Pyllium westwoodii "Tha Pla Duk"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)

 

General Informations

  • provenience: Tha Pla Duk (near Doi Khun Tan NP, Tha Pla Duk subdistrict, Mae Tha district, Lamphun, Thailand)
  • collected in May / June 2014 by Suttah Ek-Amnuay (TH)
  • ID and taxonomic evaluation by Joachim Bresseel (BE)
  • F1 CB culture in 2015 by Suttah Ek-Amnuay (TH)
  • first CB culture in Europe by Bruno Kneubuehler (CH)
  • further taxonomical informations ➤ Phasmida Species Files
  • this is a pure culture, and serious breeders are requested to avoid mixing this culture with similar populations from a different provenience. When spreading this culture to other breeders, then always use the full name with provenience
  • this culture has the number CLP   (Online Phasma Culture List)

Females

  • typical for the Ph. westwoodii species group
  • body length ≈ 8.5 - 9 cm
  • all females are green (so far)
  • eye spots (ventrally) are very variable in size and color, some females even lack these spots
  • long, thin hindwings

Males

  • very typical for the Ph. westwoodii species group
  • body length ≈ 6.5 -7 cm
  • long antennae
  • green
  • eye spots (ventrally) are very variable in size and color, some males even lack these spots

Nymphs

  • freshly hatched nymphs are reddish, with greenish-white spots
  • about 12 mm
  • on how to distinguish between male and female nymphs

Eggs

  • ≈ 5 x 2.5 mm - frehly laid / before having been in contact with a humid / wet environment
  • ≈ 6 x 3 mm - after being in contact with a humid / wet environment
  • some structures and fringes on the egg expand /swell up when in contact with a humid / wet environment. This expansion is reversible so some degree, when the eggs is again exposed to a dry environment
  • the function of this swelling-up is not (yet) known, but also wellknown from eggs of other Phyllium (Phyllium) species. A possibility could be that this allows to store some humidity, and offers thus a (short-term) protection against exsiccation
  • orange-brown

Food Plants

  • bramble (Rubus spp.)
    well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • other possible food plants (not tested though):
    Salal (Gaultheria shallon)
    hazelnut (Corylus avellana)
    raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
    oak (Quercus spp.)
     

Breeding, Behaviour

  • easy to breed
  • young nymphs are active mainly during the day
  • older nymphs and adults are mainly active during the night, although males are also often seen wandering about during the day
  • males often drop to the ground when being touched, and they can tremble heavily
  • a defensive spray has not (yet) been observed
  • females fling the eggs away with a swift swing of their abdomen
  • eggs just drop to the ground
  • about 10 - 15 eggs per female and week
  • incubation (Cup-Incubation-method, on medium damp vermiculite) about 3 - 4 months at 20 - 24 °C
  • it is quite common that some nymphs will hatch weeks or even many months after the first nymphs - from the very same batch of eggs
  • eggs can be covered with vermiculite (about 10 mm high), which makes it easier for the nymphs to hatch without getting stuck in the eggs shell
  • eggs of this species are not prone to get mouldy
  • nymphs hatch during daytime (around noon), which is normal for all Phyllium species
  • a humidity of about 65 - 75 % rH seems to be good enough for nymphs and adult females
  • but adult males do better if kept at a higher humidity (75 - 85 % rH)
  • one can spray them regularly with chlorine-free water, but allow the water to dry up before spraying again
  • it is best to keep young nymphs in an airy netting cage, a ventilator which provides regular air movement is very much recommended
  • it is very common, that especially older female nymphs or adult females have their abdomen partially eaten by other individuals (especially by males). Therefore this species shall be kept in a big cage with a low population density
  • provide a cage of about 30 x 30 x 40 (cm, L x B x H) for 2 adult couples
  • males will be adult after 9 - 11 months (at 20 - 24°C), females after 10 - 13 months
  • the Free-Standing-Setup is very much recommened to get freshly hatched nymphs starting to feed. Once the nymphs are in L3, the Free-Standing-Setup is no more necessary

Basics of phasmids breeding

  • keep only one species per cage, overpopulation is one of the main reasons for breeding failures
  • keep nymphs seperate from the adults, mainly to protect them during the crucial moulting phases
  • choose the cage big enough. When in doubt, too big is (usually) better than too small
  • a ventilator often supports good breeding results, as it seems to increase activity and feeding
  • provide enough light, but avoid direct sunlight (overheating)
  • try to keep day time temperatures below 25°C
  • a nocturnal fall of temperature is natural (down to around 20°C)
  • do not spray too much, phasmids are no fish ! Allow the water to dry up before you spray again
  • minimize disturbances (loud music, commotions, light at or during the night, opening up cages in the morning [often a moulting phase] ect.)

Useful informations

detailed infos on how to breed phasmids
www.phasmatodea.com/web/guest/199

infos on newly cultured phasmid species
https://www.facebook.com/phasmatodea

how to recognize the difference between male / female nymphs
www.phasmatodea.com/web/guest/tips-and-tricks

eggs for breeding
http://www.phasmatodea.com/web/guest/222

 

direct link to this category

direct link to category: westwoodii (Tha Pla Duk, Lamphun, Thailand)