16 cm
  • reddish-brown and greenish-brown males
  • white face markings
  • long, well-developed wings
  • few spines on the thorax
  • antennae shorter than forelegs
  • distinct ocelli (simple eyes) on the head
  • forewings brown (outside), wine-red (inside)
  • costal region hindwings brown (outside), wine-red (inside)
  • membranous part of hindwings (alae) is transparent, with turquoise-colored veins
  • very long, flattened cerci

_________________

Nymphs

  • body length up to 34 mm
  • brown
  • very short antennae
  • long cerci
  • by L2 it is quite easy to draw a distinction between ♀♂ (by the naked eye)
  • examples on how to differentiate between male and female nymphs

_________________

Eggs

  • about 7 x 4 mm
  • elongate-oval
  • brown mottled
  • surface smooth and slightly glossy
  • distinct, crumpled capitulum present on the operculum (lid)
  • micropylar plate lance-shaped

_________________

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, if possible once a week
     
  • oak (Quercus spp.)
    well accepted (info by Ian Abercombie)
  • Eucalyptus
    well accepted (info by Ian Abercombie)
  • Hypericum
    well accepted (info by Mayk de Haan)
  • beech (Fagus sylvatica)
    very well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa)
    very well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • common hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)
    very well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • Mango (Mangifera indica)
    well accepted (info by Thierry Heitzmann)
  • Guava (Psidium guajava)
    well accepted (info by Thierry Heitzmann)
  • bramble (Rubus spp.) - is well accepted by older nymphs and adults. But only few freshly hatched nymphs are accepting this food plant. And the old leaves in spring are also not or just moderatly accepted. But luckily fresh beech is available in early spring

_________________

Behaviour

  • young nymphs are quite passive during the day and out and about feeding at night
  • older nymphs and adults are often active during the days, usually feeding
  • adult females do not let themselves drop to the ground, as they are in danger of bursting open due to their weight. Instead they try frighten off a potential predator by capturing him between the long spines of their hindlegs. Simultaneously they make a loud, rustling noise with their wings
  • matings occur often, couples may stay together for 1 – 2 days
  • a defensive spray has not been noticed
  • females fling the eggs away - with a swift swing of the abodmen. Thus the eggs can crack, when they hit a hard material, like the cage wall. Therefore it is best to keep them in netting cages

_________________

Developement

  • incubation time (HH-incubation on slightly damp sand at 20 - 23 °C) is 6 and more months
  • eggs of this species are very prone to get mouldy, and it is difficult to avoid this. Yet a thin mould layer does not affect the hatching ratio negatively
  • please note, that for phasmids it is not uncommon that some nymphs hatch a few or many months after the first nymphs hatched
  • spread some dry spruce needles (Picea abies) over the eggs - this will make it much easier for the nymphs to hatch unscathed
  • hatching ratio was very high (> 50%)
  • males will be adult after about 5 months (at 20 – 23°C), females after 6 – 7  months
  • females start laying eggs after 3 – 4 weeks
  • about 35 – 40 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 each phasmid 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 overcrowed
  • degree of difficulty =  3                (1= very easy / 5 = very difficult)
  • as the freshly hatched nymphs are already quite big, therefore the incubation container must be big enough too
  • 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 humidity level of about 60+ % rH (for adults) and 75+ %  rH (for nymphs) seems to be fine
  • move nymphs to a bigger cage as they grow bigger
  • a cage of at least 30 x 30 x 60 cm height should be provided for 1 adult couple
  • several cages are needed to breed this species – one cage for the small nymph, another one for older nymphs and one or more cages for adults
  • spray smaller nymphs with water 3 – 4 times a week (do not use chlorinated tap water). This water should dry up within a few hours, therefore an airy cage is needed
  • it is not needed to spray older nymphs and adults
  • 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

_________________

References

  • Phasmida Species Files  (http://phasmida.speciesfile.org/)
     

 

direct link to this category

direct link to category: versirubra 'Timor'