Phyllium giganteum "Tapah"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)


General Informations

  • provenience: Tapah Hills (Peninsular Malaysia)
  • collected in early 2014 by Sharon Cheong
  • F1 CB culture by Bruno Kneubuehler (2014)
  • further taxonomical informations ➤
  • this is a pure culture, and serious breeders won't mix it with Ph. giganteum cultures from a different provenience
  • few males were present in the F1 generation


  • 10 - 11 cm
  • most females are green, few can also be yellow


  • 8 cm
  • green when freshly adult, but they turn yellow when getting older (usually after about 3 - 4 weeks)
  • males live for 2 - 3 months, when kept humid (80+% rH)

Food Plants

  • bramble (Rubus spp.)
    well accepted by nymphs and adults

Breeding, Behaviour

  • active mainly during the night
  • eggs just drop to the ground
  • about 7 eggs per female and week
  • incubation (HH-method on slightly damp sand) about 6 - 8 months at 20 - 23 °C
  • eggs of this species are quite prone to get mouldy. In my experience a thin mould layer does not affect the hatching ratio negatively. And one can use springtails to avoid mould during incubation
  • nymphs hatch after dawn, during the early morning hours
  • a humidity of about 60 - 70 % rH seems to be good enough for the growing-up nymph
  • the Free-Standing-Setup is very much recommened for small nymphs
  • one can spray them regularly with chlorine-free water, but the water should dry up before spraying again
  • rather easy to breed in my experience, but other breeders report a lot of problems with this species
  • most cultures of Ph. giganteum are parthenogenetic for a long time
  • now there might be sexual Ph. giganteum culture too:
    • sporadically breederes report males in their long-term parthenogenetic Ph. giganteum cultures. This can happen due to a genetic anomaly, but it seems as if such males are not fertile. Maybe the long-term parthenogenetic background of the culture caused some (genetic) damage or degradation ?
    • if "normal" males and a sexual culture of Ph. giganteum exist, then out in nature
    • usually when Ph. giganteum eggs are offered by Malaysian dealers, then these are collected from captive-bred, parthenogenetic females
    • some years back I have received eggs of a wild-caught Ph. giganteum female (Tapah hills, Peninsular Malaysia)
    • 1st CB generation yielded two males, which mated with one female  (eggs laid not counted)
    • 2nd CB generation - only one male, which again was mated with a female (she laid about 50 eggs)
    • 3rd CB generation with 6 males and a gynandromorph out of about 45 hatching nymphs. So there were more than 10% males amongst the hatchlings, which is at least an indication that the males are fertile
    • the "problem" with the Ph. giganteum males is that they are sexually rather inactive. Each male I have seen mating only once or twice. Maybe this is the reason why males are not common? And maybe this is a sign that that this species has come to a "biological dead-end"?
    • after mating, the female will carry a spermatophore in her genital tract. This spermatophore looks like a small drop of blood, and is always on the left side. The speromatophores of other Phyllium species is round and white
    • therefore breeders must be very careful and keep only one female with a male. Only once a mating has been witnessed and the female has a spermatophore, only then one can put that male with another female. Check daily
    • in my experience a mated female can lay fertile eggs (from which males hatch) for at least up to 2 (maybe 3) months after being mated
    • hatching nymphs need to be sexed in L2. This is quite easy and can be done with the help of a magnifier
    • keep male nymphs somewhat cooler than female nymphs, as they get adult quicker than females
    • adult males live much longer than so often and wrongly claimed, they usually live for 2 - 3 months

useful Informations

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direct link to category: giganteum (Tapah Hills, Malaysia)