Phaenopharos struthioneus
(by Dr. Sascha Eilmus, Germany, Biologist)

FamilyDiapheromeridaeKirby, 1904
SubfamilyNecrosciinaeBrunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
TribeNecrosciiniBrunner v. Wattenwil, 1893
GenusPhaenopharosKirby, 1904
SpeciesPh. struthioneus(Westwood, 1859)


General Notes

  • several stocks have been introduced in the past years
  • PHASMA assessed this species as to the "protected status" because it is relatively rarely reared



  • my culture stock has been collected by Sharon Cheong in Malaysia (2012)



  • typical grey-brown phasmids with small wings
  • the size of the F1 generation varies around 14 to 16 cm
  • uniformly dull grey-brown body coloration
  • forewings are very small rudiments
  • hind wings only 1 cm long, but with bright red and black striped anal area. Costal area brown with brighter spots
  • other culture stocks also exhibit white marbled females. In my breeding stock (F1) this has not been the case



  • also typical phasmids
  • about 11 cm long
  • winged
  • wings similar to females, but red anal area of hind wings without black stripes



  • dark grey
  • round
  • about 5 mm long



  • males as females can behave very hysteric and stagger around when being touched
  • they have a perfect camouflage
  • this makes changing food plants not so easy
  • during the day, nymphs and adults are usually hiding between sticks in the lower part of the cage especially when the cage is rather big
  • therefore it is favorable to offer some dry branches, on which they can hide out
  • one should handle them carefullym but they do not tend to drop legs
  • females lay 2 - 4 eggs per day, which they just drop to the ground



  • incubate the eggs at room temperatures (18-25°C) on a humid substrate, e.g. vermiculite, peat or moss
  • incubation time is about 4 – 6 months
  • they will be adult after about 4 to 6 months at about 23°C


Food Plants

  • bramble (Rubus spp.)
    easily accepted by both nymphs and adults
  • other plants which are eaily accepted:
    hazel (Corylus avellana), oak (Quercus spp.), beech (Fagus spp.), rose (Rosa spp.), raspberry (Rubus idaeus), privet (Ligustrum spp.)  


Breeding Notes

  • an easy to breed species
  • adults and nymphs can be kept in a quite airy cage
  • move nymphs to a bigger cage according to their size as they grow up
  • nymphs and adults have been sprayed with water 5 to 7 times a week in the evening
  • for a successful development and molting the terrarium was filled with a thin layer of moist vermiculite on the cage floor. Note that the original habitat of this stock is a wet tropical forest



  • Phasmida Species Files  (


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direct link to category: struthioneus