Pterinoxylus perarmatus "Tigre"
(von Bruno Kneubühler)
 

OrdnungPhasmatodea
 
UnterordnungVerophasmatodea 
InfraordnungAreolatae 
SuperfamiliePseudophasmatoidea Rehn, 1904
FamiliePseudophasmatidaeRehn, 1904
TribusHesperophasmatini 
GattungPterinoxylusServille, 1838
ArtPterinoxylus perarmatus(Redtenbacher, 1908)


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General Notes

  • further taxonomical informations → Phasmida Species Files
  • Etymology:
    • perarmatus from the latin per-armātus, which means „well armed“
  • other Pterinoxylus species which have been in culture in 2014:
    • Pterinoxylus crassus from Martinique

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Culture History

  • 2013 - first successful culture by Bruno Kneubuehler
  • 2013 – distributed to other breeders as Pterinioxylus perarmatus „Tigre“

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Origin

  • collected about 1 km east of the school in Brazos del Tigre (Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica). This place is about  12 km away from Puerto Jimenez

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Females

  • rather stout and big phasmids
  • about 15.5 – 16.5 cm
  • females coloration is a rather uniform light or dark brown
  • body strongly granlated and rough
  • 2 big lobes on the head
  • short fore and hind wings
  • costal region of hindwings (outer side) often reddish-brown
  • anal region of the hindwings (the membranous part) is black
  • praeopercular organ (the structure at the ventral end of the 7th abdominal segment, which serves as an anchorage for the male during mating) is very well developed
  • subgenital plate is much longer than the abdominal ending
  • antennae about as long as forelegs

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Males

  • also quite sturdy phasmids
  • about 9.5 – 10.5 cm
  • wild-caught males were rather dark brown
  • captive-raised males are light brown with some green areas
  • some spines on the mesothorax (dorsally) and head
  • short forewings and long hindwings
  • light area on the outer margin of fore- and hindwings
  • anal region of the hindwings (the membranous part) blackish with light grey dots
  • antennae about as long as forelegs

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Nymphs

  • about 22 mm  (L1)
  • nice brown-red coloration (L1)
  • antennae about as long as forelegs
  • 2 quite big spines on the head
  • dark antennae with a white tip
  • even in L1 it is quite easy to draw a distinction between ♀♂ (by the naked eye)

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Eggs

  • about 8 – 9 mm
  • elongate
  • irregularly shaped
  • dark brown
  • surface sulcate
  • slightly glossy
  • distinct capitulum present on the operculum (lid)
  • small micropylar plate

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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
  • Salal (Gaulteria shallon)
    is very well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • walnut (Juglans regia)
    is very well accepted by nymphs and adults
     
  • if give they choice, then they prefer walnut leaves

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Behaviour

  • nymphs as well as adult are passive during the day and out and about feeding at night
  • males can fly for short distances
  • when startled, females can make a rustling sound with their wings in order to irritate predators
  • matings are often during the night, and males do not stay for a prolonged time with the same female
  • a defensive spray has not been observed
  • females fling the eggs away - with a swing of the abodmen

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Developement

  • incubation time (HH-incubation on damp sand at 20 - 23 °C) is about 4 – 5 months
  • but in phasmids it is not uncommon that some nymphs hatch a few or many months later
  • spread some dried  (!) 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 in F1 was very high (> 50%)
  • males will be adult after about 4.5 months (at 20 – 23°C), females after about 5 – 6 months
  • females start laying eggs after about 2 – 3 weeks
  • about 10 – 15 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
  • I stongly recommend to keep only one species per 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 very easy to breed this species
  • as the freshly hatched nymphs are already quite big, the incubation container must be big enough
  • for a succesful culture it is recommend to 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 30 cm should be provided for 3 – 4 adult couples
  • small nymphs (L1, L2) can be sprayed 1 – 2 times a week with water (do not use chlorinated tap water). But the water should dry up within some hours, thus 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: perarmatus (Costa Rica, Tigre)