Graeffea crouanii "Suva-Pacific Harbour"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)

 

General Informations

  • provenience: this is a mixed culture from two different locations on Viti-Levu (Fiji): 1) Suva 2) Pacific Harbour
  • collected in October 2015 by Albert Kang (MY)
  • F1 CB culture in 2015 by Thierry Heitzmann (PH)
  • further taxonomical informations ➤ Phasmida Species Files
  • this is a pure culture, and serious breeders are requested 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 513 (Online Phasma Culture List)
  • Graeffea crouanii is a well-known pest species, and could have been spread over a number of pacific islands via palm seedlings
  • most eggs float on water, thus this species might have been distributed by sea currents to pacific islands which are far apart
  • although a DNA comparison is needed to find out, whether the C. crouanii populations from all these different pacific islands are (still) the same species

Females

  • quite sturdy, medium sized phasmids
  • body length 10.5 - 11 cm
  • females coloration can vary, some are green while others are brown
  • CB females mostly brown
  • females in the wild are in almost equal numbers green or brown
  • small wings
  • membranous part of hindwings bright red

Males

  • slender phasmids
  • body length 7 cm
  • all CB males were brown
  • in the wild few males are green

Nymphs

  • freshly hatched nymphs are green
  • 23 mm
  • most nyphs turn brown after a short time, only few remain brown
  • on how to distinguish between male and female nymphs

Eggs

  • 7.5 x 3 mm
  • brown, matt
  • rutted suface
  • most eggs float on water

Food Plants

  • coconut palm (Cocos nucifera)
    natural food plant
  • windmill palm (Trachycarpus forunei)
    well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • Pandanus
    natural food plant
     
  • fishtail palm (Caryota)
    just reluctantly accepted, and they do not thrive on this plant
  • golden cane palm (Dypsis lutensis)
    is not accepted

Breeding, Behaviour

  • easy to breed
  • active mainly during the night
  • they feign death when touched
  • a defensive spray has not been observed
  • eggs just drop to the ground
  • about 8 - 12 eggs per female and week
  • incubation (Cup-Incubation-method, on medium damp vermiculite) about 2.5 - 3 months at 20 - 24 °C
  • 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
  • it is quite common in phasmids that nymphs hatch weeks after the first nymphs - from the same batch of eggs
  • a humidity of about 65 - 75 % rH seems to be good enough for nymphs and adults
  • spray them regularly (3 - 4 times a week) with chlorine-free water, but allow the water to dry up before spraying again
  • small nymphs can be kept in a Faunabox (or a similar cage), which shall not be too small
  • provide a cage of about 30 x 30 x 30 (cm, L x B x H) for 3 - 4 adult couples
  • males will be adult after 3 months (at 20 - 24°C), females after 3.5 months

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 ! Allow the water to 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

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

 

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direct link to category: crouanii (Suva-Pacific Harbour, Viti Levu, Fiji)