Leiophasmatinae sp. "Marofandilia"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAreolatae 
SuperfamilyBacilloideaBrunner v. Wattenwyl 1893
FamilyAnisacanthidaeGünther, 1953
SubfamilyLeiophasmatinaeCliquennois, 2008
SpeciesLeiophasmatinae sp. "Marofandilia"(not yet identified)


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General Notes

  • 2010 - imported and cultured for the first time by Bruno Kneubuehler
  • 2011 - Nicolas Cliquennois identified this species as belonging to the subfamily Leiophasmatinae (species not yet identified, probably new)

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Origin

  • Leiophasmatinae sp. "Marofandilia" has been collected in Marofandilia (Morondava, Madagascar) in March 2010
  • their natural habitat is a deciduous forest, typical for the west coast of Madagascar (dry period from May until November)

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Females

  • typical, elongate phasmids
  • about 10 cm long
  • greenish-brown body
  • legs pale green
  • distinct orange-brown spines on the head
  • no further spines and expansions on the body and legs
  • long, curves subgenital plate
  • antennae slightly longer than forelegs
  • no wings

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Males

  • thin phasmids
  • about 8 cm long
  • head and legs are brown with a greenish hue
  • upper side of body brown
  • lower body side light grey-brown
  • antennae longer than forelegs
  • no spines or expansions on the body
  • no wings

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Nymphs (L1)

  • rather robust appearance
  • dark brown with many fine, light-coloured spots
  • thighs (femora) and lower legs (tibiae) partially green
  • antennae about half as long as foreleg

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Eggs

  • about 3 x 2 mm
  • dark red-brown
  • not shiny
  • on the back end of the eggs are lip-like expansions, which are typical for the subfamily
  • microphylar plate and it's neighbouring area lighter in colour

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Food Plants

  • nymphs as well as adults do feed on bramble (Rubus sp.)

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Behaviour

  • nymphs can hatch over a period of up to 8 weeks, even though the eggs have been laid within a few days only
  • nymphs are quite good at escaping, thus one should make shure to cover all cracks in their cage
  • they try to crawl away when feeling threatened
  • males do not stay together with the same female for a prolonged time
  • females start to lay eggs after about 3 weeks
  • eggs are just dropped to the ground

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Breeding Notes

  • an easy to breed species - once the nymphs have started to feed
  • incubation with the HH-method (on dry sand) yields a good hatching ratio
  • some moss spread over the eggs reduces mould growth and strongly facilitates successful hatching
  • incubation time at room temperatures (20 - 23°C) is about 7 months
  • hatching ratio has been high for the F1 generation (50+ %)
  • only about 50% of the nymphs started to feed (for F1)
  • keep the nymphs in a cage with good ventilation
  • the natural habitat is rather dry during the period when the nymphs appear - thus a high humidity might not be necessary
  • a humid paper towel on the floor of the cage helps raising humidity a bit
  • nymphs and adults can be kept in a Faunabox (or similar cages)
  • move nymphs to a bigger cage as they grow bigger
  • I have never sprayed nymphs or adults with water
  • make shure 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
  • males will be adult after about 3.5 months (at 20 - 23°C), females after 4 months
  • about 20 - 25 eggs per female and week

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References

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

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