Orestes mouhotii
(by Bruno Kneubühler)

SuperfamilyBacilloideaBrunner v. Wattenwyl, 1893
FamilyHeteropterygidaeKirby 1896
SubfamilyDataminaeRehn & Rehn, 1939
TribeDataminiRehn & Rehn , 1939
GenusOrestes Redtenbacher, 1906
SpeciesOrestes mouhotiiBates, 1865


General Informations

  • this species has been described by Bates in 1865 as Acanthoderus mouhotii
  • only females are known from nature and all captive bred cultures are parthenogenetic too
  • in culture since quite some time - several culture stocks have been imported over the years
  • 2009 - I have distributed a few eggs from my own culture stock



  • my culture stock has been collected by Kai Schütte (Germany) up in the Tapah Hills of Malaysia in April 2007



  • sturdy insects - about 5 cm long
  • very nice bark-like structure and colouration from different shades of brown
  • antennae are shorter than the fore legs



  • nymphs accept from the beginning bramble (Rubus sp.) easily
  • apart from this they also like Salal (Gaultheria shallon) - other plants I have not tried out
  • other sources also mention the following foodplants: oak (Quercus sp.), rose (Rosa sp.), Epipremnum (E. aureum) and beech (Fagus sp.)


Breeding Notes

  • an easy to breed species
  • incubation on damp sand (not too wet!), with spring tails to reduce mould growth
  • incubation duration at room temperatures (20-23°C)  is about 4 months
  • after hatching the nymphs remain inactive for quite some time - it can take up to two week before they will start to feed
  • they grow up in a Faunabox (or similar cage) very nicely - also adults can be kept in such a small cage
  • I do never spray them with water - a constantly wet paper towel on the cage floor provids enough humidity
  • it is advisable to cover the container in which the food plants stand with cotton wool - to prevent the nymphs from drowning
  • nymphs as well as adults will feign death when being touched or handled - a very handy species
  • it takes a long time for the females to mature - about 15 months
  • about 6 weeks after the final moult they will start to lay eggs
  • about 1-3 eggs per week
  • they prefer to lay the eggs in a damp place



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


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