Phasma marosense "Bantimurung"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAnareolatae 
FamilyPhasmatidaeGray, 1835
SubfamilyPhasmatinaeGray, 1835
TribePhasmatiniGray, 1835
GenusPhasmaLichtenstein, 1796
SpeciesPhasma marosense "Bantimurung"Hennemann, 1998


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General Notes

  • first sucessful culture of this species by Sigetake Suzuki (Japan)
  • 2011 - Frank Hennemann (Germany) is examining this species taxonomically at the moment
  • 2011 - frist successful culture in Europe by Bruno Kneubuehler (Switzerland)
  • this species has been identified as Ph. marosense by Frank Hennemann

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Origin

  • Sigetake Suzuki (Japan) collected this species in Bantimurung (South-Sulawesi) on Jackfruit and Guava trees

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Females

  • rather sturdy and thick phasmids
  • 15 - 16 cm long
  • light brown body
  • brown to greenish-brown legs
  • numerous small, light-green tubercles on the mesothorax (especially dorsally)
  • 2 greenish small tubercles between the eyes (most probably ocelli)
  • well developed wings
  • membranous part of hind wings is black with many light-orange dots
  • underside of fore wings is blue
  • underside of the outer margin of the hindwings is blue and purple
  • antennae about half of the length of the forelegs
  • legs rather short
  • long, projecting cerci
  • strongly developed subgenital plate

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Males

  • more gracile than the females
  • 10.5 - 11 cm long
  • brown body with greenish-brown areas
  • green-brown legs
  • 3 strongly developed ocelli between the eyes
  • some small tubercles on the mesothorax (especially dorsally)
  • legs with many small, black-tiped spines
  • long, well developed wings
  • membranous part of hindwings black with many translucent, orange dots
  • underside of the outer margin of the hind wings is purple
  • undersides of fore and hind wings of the males are not blue
  • lateral edge of forewings almost white
  • ventral body greenish-brown, ventral Metathorax strongly green
  • strongly developed, projecting cerci

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Nymphs

  • rather big and sturdy nymphs
  • about 25 mm long (L1)
  • short, brown antennae
  • green-brown body
  • mid and hind legs banded green and brown
  • differentiation between males and females is already in L1 possible

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Eggs

  • 5 x 4 mm
  • usually black
  • few eggs have a more or less pronounced whitish coloration
  • microphylar plate is very long and streches almost around the whole egg
  • very shiny
  • in most eggs, the capitulum is clearly stalked and bowl-shaped
  • microphylar pore is almost at the rear egg pole
  • eggs get mouldy easily, but they still hatch

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Food Plants

  • Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) and Guava (Psidium guajava) leaves are being eaten in the wild
  • freshly hatched nymphs feed on bramble (Rubus sp.), oak (Quercus sp.), beech (Fagus sylvaticus) and Salal (Gaulteria shallon)
  • older nymphs and adults feed easily on bramble

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Behaviour

  • young nymphs are very calm
  • older nymphs and especially adult males and females can behave very frantically when feeling threatened (like when being touched)
  • adult males, sometimes also females, run around frantically with widly open wings - probably to shy off or bewilder predators
  • males can fly for a short distance, the flight is rather clumsy
  • females can not fly
  • males will be adult after about 3 -3.5 months (at 20 - 23°C), females after about 3.5 - 4 months
  • females start laying eggs after about 3 weeks
  • eggs are flinged away and drop down
  • about 20 - 25 eggs per week and female
  • matings can be observed frequently and do not last for long

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Breeding Notes

  • an easy to keep and interesting species
  • incubation with the HH-incubation method (on slightly damp sand) yields good hatching ratios
  • spread some dry moss over the eggs, this will make it much easier for the nymphs to hatch properly
  • incubation time (at room temperature) is yet unknown, probably 3 - 4 months
  • hatching ratio was high (50+ %)
  • as the freshly hatched nymphs are already quite big, therefore the incubation container should be big enough
  • 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 can be kept in a Faunabox (or similar cages)
  • move nymphs to a bigger cage as they grow bigger
  • 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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