Hesperophasma sp. "La Ciénaga"
(by Sascha Eilmus)


General Informations

  • provenience: La Ciénaga (Barahona, Dominican Republic)
    rainforest (wet forest) sendero of the Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge, La Ciénaga, Barahona; Latitude: 18.08292875, longitude: -71.09549737, 36 m as
  • the original habitat is a small coastal band of isolated wet forest near of the region Barahona
  • this species was found in May 2015 by Martin Reith between Barahona and Paraiso, Dominican Republic (information from ww.actias.de). He tried to rear the species but failed
  • during a trip to the Dominican Republic Alexander Dernbach and Sascha Eilmus found on November 5th and 6th 2015 in a forest at the Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge, La Ciénaga, near Barahona 3 adult females, 2 subadult female nymphs, 1 adult male and one male nymph
  • characteristics of the eggs would even suggest that Hesperophasma (Greater Antilles: Cuba and Hispaniola) is closer related to Lamponius (Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico) than to the Central American genera Hypocyrtus (South Mexico, Belize and Guatemala) or Rhynchacris (Nicaragua to Colombia). Certainly the biodiversity of the Greater Antilles members of the Hesperophasmatini has not yet been adequately explored need to be reviewed
  • further taxonomical informations ➤ phasmida.speciesfile.org
  • this is a pure culture, and serious breeders are asked 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


  • sturdy, dorsoventral flattened phasmid
  • coloration: some females are bark-like grey-brown, other more brown and green (lichen-like)
  • F1 females are brown, from a light straw brown to dark brown, females are very differently colored (B. Kneubuehler)
  • this species seems to be able to some degree to change their pigmentation to match their surroundings (from light to dark, increase or decrease contrast, and green)
  • size around 7 cm
  • wingsless
  • females have bump-like protuberances on the dorsal side of mesothorax
  • rough, strongly granulated and partly spiny texture - this all adds to a perfect bark mimesis
  • saw-like spines on legs
  • antennae longer than fore legs
  • head strongly granulated
  • a thin appendix of the subgenitalplate exceeds the terminal abdominal segment


  • about 6 cm long
  • bark-like brown coloration with few greenish areas on the wings
  • body surface granulated
  • well developed (hind) wings
  • antennae longer than fore legs, with a white area at the tip
  • prominent couple of thorns on the back of the head


  • freshly hatched nymphs are brown
  • about 1 cm long
  • on how to distinguish between male and female nymphs


  • about 3 x 2 mm
  • brown

Food Plants

  • bramble (Rubus spp.)
    well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • Salal (Gaultheria shallon)
    well accepted by nymphs and adults, but cut away the edges of the leaves for freshly hatched nymphs
  • Hypericum
    well accepted  (info by Mayk de Haan, Belgium)
  • West Indian elm or bay cedar (Guazuma ulmifolia, Byttnerioideae: Malvaceae) is their natural food plant. All individuals were found sitting on the stem or feeding at night on leafs of Guazuma
  • Martin Reith found his specimens on Annona muricata, which is quite common in this area

Breeding, Behaviour

  • very easy to breed
  • strictly night active
  • feign death when handled
  • incubation of the eggs at room temperatures (18 - 25 °C) on a humid substrate, e.g. vermiculite, peat, sand or moss
  • incubation time at 23 - 24 °C is about 3 months
  • very high hatching rate for the first generation
  • older nymphs and adults prefer to rest on bark so offer some pieces of bark which are placed upwards against the back wall of the cage
  • they cling very strongly to place where they rest, thus be careful when picking them up
  • adults and nymphs can be kept in a quite an airy cage
  • move nymphs to a bigger cage according to their size as they grow up
  • nymphs and adults can be kept together as they are small and do not need much space
  • avoid overcrowded cages
  • estimated development time of the nymphs until adult molting will be around 3 months for males and 5 months for females at about 24°C
  • thus there might be 1,5 - 2 generations per year in the natural habitat
  • females lay around 2-4 eggs per day
  • about 10 eggs per week in F1 (B. Kneubuehler)
  • eggs are just dropped to the ground
  • nymphs have been sprayed with water 2 to 3 times a week in the evening
  • adults do not need to be sprayed with water


Useful informations

detailed infos on how to breed phasmids

infos on newly cultured phasmid species

Online Culture List

PSG list

how to recognize the difference between male / female nymphs

eggs for breeding


direct link to this category

direct link to category: sp. (La Ciénaga, Dominican Republic)