Nisyrus sp. "Malaita"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)

FamilyPhasmatidaeGray, 1835
SubfamilyXeroderinaeGünther, 1953
TribeXeroderiniGünther, 1953
GenusNisyrusStål, 1877
Species not yet identified


General Notes

  • identification by Oskar Conle and Frank Hennemann
  • this species seems to belong to the genus Nisyrus (Oskar Conle, pers. communication)
  • Nisyrus is closely related to Cotylosoma, latter might even be a synonym
  • in the 19th and the early 20th century it was assumed, that species of the genus Cotylosoma (as well as Priospus species) live a semi-aquatic live. But in 1935, B.P. Uvarov published an article ("the myth of semi-aquatic phasmid"), in which he describes in detail how this ideas emerged and why they are most unlikely.  For those interested in reading more about this, you find all the articles for download on the PSG website - compiled by Phil Bragg
  • but till today there has not been any direct proof that these assumptions are erroneous - as implausible as they may sound. With my culture, which produced an adult male, I could show that at least the males (nymphs as well as adults) do definitly not show any affinity to water. I hope to get more eggs of this species, to show that this is also true for the females of species from this genus.
  • 2008 - first culture of this species by Bruno Kneubuehler (but only an adult male)
  • 2008 - culture is lost



  • the culture stock originated from nothern Malaita



  • the culture did not produce any adult female specimens
  • wild caught females are about 9 - 10 long



  • about 5,5 cm long
  • with their numerous spines and lobes they look quite bizarre
  • their wings are fully developed
  • but the male was never seen flying, not even attempted to do so



  • about 3 x 3 mm
  • roundish
  • brown
  • coarse surface


Food Plants

  • most nymphs did not accept any alternative food plants which were available in winter
  • one nymph accepted raspberry (Rubus idaeus) and later on also oak (Quercus sp.)
  • the adult male also accepted bramble (Rubus sp.) and Salal (Gaultheria shallon)


Breeding Notes

  • with the right food plant at hand, the culture of this species seems to be easy
  • inkubation of the eggs on damp (not too wet) sand, with springtails to reduce mould growth
  • incubation time at room temperatures (20 - 23°C) is about 4 - 6 months
  • atching ratio of my first generation was high (more than 90%)
  • 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 bottom 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 the adult moult, do not find places in the cage which would not offer them enough room beneath to moult successfully
  • males will be adult after about 3,5 months (at room temperatures)



  • Phasmida Species Files  (


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