Prisomera spinicollis "Sinharaja"
(by Mieke Duytschaever)

 

General Informations

  • first culture attempt of this species by Frank Henneman (2000)
  • a couple of this species was collected by Mieke Duytschaever near Sinharaja rainforest reserve (Weddagala, Sri Lanka) on 24 july 2014
  • first successful culture by Mieke Duytschaever (Belguim) in 2015
  • further taxonomical informations ➤ phasmida.speciesfile.org
  • this is a pure culture, and serious breeders are asked 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

Females

  • about 10 - 11 cm long
  • the collected female was 10,5 cm long and lived for about a year
  • the F1 generation females are between 10,5 and 11,3 cm long
  • coloured in different brownish shades, with distinct white stripe all over the back
  • two distinct lobes (‘Mickey mouse ears’) on the head
  • mid and hind legs also show remarkable lobes
  • few small spines of different shape and size on the thorax and the head
  • antennae as long as forelegs

Males

  • about 8 - 9 cm long
  • the collected male (now in Oskar Conle's collection) was approx. 8 cm long
  • the F1 generation males are between 8 and 8,8 cm long
  • slender body
  • brownish colouration all over the body, black lateral line on both sides of the body
  • two small spines on the head
  • one tiny spine on every mid and hind leg, 0.5 cm beneath the knee joint
  • striped legs
  • small cerci pointing downwards
  • antennae a little bit longer than forelegs

Eggs

  • brown mottled
  • unusual shape  (see picture)
  • about 3 mm long
  • with typical, exceptionally large capitulum (1 mm long and 2 mm wide)
  • with oblong, light coloured micropylar plate

Food Plants

  • a mating couple was found during a rainy night feeding on an unknown shrub  (probably Hibiscus tiliaceus, personal communication Dr. Sascha Eilmus - see picture of leaf on the right)
  • traveling through Sri Lanka I could not find this plant anymore and offered some Hibiscus spec., which was very well accepted
  • the male died rather soon. It seemed that he was older than the female which had very recently moulted to adulthood
  • at home I offered the female other Hibiscus species from my garden. She readily accepted Hibiscus Newbiscus XXL 'Mauvelous', but refused Hibiscus syriacus 'Ardens'
  • I tried several other common food plants for phasmids, but she refused all of them
  • Salal (Gaultheria shallon) was immediately accepted by the adult female
  • but the first hatched F1 nymphs refused salal, so I had some losses.  I had to feed them what was left of the Hibiscus I brought from Sri Lanka and which had rooted in the meantime
  • I put the nymphs and their mother in the same cage and gradually most of the nymphs started feeding on salal as well
  • now I fed my first generation exclusively on Salal

Breeding, Behaviour

  • an easy to breed, very nice species
  • both female and male have an exceptionally relaxed attitude
  • they don’t move even when touched, they just spread their legs and stay motionless when picked up, or cling on to a branch when disturbed, thus making maximum use of their appearance and coloration to blend in with their environment
  • they move slowly when ‘walking’
  • pleasant handling because of their relaxed behaviour
  • eggs are just dropped to the ground
  • incubate eggs at room temperature (18 - 22°C) on humid substrate, e.g. vermiculite, sand or moss
  • incubation time is about 3 - 4 months at room temperature
  • hatching ratio of F1 generation was about 70%
  • nymphs hatch easily if eggs are kept moist
  • keep the nymphs in a cage with good ventilation but still high humidity, a constantly wet paper towel on the cage floor helps raising humidity
  • small nymphs can be kept in a faunabox (or similar cage)
  • move nymphs to a bigger cage according to their size
  • males will be adult after about 4 months, females after about 5 months (at room temperature)
  • I sprayed nymphs and adults with water 3 to 4 times a week, as I found the parents in an extremely humid environment.  It was dark and pouring with rain when I spotted the mating and feeding couple, very much at ease in these wet conditions
  • to give an idea about the local situation (very humid tropical forest): ‘Based on meteorological records gathered from in and around Sinharaja over the last 60 years, annual rainfall has ranged from 3614 mm to 5006 mm and temperatures from 19°C to 34°C.’
  • it can help to take natural circumstances as a guide line, but it is not absolutely necessary: like most phasmids, Prisomera spinicollis "Sinharaja" tolerates a fairly wide range of conditions

Many thanks to Stanislav Krejcik and François Tetaert for the pictures

 

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

Online Culture List
www.ulft-ict.nl/phasma/kweeklijst/

PSG list
www.phasmatodea.com/web/guest/psg

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

 

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