Phyllium bioculatum "Tapah Hills"
(by Olivier Salord)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAreolatae 
SuperfamilyPhyllioidea   Brunner v. Wattenwyl, 1893
FamilyPhylliidae   Brunner v. Wattenwyl, 1893
SubfamilyPhylliinae     Brunner v. Wattenwyl, 1893
TribePhylliiniBrunner v. Wattenwyl, 1893
GenusPhylliumIlliger, 1798
SubgenusPhyllium (Pulchriphyllium)Griffini, 1898
SpeciesPh. (Pulchriphyllium) bioculatumGray, 1832


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General Notes

  • this species has been imported and bred on various occasions for decades. Actually Ph. bioculatum is one of the most popular species in culture

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Origin

  • eggs were collected in Tapah Hills (Western Malaysia) in the Summer 2010 season by Sharon Cheong (Malaysia)
  • my bloodline consists of adult specimens hatched from several batches of eggs sent to me over 4 months, thus they are genetically remote or even unrelated

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Females

  • a beautiful leaf-insect with superb, large, fore legs
  • Ph. bioculatum females can be different in colour, from light green to reddish-brown, and even yellow
  • the specimens from my breeding stock are the green form
  • my females are light green, with more or less conspicuous brownish spots
  • size ranges between 80 - 95 mm long and 40 - 50 mm wide
  • the abdomen is covered with a fully developed pair of fore wings, covering nearly 3/4 of its length

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Males

  • males are more even in size
  • about 60 mm long
  • fore and hind wings are well developed
  • they can fly very well
  • their color is green during the first week after their final moult
  • then they quickly turn golden

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Nymphs

  • newly hatched nymphs are beautiful red creatures
  • when they start to feed, then they first turn brown and then green

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Eggs

  • colour varies from light to dark brown
  • they look like seeds, with five ridges
  • size is about 9 x 5 mm

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Food Plants

  • bramble (Rubus sp.)
  • oak (Quercus sp.)
  • evergreen oak (Quercus ilex)
  • raspbery (Rubus idaeus)
  • Salal (Gaultheria shallon)

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Behaviour

  • males are very difficult to handle as they will either try to fly away or lose legs easily if handled roughly

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Developement

  • incubation on wet sand (23 - 28°C) is about 5 months
  • males turn adult after 5 months and females after 6 months (at an avarage of 25°C)
  • females can live for about 6 months
  • as males mature more quickly, therefore males are prone to die before females are even adult. And then they are not available for mating ...
  • fertilized females will show for a short while a sperm sack attached to their genitalia after a successful mating
  • females lay more than 300 eggs throughout their whole life, with an average of 2 - 3 eggs per day

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Breeding Notes

  • according to my own experience, Ph. bioculatum is an easy species to be cultured
  • keep them in an airy and large enclosure with fresh foliage
  • hatching ratio of my first generation was quite high (80%)
  • nymphs seem to appreciate strong daylight and they like drinking water droplets

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References

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

 

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