Marmessoidea rosea
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAnareolatae 
FamilyDiapheromeridaeKirby, 1904
SubfamilyNecrosciinaeBrunner v. Wattenwyl, 1893
TribeNecrosciiniBrunner v. Wattenwyl, 1893
GenusMarmessoideaBrunner v. Wattenwyl, 1893
SpeciesMarmessoidea rosea(Fabricius, 1793)


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General Notes

  • originally desribed as Mantis rosea  by Fabricius (1793)
  • further synonyms: Phasma rosea (Fabricius, 1798), Necroscia rosea (Westwood, 1859), Necroscia marmessus (Westwood, 1859), Marmessoidea marmessus (Rehn, J.A.G, 1904), Platycrana rafflesii (Gray, 1835), Necroscia rafflesii (Westwood, 1859), Marmessoidea unicolor (Redtenbacher, 1908)
  • this species has been in culture in the past (e.g. Olivier Salord, France) - but cultures were lost again
  • 2010 - new culture stock from Malaysia and successful culture by Bruno Kneubuehler (Switzerland)

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Origin

  • new culture stock has been collected by Sharon Cheong (Malaysia - a highly recommended supplier !) in spring 2010 up in the Tapah Hills

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Females

  • typical phasmid
  • about 8 - 8.5 cm long
  • green - with a yellow dot on the head, bluish eyes and a white streak on the hind wings
  • fully winged
  • can fly well
  • membranous part of hind wings are coloured strongly pink

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Males

  • also very typical phasmids
  • about 5.5 cm long
  • body colour is a strong green
  • head is blue, with a prominent yellow spot
  • legs are reddish-brown
  • fully winged
  • can fly very well
  • membranous part of hind wings are also strongly pink

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Nymphs (L1)

  • yellowish-green with brown legs
  • long antennae
  • older nymphs are very nicely coloured red-green (especially the males)

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Eggs

  • eggs are glued in clutches to twigs, leaves and other things
  • one clutch every 3 - 4 weeks
  • a clutch of eggs can contain up to 40 eggs
  • freshly laid eggs are mostly bright yellow in colour, but some females will also lay dark coloured eggs
  • eggs which were yellow when freshly laid, will darken considerably when they are close to hatching

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Food Plants

  • Salal (Gaultheria shallon) is readily accepted by older nymphs and adults
  • but freshly hatched nymphs are somewhat reluctant to start feeding on Salal. So one has to apply a little trick to entice them to start feeding on that plant - the Laurel-Coating on Salal leaves. This Coating-Method is an easy to use method, and with this most nymphs will start to feed on Salal. By L2 or L3, nymphs will then also feed on Salal without this Laurel-Coating
  • use organic laurel leaves to make laurel powder - to be shure that they are not poisoned with pesticides
  • they feed also on Cinnamomum iners and some other (unidentified) species of the genus Cinnamomum (Francis Seow-Choen, Singapore, pers. comm.)
  • Cinnamomum camphora - this plant is very well accepted, by nymphs (also freshly hatched ones) and adults alike. C. camphora is quite common in southern Europe, and they can be kept as indoor plants in place with a lot of light. One can harvest single leaves and stick their stalk through holes of water filled lids of containers (like jam pots - see photo on the right). This way one does not have to cut whole branches off the tree (Olivier Salord, France)
  • Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) is not being accepted as food plant (Olivier Salord, France)
  • bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) is well accepted, but the nymphs die quite quickly. This has been reported by several breeders (e.g. Philippe van der Schoor, Netherlands). Maybe the quite high content of essential oils is harmful for them ... ?

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Defensive Behaviour

  • nymphs and adults quickly drop to the ground - or try to crawl away to hide when they feel threatened
  • adults can spray a defensive liquid from glands just behind the head
  • this defensive liquid is clear and smell a bit like grass
  • it seems that the defensive liquid is not irritating to the eyes (Olivier Salord, pers. comm.)
  • nevertheless one should be somewhat careful when handling this species, as different people might have different reactions when being exposed to this liquid....
  • adults can fly very well (especially the males) and they do so as soon as they feel threatened - but often they also just try to crawl away to hide

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Breeding Notes

  • an easy to breed and beautiful species
  • incubation with the HH-method yielded a very good hatching ration of 70+ %
  • incubation at room temperatures (20 - 23°C) is very short - only 6 (-8) weeks !
  • in nature these eggs are glued to a support. If the eggs are removed from their support (and thus no more fixed), the hatching nymphs will often have problems to fully free their legs from the egg shell. Therefore, to avoid deformations which can be leathal, such eggs should be incubated with the GET method
  • if the eggs are still glued to their original support (like a leave or stem), then no further precautions are needed
  • keep the nymphs in a cage with good ventilation
  • it seems that this species tolerates also quite low humidity levels  (< 60%) (Olivier Salord, France)
  • but they grow up also very well at hight humidity (80+%)
  • a constantly wet paper towel on the floor of the cage helps raising humidity
  • nymphs and adults can be kept in a Faunabox (or similar cage)
  • 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 months (at 20 - 23°C), females after 3,5 months
  • females start to lay eggs after about 4 - 5 weeks
  • they glue the eggs in clutches to twigs, the side of the cage ect.

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References

  • Phasmida Species Files  (www.phasmida.orthoptera.org)
  • Dr. Francis Seow-Choen: Phasmids of Peninsular Malaysia (Natural History Publications, Borneo, 2005)


 

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