Periphetes graniferum "Samar"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAnareolatae 
FamilyPhasmatidae   Brunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
SubfamilyLonchodinae    Brunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
TribeLonchodini    Brunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
GenusPeriphetes   Stål, 1877
Speciesgraniferum(Westwood, 1859)

 
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General Notes

  • Westwood described this species as Phasma graniferum (1859)
  • this species is distributed over several islands of the Philippines
  • 2010 - a new breeding stock has been imported from Samar Island (Philippines) and is in culture (Bruno Kneubuehler)

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Origin

  • the breeding stock "Samar" has been collected on Mt. Capotan (Samar Island, Philippines)

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Females

  • typical stick insects - about 8 to 8,5 cm long
  • upper body colour is a strong, shiny green, with blue-green segment joints
  • legs (blue-green), eyes (orange-brown), body underside (orange)
  • body surface is strongly granulated, especially in the area of the Meso- and Metathorax segments

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Males

  • about 7 to 7,5 cm long
  • very colourful insects, with shiny colours
  • green (head, Prothorax segment, rear part of abdomen from S3 till S7), blau (leg joints, knees, eyes), orange (Meso- and Metathorax segments, front area of the abdomen), black (antennae, legs, abdominal ending)
  • colouration of the lower side corresponds to the upper side
  • body surface is also heavily granulated, especially in the area of the Meso- and Metathorax segments
  • even pre-subadult males and especially subadult males show the gorgeous coloration of the adult males

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Nymphs

  • freshly hatched nymphs are about 17 mm long and brown in colour with a darker abdominal ending
  • antennae are longer then fore legs
  • in the course of 1 - 2 weeks (after they have started to feed), their colour changes to mainly green

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Eggs

  • reddish-brown
  • irregularly shaped
  • about 2 x 2 mm

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Food Plants

  • bramble (Rubus sp.) is accepted
  • at least the adults do also feed on Salal (Gaultheria shallon)
  • firethorn (Pyracantha sp.) (Philippe van der Schoor, pers. comm.)

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Behaviour

  • this is a very fidgety species
  • nymphs drop to the ground and wriggle about when being disturbed (like when being touched when changing the food plants)
  • this is also true for the adults. Especially the males behave frantically - and they do not calm down quickly
  • this hectic behaviour can make changing their food plants (especially when many specimens live in the same cage) nerve-racking situation
  • males do also often elegantly wave their abdomen - in a whale like manner
  • matings are often to be observed
  • couples break up after mating
  • males mature after about 2 - 2,5 months, females after 3 - 3.5 months
  • it seems that the lifespan of males is considerably shorter than for females
  • males live 2 - 3 months, while females can live 4 - 7 months
  • 2 - 3 weeks after their final mould, females start to lay eggs
  • they lay up to 40 - 50 eggs per week
  • eggs are just dropped to the ground

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Breeding Notes

  • an easy to breed and beautiful species
  • only there is relatively high mortality for L1 nymphs (about 30 - 40 %), as many do not start to feed on bramble
  • therefore one should start with at least 50 eggs
  • incubation with the HH-method (on dry sand) yielded a good hatching ration of 50+ %
  • incubation time at room temperatures (20 - 23°C) is about 4 months
  • 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
  • nymphs and adults can be kept in a Faunabox (or similar cage)
  • cover the lid of the fauna box with a stocking for L1 nymphs, otherwise they might escape
  • move older nymphs and adults to a cage which is appropriate to their size
  • 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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