Glued Eggs Technique  (GET)
by Bruno Kneubuehler

▷ simple, near-natural incubation technique for egg-glueing phasmids
 

  • some phasmids glue their eggs, amongst which are interesting taxon like Marmessoidea, Neoclides, Calvisia
  • at times glued eggs have to be removed, in order to be incubated at a different location
  • nymphs hatching from such dislodged eggs easily get stuck in their egg shell upon hatching, which usually is fatal
  • a simple technique called GET (Glued-Eggs-Technique) helps
  • 2 variations of this technique are presented here, one with Xanthan gum (as glue) and one with adhesive tape
  • advantages / disadvantages of both variations are:
    • Xanthan gum is a natural polysaccharide, thus the eggs are reglued with a non-toxic glue
    • eggs reglued with adhesive tape come in contact with solvents (glue of adhesive tape) which are potentially harmful
    • eggs bond more firmly to adhesive tape than to Xanthan gum
    • as Xanthan is an organic material, therefore it tends to get slightly mouldy after a long incubation time
       

A) GET Xanthan variation

  • material needed:
    • Xanthan gum powder (health food shop, food retailers, pharmacy, online trade)
    • stiff plastic stripes
    • brush
    • spring steel tweezer (very soft tweezer)
  • mix some Xanthan gum powder with water to a viscous paste
  • spread Xanthan gum paste onto a precut plastic stripe
  • the Xanthan gum paste layer shall not be thicker than about half of the egg's thickness
  • place dislodged eggs carefully onto the Xanthan gum paste (use a spring steel tweezer)
  • choose the eggs' position so that the egg lids will be directed "downwards" during incubation
  • obviously the egg lid shall not be covered or smeared with Xanthan gum paste, otherwise hatching nymphs might not be able to push the lid open
  • after the eggs have been placed on the Xanthan paste, spread very fine sand over the eggs and the Xanthan past. The sand will cover up all the free space, which helps a lot to minimize mould growth during incubation 
  • allow Xanthan gum paste to dry up thoroughly (about 1 day at room temperature)
  • use a fine brush, to carefully brush off excess sand
  • do not spray reglued eggs, otherwise they will break loose
  • make sure there is a constantly high humidity in the incubation container (moist vermiculite, paper, peat ect.)
  • avoid condensation in the incubation box, if need add some additional ventilation (like needle pin holes)
     

Calvisia clarissima "Tapah" eggs reglued with Xanthan gum

Calvisia sp. "Dong Nai" eggs on dried-up Xanthan gum paste covered with sand

 

Calvisia sp. "Dong Nai" eggs reglued to sand-covered Xanthan (Cup-Incubation unit with humid vermiculite and springtails)

 

B) GET Adhesive-Tape variation

  • invented by Olivier Salord (France)
  • this is the material needed:
    • double-sided adhesive tape
    • several stiff, strong plastic stripes
    • very fine sand (the finer the better, pet shops usually have it)
    • spring steel tweezer (very soft tweezer)
  • stick double-sided adhesive tape to one side of the stiff plastic stripe
  • place dislodged eggs on the adhesive tape, best with a soft tweezer
  • choose the eggs' position so that the egg lids will be directed "downwards" during incubation
  • obviously the egg lid must be opposite of the adhesive tape (if needed, use a magnifying glass)
  • very gently press eggs onto the adhesive tape
  • once all eggs are placed on the adhesive tape, then pour a good amount of fine sand over the reglued eggs
  • the sand will cover all the open spaces of the adhesive tape, so that hatching nymphs will not get stuck to the adhesive tape
  • let it sit for a while, so that the sand can well bond with the adhesive tape
  • very gently knock off excessive sand
  • put the reglued eggs in an incubation container, which shall not be too small
  • do not spray reglued eggs, otherwise they might break loose
  • make sure there is a constantly high humidity in the incubation container (moist vermiculite, paper, peat ect.)
  • avoid condensation in the incubation box, if need be add some ventilation (like needle pin holes)

 

the material needed

 

disloged eggs (here Neoclides sp. "Bako") carefully placed on the adhesive tape, eggs lid points upwards

 

pour quite some sand over the reglued eggs so that all free areas of the adhesive tape are fully covered by sand, and let it sit for a while

 

carefully shake-off the sand, now all free areas on the adhesive tape covered with fine sand

 

reglued eggs in a Cup-Incubation unit with moist vermiculite and springtails
(from left to right:  Neoclides sp. "Bako, Calvisia leopoldi "Pakung Jae", Calvisia sp. "Dong Nai" )


 

a Marmessoidea rosea "Tapah" nymph is easily hatching from a reglued egg