Ramulus serrluatus "Gunungkidul"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAreolatae 
FamilyPhasmatidaeGray, 1835
SubfamilyClitumninae
Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1893
TribeClitumniniBrunner von Wattenwyl, 1893
GenusRamulus Saussure, 1862
SpeciesRamulus serrulatus
(Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1893)

 
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General Notes

  • Etymology:
    • ramulus from rāmulus (latin) = small twig or branch
    • serrulatus is the diminutive of serratus (latin) = serrated
  • this species has been described in 1907 by Brunner v. Wattenwyl as Clitumnus serrulatus
  • synonyms: Baculum serrulatus Hausleithner, 1986
  • the genus Ramulus contains in April 2013 more than 120 recognized species
  • the type species of Ramulus is Bacillus humberti (Saussure, 1862) = Ramulus pseudoporus (Westwood, 1859)
  • quite a few other Ramulus species are in culture too

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Culture History

  • 2013 - first successful culture by Bruno Kneubuehler
  • 2013 – distributed to other breeders as Ramulus serrulatus „Gunungkidul“

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Origin

  • in May 2012, an indonesian insect collector found this species in the mountainous region of Gunungkidul (Indonesia, Java), in a arid and rocky area

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Females

  • inconspicuous, typical phasmids
  • about 10 – 10.5 cm long
  • there are green, light brown and orange-brown specimens
  • lobe-like expansions on the legs, especially midlegs, but these are different amongst females
  • short antennae with a long and broad basal segment
  • subgenital plate is shorter than the abdominal ending

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Males

  • long, thin males with long legs
  • about 8 – 8.5 cm long
  • greenish-brown thorax dorsally
  • few small, white dots alongside the thorax
  • head, abdomen and lower body side brown
  • light, greenish-brown legs
  • short brown antennae
  • light green eyes

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Nymphs

  • about 16 mm long (L1)
  • straw colored, with a dark spot on the abdominal ending (dorsally)
  • very short antennae
  • by L4 it is quite easy to draw a distinction between ♀♂ (by the naked eye)

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Eggs

  • typical shape for the genus
  • about 3 x 1.5 mm
  • darkbrown and orange-brown pattern
  • irregularly shaped
  • matt, granulated surface
  • no distinct capitulum present on the operculum (lid)
  • micropylar plate hardly visible, longish and short

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Food Plants

  • bramble (Rubus spp.)
    is very well accepted by freshly hatched nymphs, older nymphs and adults
  • no other food plants have been tested by me (so far)

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Behaviour

  • nymphs as well as adult are passive during the day and are out and about feeding at night
  • nymphs and adults feign death or try to drop to the ground when they feel threatened (like when they are touched)
  • a rather calm species
  • matings can be observed during the night, and males do not stay with the same female for a prolonged time
  • females just drop the eggs to the ground

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Developement

  • incubation time (HH-incubation on slightly damp sand at 20 - 23 °C) is about 3.5 - 7 months  (F1)
  • the first nymphs hatched after about 3.5 months, but some were still hatching after 7 months. Even though all the eggs have been laid within just a few days
  • 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 3 months (at 20 – 23°C), females after about 3 – 4 months
  • females start laying eggs after about 3 weeks
  • about 20 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 ...
  • it is very easy to breed this species
  • it is highly recommend to keep the nymphs seperate from the adults, which 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
  • even though I did not spray the nymphs with water, nymphs in L1 can be sprayed lightly (do not use chlorinated tap water). But the water should dry up within some hours, and make sure that the small nymphs can not get stuck or even drown in water droplets
  • there is not need to spray older nymphs and adults
  • generally I advise to keep different phasmid species seperately (unfortunately, overcrowed cages are still too common ...)
  • 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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