Pharnacia sp. "Halcon"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAnareolatae 
FamilyPhasmatidaeGray, G.R. 1835
SubfamilyClitumninaeBrunner von Wattenwyl 1893
TribePharnaciini Günther 1953
GenusPharnacia Stål, 1877
SpeciesPharnacia sp. "Halcon"not yet identified


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General Notes

  • 2010 - this Pharnacia species has been imported from Mindoro Island (Philippines) and bred for the first time by Bruno Kneubuehler
  • 2011 - this Pharnacia island form shows some minor differences in comparison to Ph. ponderosa "Samar"
  • 2011 - the taxonomic position of this species is not yet clarified - taxonomic research is being conducted by Joachim Bresseel (Belgium)

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Origin

  • Pharnacia ponderosa "Halcon" has been collected May 2010 on Mt. Halcon (Mindoro Island, Philippines)

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Females

  • big and sturdy insects
  • about 18 - 18.5 cm long
  • main colouration is green
  • eyes are brown
  • no wings present
  • antennae are a bit shorter than half of their fore legs

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Males

  • much thinner and shorter than the females
  • about 11.5 cm long
  • main colouration is brown-green, with some darker brown spots and areas
  • especially the unterside of meso- and metathorax is glossy-green coloured
  • the ventral abdomen as well as the inner surface of the knees is green
  • many small spines on the legs
  • fully developed wings
  • a light colored, almost white line runs alongside the outer margin of hind- and forewings
  • the membranous part of the hindwings (anal region of the alae) is transparent and smoke-coloured
  • antennae are about two-third of the lenght of the forelegs

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Nymphs (L1)

  • big nymphs, up to 2,5 cm long
  • antennae are very short and dark brown
  • long legs
  • mainly green in colour, with some darker areas

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Eggs

  • about 5 x 4 mm
  • brown
  • surface is glossy
  • robust eggs, with a strong egg shell

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Food Plants

  • nymphs as well as adults feed easily on bramble (Rubus sp.)
  • other well accepted food plants: beech (Fagus sylvatica), oak (Quercus sp.), Salal (Gaultheria shallon)

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Defensive Behaviour

  • freshly hatched nymphs are quite docile
  • as the nymphs grow bigger, so does their fidgety nature when they feel threatened
  • sometimes even movements in front of a (still closed) cage with older nymphs and adult males are enough to evoke a strong defensive behaviour - they drop to the ground and wriggle about frantically for some time
  • freshly adult do also display this frantic behaviour
  • but as the adulte females grow bigger, then they change their defence behaviour to assuming a S-shaped posture with their hind legs spread out wide. Then they try to frighten a potential predator by clapping their hind legs together.
    It might be too dangerous for the thick females to fall down, cause they might easily get harmed due to their weight - compared to nymphs and males
  • sometimes adulte males also try to escape by fluttering with their wings, but they are not capable to actually fly

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Breeding Notes

  • this is a very easy to breed species
  • incubation with the HH-incubation  method (on very slightly damp sand) yields a good hatching ratio
  • some moss spread over the eggs reduces mould growth and strongly facilitates successful hatching
  • incubation time at room temperatures (20 - 23°C) is about 4 - 4,5 months
  • hatching ratio of the first generation was 50+ %
  • 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
  • only small nymphs can be kept in a medium sized Faunabox (or similar cage)
  • move nymphs to a bigger cage as they grow bigger
  • the cage for adult specimens should be at least 60 cm high
  • 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 to hang from near the bottom of the cage - otherwise moults might turn out fatal
  • males will be adult after about 3 - 3,5 months (at 20 - 23°C), females after 4,5 - 5 months
  • females start to lay eggs after about 2 - 3 weeks
  • eggs are just dropped to the ground

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References

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


 

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