Phasmotaenia lanyuhensis
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAnareolatae 
FamilyPhasmatidaeGray, 1835
TribeStephanacridiniGünther, 1953
GenusPhasmotaeniaNavas, 1907
SpeciesPhasmotaenia lanyuhensisHuang & Brock, 2001


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General Notes

  • the type locality for this species is Hungtou on Lanyuh Island (Taiwan)
  • Ph. lanyuhensis is only known from Lanyuh Island
  • Etymology
    • phasmo- from the latin phasma, which means „ghost“
    • -taenia is latin for „band“ „bandage“
    • lanyuehensis indicates the type locality which is on Lanyuh island
  • further taxonomical informations → Phasmida Species Files
  • other Phasmotaenia species which are or were in culture → see list with Care Sheets

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Culture History

  • 2013 - first successful culture by Bruno Kneubuehler
  • 2013 – distributed to other breeders as Phasmotaenia lanyuhensis

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Origin

  • this culture stock was collected on Lanyuh Island (Taiwan)

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Females

  • stury and big phasmids
  • about 16 – 19 cm long
  • green and brown females
  • small reddish-brown hindwings (when closed)
  • open hindwings red-black (lower side)
  • short antenane
  • numerous small spines on the legs
  • thorax is swollen just after eating (typical for Phasmotaenia)
  • subgenital plate is longer than the abdominal ending

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Males

  • rather gracile phasmids (compared to the females)
  • about 11 – 12 cm long
  • brown
  • small, reddish-brown hindwings
  • short antennae

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Nymphs

  • about 28 – 29 mm long (L1)
  • brown-green
  • short antennae
  • by L3 it is quite easy to draw a distinction between ♀♂ (by the naked eye)

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Eggs

  • about  5- 6 mm
  • contrasty light-dark brown colored
  • elongate-oval
  • distinct, reddish-brown capitulum present on the operculum (lid)
  • glossy
  • micropylar plate elongate-lanceolate and with a thin orange border

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Food Plants

  • it is very much recommendede to cut away the edges of the leaves for nymphs in L1
  • regularly change the plants and the water in which they stand
     
  • bramble (Rubus spp.)
    is very well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • beech (Fagus sylvatica)
    is very well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • Salal (Gaultheria shallon)
    is very well accepted by nymphs and adults
     
  • if given the choice, then they will prefer beech over Salal over bramble

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Behaviour

  • nymphs as well as adult are passive during the day and out and about feeding at night
  • nymphs and adults react very frantically when they feel threatened (like when they are touched). They drop down, wriggle about and freeze again after a few steps
  • they also quite easily drop legs (autotomy). Thus they have to be handled carefully
  • startled females open their small wings and show the red-black color. This might be to bewilder a potential predator, so that the female can let herself fall down to safetly
  • males do not show this gesture
  • just after feeding, adult females have quite a swollen-looking thorax (which is typical for phasmids)
  • matings often occur during the night and males do not stay with the same female for a prolonged time
  • a defensive spray could not be observed
  • females fling the eggs away - with a swing of the abdomen

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Developement

  • incubation time (HH-incubation on slightly damp sand at 20 - 23 °C) is about 4 - 6 months
  • please note, that for phasmids it is not uncommon that some nymphs hatch a few or many months after the first nymphs hatched
  • spread some dry (!) moss over the eggs - this will make it much easier for the nymphs to hatch unscathed and it also reduces mould growth to some extend
  • hatching ratio was very high (> 50%)
  • males will be adult after about 3 – 4 months (at 20 – 23°C), females after about 4 – 5 months
  • females start laying eggs after about 2 – 3 weeks
  • about 20 – 25 eggs per female and week
  • adults can live for several months

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Breeding Notes

  • my general notes on how to breed phasmids are an integral part of this care sheet …
  • it is stongly recommend to keep this species in a seperate cage. The culture is much more likely to be successful than in an multi-species cage which are all too often badly crowed
  • it is easy to breed this species
  • as the freshly hatched nymphs are already quite big, therefore the incubation container must be big enough too
  • keep nymphs seperate from the adults. This makes it much easier to monitor their developement and they are protected from being disturbed or even harmed by the much bigger adults (like during their moults)
  • keep the nymphs in a cage with good ventilation, but take care that the humidity does not drop too low
  • a constantly wet paper towel on the floor of the cage helps raising humidity
  • a humidity level of about 60+ % rH (for adults) and 75+ %  rH (for nymphs) seems to be fine
  • nymphs can be kept in a Faunabox (or similar cages like Faunarium)
  • move nymphs to a bigger cage as they grow bigger
  • a cage of at least 30 x 30 x  60 cm height should be provided for 3 – 4 adult couples
  • spray smaller nymphs with water 2 – 3 times a week (do not used chlorinated tap water). This water should dry up within a few hours, therefore an airy cage is needed
  • it is not needed to spray older nymphs and adults
  • make sure 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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direct link to category: lanyjuhensis