Hermarchus leytensis
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAnareolatae 
FamilyPhasmatidaeGray, 1835
TribeStephanacridiniGünther, 1953
GenusHermarchusStål, 1875
SpeciesHermarchus leytensisZompro, 1997

 
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General Notes

  • 2007 - the first successful culture of this species by Marco Gottardo (Italy)
  • 2009 - new culture stock from Mt. Apo bred by Bruno Kneubuehler

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Origin

  • new culture stock has been collected by Dave Navarro on Mt. Apo (Mindanano, Philippines) in April 2008
  • this species is also known from Mount Balocaue (Leyte, Philippines)

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Female

  • about 13 - 15 cm in length
  • quite sturdy phasmids
  • the whole body is coloured in a light green
  • females do (generally) not react as frantically when being touched as the males. But they too let themselves fall down quite regularely when being handled, and this might lead to injured females

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Male

  • about 9,5 cm long
  • thin phasmids
  • males react very frantically when being touched and will wriggle about like in an epileptic state. This might already happen if only the cage is being opened up

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Eggs

  • they get mouldy very quickly - even if there are spring tails in the incubation substrat
  • but the eggs hatch nonetheless

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Food Plants

  • I have fed nymphs and adults of the 3. generation on bramble (Rubus sp.) exclusively
  • but they do not like (or even refuse to fed on) fresh bramble leaves in spring. Therefore one should feed them on bramle leaves of the previous year for as long as possible
  • other food plants are Hypericum and Salal (Gaultheria shallon), haselnut (Corylus avellana), oak (Quecus sp.), raspberry (Rubus  idaeus) and beech (Fagus sylvatica)
  • M. Gottardo (2008) also mentiones Guava (Psidium guajava) as a food plant

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Breeding Notes

  • an easy to breed, big and interesting species - as they show a very pronounced sexual dimorphism
  • just the very fidgety behaviour (especially of the males) when being touched will test the breeder's patience
  • incubation: HH-inkubation method on slightly damp sand yields good hatching ratios
  • despite the springtails, eggs of this species tend to get mouldy very quickly, still the nymphs hatch nicely
  • incubation time at room temperatures (20-23°C) is about 2,5 - 3 months
  • hatching ratio of my first two generations was high (75%)
  • keep the nymphs in a cage with good ventilation and still high humidity, a constantly wet paper towel on the cage helps raising humidity
  • small nymphs can be kept in a Faunabox (or similar cage)
  • do not keep nymphs in the same cage with adult females
  • move nymphs to a bigger cage as they grow bigger
  • if there are too many nymphs in the same cage, many will soon be crippeled (lost legs)
  • thus one should really take care not to overcrowed the cage
  • best not to touch neither older nymphs nor adults when changing the food plants, as they very often start to behave wriggle about very frantically
  • put older male nymphs in  a seperate cage, as they are much more fragile than the female nymphs
  • I have never sprayed nymphs or adults with water
  • male will be adult after about 3 months (at room temperatures), females after about 3,5 months
  • females start to lay eggs after about 2-3 weeks
  • eggs are just dropped to the ground
  • they lay up to 140 eggs per female and week

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References

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

 

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