Ramulus sp. "Tam Dao"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAreolatae 
FamilyPhasmatidaeGray, 1835
SubfamilyClitumninae
Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1893
TribeClitumniniBrunner von Wattenwyl, 1893
GenusRamulus Saussure, 1862
SpeciesRamulus sp. "Tam Dao"
(not yet identified)

 
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General Notes

  • 2012 – this species is under taxonomical examination by Joachim
             Bresseel (Belgium)
  • 2012 – this species is quite similar to Ramulus sp. PSG No. 157
             (which is from Vietnam too, but no more exact origin is given).
             But coloration is somewhat different, especially in males. Thus
             these might be the same species, yet different color variations.
             Therefore these two cultures should be kept strictly seperate !
  • 2012 – first successful culture by Bruno Kneubuhler
  • 2012 – this species has been distributed as Ramulus sp. „Tam Dao"

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Origin

  • Joachim Bresseel (Belgium) and Jérôme Constant (RBINS) collected this species in July 2011 in Tam Dao, Vietnam (No. 92, "Ramulus sp. 6", Vietnam 2011)

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Females

  • inconspicuous, typical phasmids
  • about 13 – 14 cm
  • coloration is rather uniform amongst females, just some females have more green
  • upper side (dorsally) – green areas alternate with dark brown areas
  • lower side (ventrally) dark brown
  • very short antennae, just slightly longer than the head
  • no wings (apterous)
  • sbugenital plate not longer than the abdomen

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Males

  • very typical for this genus, very thin and seemingly fragil
  • about 11.5 – 12 cm
  • coloration is rather consistent amongst males
  • body color is black
  • thin, yellowish-white stripes on alongside the whole body sides (laterally)
  • abdominal ending is reddish-brown
  • head and area of leg joints is greyish-brown
  • fore legs are dark brown
  • mid- and hindlegs have reddish-brown thighs (femora), while the rest is dark brown
  • short antennae
  • no wings (apterous)

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Nymphs

  • lenght (L1) about 16 mm
  • coloration (L1) green-brown with a darker stripe across the eyes
  • antennae short and brown
  • older nymphs are mainly dark or even black, with many white dots
  • by L3 or L4 it is quite easy to draw a distinction between ♀♂ (by the naked eye)

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Eggs

  • very typical for the genus
  • about 4.5 x 1.5 mm
  • brown, some eggs with darker patterning
  • long, almost rectangular and flat
  • matt
  • no distinct capitulum present
  • fringe-like structures around the lid (operculum)

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Food Plants

  • bramble (Rubus sp.)
    is very easily accepted by freshly hatched nymphs (L1), older nymphs and adults

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Behaviour

  • nymphs and adults (especially males) are also active during the day
  • older nymphs and adults behave quite frantically when being touched. They try to drop to the ground and crawl away
  • matings occur during the night and last for some hours at the most

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Developement

  • incubation time (HH-incubation on slightly damp sand at 20 - 23 °C) is about 5.5 months (F1)
  • spread some dry 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 high (> 50%)
  • males will be adult after about  2.5 months (at 20 – 23°C), females after 3 – 3.5 months

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Breeding Notes

  • it is very easy to breed this species
  • 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 – 65 % rH is sufficient
  • nymphs can be kept in a Faunabox (or similar cages)
  • move nymphs to a bigger cage as they grow bigger
  • as the adults are rather big, a cage of at least 30 x 30 x 60 cm  (b x d x h) should be provided for 3 - 4 couples of this species
  • generally I advise to keep different phasmid species seperately (overcrowed cages are unfortunately still very common ...)
  • I have never sprayed nymphs or adults with water
  • make shure 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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