Paraphanocles keratosqueleton "Trinidad"
(by Yannick Bellanger, ASPER, France)

FamilieDiapheromeridaeKirby, 1904
UnterfamilieDiapheromerinaeKirby, 1904
TribusDiapheromeriniKirby, 1904
GattungParaphanoclesZompro, 2001
SpeciesP. keratosqueleton(Olivier, 1792)


General Notes

  • Olivier (1792) described this species as Mantis keratosqueleton from Surinam, with two females and one nymph
  • This new culture stock is quite different from the old stock of Paraphanocles keratosqueleton from Martinique. The two stocks may be two different species, so for the moment and before the end of the ASPER working on this species, the two livestocks should not be mixed. Furthermore, the full name of this livestock should always be written as: Paraphanocles keratosqueleton “Trinidad”


Culture History

  • 2010 – successful culture by Y. Bellanger with eggs collected in Trinidad
  • 2012 – first distribution of surplus by ASPER



  • Yannick Bellanger, Toni Jourdan and Philippe Lelong (ASPER team, France) collected this species in October-November 2010 in many different places in Trinidad. The species is very common in Trinidad and Tobago, particularly in xerophilic and mesophilic forest



  • long stick-like species
  • between 13 and 18 cm long
  • body coloration grey to brown, sometimes with clear bands up
  • antennae shorter or as long as the fore legs
  • two conical exgrowths on the head
  • long subgenital plate



  • long stick-like species
  • between 9 and 12 cm long
  • body coloration grey to brown
  • antennae reaching or slightly exceeding the fore legs
  • smooth head or with only two very small tubercles
  • long and curved cerci
  • annulated legs



  • brown to dark brown body



  • spherical and laterally asymmetric capsule
  • total length is about 4.3 mm (capsule is about 3.3 mm long)
  • lengthened micropylar plate, 3 times longer than wide
  • slightly oval operculum, a little more of 3 times less high than the capsule


Food Plants

  • bramble (Rubus spp.) and rose (Rosa spp.)
    very common and winter green plant, is well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • plum tree (Prunus spp.)
    common but not winter green trees, is well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
    not winter green tree, is quite well accepted by nymphs and adults



  • nocturnal species
  • matings can occur for a quite long time, even during the day, but males do not stay with the same female
  • females lay between 5 and 6 eggs per day, which are thrown at random on the ground
  • nymphs and adults lose easily their legs when they are kept



  • incubation time (on wet peat at 18-22°C) is between 150 and 240 days
  • males are adults (at 18-22°C) in 3 months, females in 4 months


Breeding Notes

  • I keep this species in a dry and very ventilated cage ; the cage should be with at least one face in mosquito net
  • if ventilation is not enough, the nymphs will die one after one
  • I never spray water, excepted if the room temperature is too high (for example during summer, more than 30°C)
  • nymphs can be kept with adults
  • due to their length, adults need a very high cage (50 cm high is a minimum, more is better)



  • Langlois & Bellanger, « Inventaire des Phasmatodea de Tobago »,
    Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France, 117 (1), 2012 : 91-110
  • Bellanger, Jourdan & Lelong, « Contribution à l'inventaire et à la biologie des Phasmatodea de Trinidad », in press
  • Phasmida Species Files  (


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direct link to category: keratosqueleton (Trinidad)