Mnesilochus sp. "Mt. Halcon"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAnareolatae 
FamliyPhasmatidea Gray, 1835
SubfamilyLonchodinae Brunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
TribeLonchodiniBrunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
GenusMnesilochusStål, 1877
SpeciesMnesilochus sp. "Mt. Halcon"(species is not yet identified)


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General Notes

  • 2010 - Mnesilochus sp. "Mt. Halcon" imported and bred for the first time by Bruno Kneubuehler
  • 2010 - the taxonomic position of this species is subject to current research by Joachim Bresseel (Belgium)

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Origin

  • Mnesilochus sp. "Mt. Halcon" has been collected on Mt. Halcon (Mindoro island, Philippines) in April 2010

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Females

  • very typical phasmids
  • about 10.5 - 11.5 cm long
  • colouration is very variable amongst females
  • mainly different combinations of light and dark brown
  • there are very light and very dark specimens
  • some females have a smooth abdomen, while others have small, spine-like scales on their back (dorsal, on several abdominal segments) - and few specimens do have a bigger, bulging expansion at the dorsal joint of 5th / 6th abdominal segment
  • prominent expansions and a light-coloured band on the midlegs' thighs (mesofemora)
  • two small, forward-pointed spines on the head - which sits on a ridge across the head
  • whole body surface is strongly garnulated - giving them a very bark-like appearance
  • antennae are bit shorter than the forelegs

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Males

  • thin and very typical for the genus
  • about 8 - 9 cm long
  • colouration of the males is uniformly brown
  • body surface is weakly granulated
  • two prominent, forward-pointing spines on the head
  • antennae slightly longer than the forelegs
  • no expansions on the legs

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Nymphs (L1)

  • dark brown
  • about 1,5 cm
  • antennae slightly shorter than forelegs
  • the spines on the head are already visible in L1
  • by L2 it is possible to distinguish sexes by the presence or absence of the male's poculum
  • easier differentiation by L3 - by then females develop clearly visible expansions and a light-coloured band on the midlegs' thighs (mesofemora)

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Eggs

  • about 4 x 2 mm
  • dark brown with some light brown spots
  • light brown capitulum
  • light brown microphylar plate
  • porous, not shiny surface

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Food Plants

  • nymphs and adults feed very well on bramble (Rubus sp.)
  • at least nymphs do also feed well on privet (Ligustrum sp.)

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Behaviour

  • nymphs as well as adult specimens show a passive defence behaviour - which is very typical for the genus
  • they almost entirely rely on their camouflage
  • rarely they try to escape by crawling away, just to freeze again after a short distance
  • regularely they drop to the ground when they feel threatened, where they freeze with tightened legs
  • matings last only for a short time, males do not stay together with the same female for a longer period

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Breeding Notes

  • a very easy to breed species
  • incubation with the HH-method (on slightly damp 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 4,5 months
  • hatching ratio is very high (75+ %)
  • keep the nymphs in a cage with good ventilation
  • take care that the humidity does not drop too low
  • a constantly wet paper towel on the floor of the cage helps raising humidity
  • 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 - 4 months
  • females start to lay eggs after about 2 - 3 weeks
  • eggs are just dropped to the ground
  • about 7 eggs per week and female

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References

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


 

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direct link to category: sp. (Philippines, Mindoro Id.)