Micadina sp. "Cuc Phuong"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAnareolatae 
FamilyDiapheromeridaeKirby, 1904
SubfamilyNecrosciinaeBrunner v. Wattenwyl, 1893
TribeNecrosciiniBrunner v. Wattenwyl, 1893
GattungMicadinaRedtenbacher, 1908
SpeciesMicadina sp. "Cuc Phuong"(not yet identified)

  
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General Notes

  • 2012 - so far the species could not be identified, it could be a new
             species (Joachim Bresseel, Yamai Huang; per. comm.)
  • 2012 - at the moment, this species' taxonomy is examined by
             Joachim Bresseel (Belgium) and Yamai Huang (Taiwan)
  • 2012 - first successful culture by Bruno Kneubuehler
  • 2012 - this species is being distributed as Micadina sp. "Cuc Phuong"

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Origin

  • Joachim Bresseel (Belgium) and Jérôme Constant (RBINS) found this species in July 2011 in Cuc Phuong, Vietnam (No. 47, "Sinophasma sp. 1", Vietnam, 2011)

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Females

  • typical phasmids
  • about 7.5 cm long
  • attractively coloured phasmids
  • winged
  • the membranous part of the hind wings (anal region of the alae) is slightly pink coloured and semi-transparent
  • antennae longer than fore legs

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Males

  • sehr attraktiv gefärbt
  • about 5.5 cm long
  • head blue-green with yellow-black striped eyes
  • body (dorsally) green with black, longitudinal stripes and areas
  • body (ventrally) green-blue
  • forewings with a blue stripe
  • hindwings brown-green
  • legs brown with fine, black stripes
  • fully winged
  • the membranous part of the hind wings (anal region of the alae) is slightly pink coloured and semi-transparent
  • antennae much longer than fore legs

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Nymphs

  • small and very agile !
  • about 10 mm long (L1)
  • brown-green (L1)
  • antennae longer than fore legs and dark banded (L1)
  • older nymphs develop more and more a similar colouration like the adults
  • distinction between males and females (by the naked eye) quite easily possible for older nymphs (about L4)

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Eggs

  • very small
  • about 1.5 x 1 mm
  • brown
  • rounded-oval
  • surface textured netting-like
  • matt
  • no distinct capitulum present
  • micropylar plate is dark coloured

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Food Plants

  • oak (Quercus sp.)
    well accepted by freshly hatched and older nymphs. Most proably also well accepted by adults (but this could not be tested, as oak is not winter-green in Switerland)
  • bramble (Rubus sp.)
    nymphs of the 3rd captive bred generation did start to feed on bramble well. Cut away the margins of the leaves and replace the food plant twice a week for the very small nymphs. Adults are easily feeding on bramble too
  • Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa)
    accepted by nymphs and adults (info by Niels Courtens, Belgium)
  • bramble (Rubus sp.) with oak juice coating
    freshly hatched nymphs of the first and second captive bred generations did accept bramble only with a oak juice coating. Then after just a few weeks on bramble with oak juice coating, the nymphs did also accept easily bramble without any coating. And also the adults did easily accept bramble without a coatingt
    his is well accepted by freshly hatched nymphs and older nymphs
  • here you find more on the Coating Method

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Behaviour

  • interestingly nymphs of the F1 generation were hatching over very long time period (more than 6 months), even though all the eggs were laid within just a few days
  • nymphs and adults are very quick and agile
  • therefore one should especially careful when changing the food plants in the cage with small nymphs
  • although females are winged, they were never seen flying
  • males can fly quite well, yet they do so only rarely
  • this species displays a very interesting mating behaviour. Freshly adult females do not tolerate approaching males and actually fight them actively off - they kick them off with their legs and wings! Only after about 2-3 weeks (when they start to lay eggs?), approaching males are tolerated for mating. Mating is very short, only a few minutes - and then the female again kicks the male off. Here is a video of the mating behaviour:
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WewkX_PXGsU
  • therefore I am keeping males and females in seperate cages, so that the females are not constantly harassed by the rather vehement male. And I bring them together just for a short while (1 day) every few weeks
  • during mating, the female bends her abdomen high up - and this seems to be the normal mating position for species in this genus (Yamai Huang, pers. comm.)
  • adult males and females can spray a defensive clear liquid from glands behind their head. It's smell is faint dirty smell and might be irritating to our eyes and mucous membranes (not tested)

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Developement

  • incubation time (HH-Inkubation on dry sand at 20 - 23 °C) is about 5 weeks to 7 months. The first nymphs hatched after about 5 weeks. But more nymphs hatched even after 7 months. although the eggs were laid within a few days
  • spread some dry moss over the eggs - this will make it much easier for the nymphs to hatch unscathed and it also reduces mould growth to some extend
  • hatching ratio in F1 was very high (> 50%) hatching ratio for subsequent generations was a bit lower (25 - 40 %)
  • males will be adult after about 2.5 months (at 20 - 23°C), females after about 2.5 - 3 months
  • females start laying eggs after about 2 weeks
  • eggs are just dropped to the ground
  • up to 90 eggs per week and female
  • adults can live for several months

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Breeding Notes

  • rather difficult to keep due to their food requirement (unless one has evergreen oak available) but a species with a very interesting behaviour
  • keep the nymphs in a cage with good ventilation, but take care that the humidity does not drop too low
  • a constantly wet paper towel on the floor of the cage helps raising humidity
  • nymphs 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

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References

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



 

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