Sinophasma vietnamense "Tam Dao"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAnareolatae 
FamilyDiapheromeridaeKirby, 1904
SubfamilyNecrosciinaeBrunner v. Wattenwyl, 1893
TribeNecrosciiniBrunner v. Wattenwyl, 1893
GenusSinophasmaGünther, 1940
SpeciesS. vietnamenseChen & Chen, 1999

  
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General Notes

  • 2012 – taxonomical aspects of this species are being examined by
             Joachim Bresseel (Belgium), and he will also describe this species
  • 2012 – first successful culture by Bruno Kneubühler (Switzerland)
  • 2012 – this species has been distributed as Sinophasma vietnamense "Tam
             Dao"

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Origin

  • Joachim Bresseel (Belgium) and Jérôme Constant (RBINS) found this species in July 2011 in Tam Dao National Parc,  Vietnam (No. 84, "Sinophasma sp. Common", Vietnam 2011)

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Females

  • beautiful and agile phasmids
  • about 6.5 – 7.5 cm long
  • coloration is rather consistant between amongst females (F1)
  • upper body side is strongly green, with some dark brown stripes and areas
  • lower body side light green
  • eyes yellow
  • antennae brown and longer than the forelegs
  • antennae longer than forelegs
  • well devleoped wings
  • yellow or white area on each forewing (tegmina)
  • membranous part of hindwings (alae) is light pink, with dark pink veins
  • praeopercular organ (the structure at the ventral end of the 7th abdominal segment, which serves as an anchorage for the male during mating) is well developed

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Males

  • very beautiful and very agile phasmids
  • coloration is rather consistent amongst males (F1) and similar like the females
  • body coloration is a strong, glossy green, with some dark brown stripes and areas
  • eyes yellow-brown
  • antennae, leg joints and lower legs are orange-brown
  • antennae longer than forelegs
  • very well developed wings
  • yellow or white area on each forewing (tegmina)
  • membranous part of hindwings (alae) is light pink, with dark pink veins

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Nymphs

  • about 10 mm  (L1)
  • body green-brown (L1)
  • legs brown and hairy (L1)
  • antennae brown with dark rings and a dark tip (L1)
  • antennae longer than forelegs
  • by L3 it is quite easy to draw a distinction between ♀♂ (by the naked eye)

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Eggs

  • very small
  • about 1 x 1.5 mm
  • dark brown with a light net-like stucture
  • elongate-oval
  • matt
  • no distinct capitulum present on the eggs lid (operculum)
  • micropylar plate dark brown, small and drop-like

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Food Plants

  • bramble (Rubus sp.) - with oak juice coating
    is well accepted by freshly hatched nymphs and older nymphs. More about the Coating Method ...
  • bramble (Rubus sp.) - without oak juice coating
    after 2 – 3 weeks, the nymphs did accept bramble leaves without a coating easily. These nymphs have also fed as adults well on bramble
  • oak  (Quecus sp.)
    is well accepted by adults (not yet tested on nymphs, but I assume that nymphs feed on oak too)

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Behaviour

  • especially small nymphs are very quick and they can behave quite frantically when being touched
  • adults can be quite trusting and they are often active during the day
  • males fly very well, whereas females have never been seen flying
  • this species has an interesting mating behaviour, very similar like Micadina sp. „Cuc Phuong“ (a closely related species). Matings lasts for just a few minutes only - and then the female kicks the male off. Here is a video of the mating behaviour of Micadina sp. „Cuc Phuong“:
    Micadina mating behaviour (Youtube)

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Developement

  • incubation time (HH-incubation on dry sand at 20 - 23 °C) is about 5 – 5.5 months  (F1)
  • 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 2.5 months (at 20 – 23°C), females after about 3 months
  • females start laying eggs after about 2 – 3 weeks
  • eggs are flinged away with a swing of the abodmen and fall to the ground
  • about 60 – 80 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 a integral part of this care sheet ...
  • it is quite easy to breed this species, if the food plants (e.g. oak juice for coating) are available
  • 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 seems to be sufficient, a higher humidity is also ok
  • nymphs can be kept in a Faunabox (or similar cages)
  • move nymphs to a bigger cage as they grow bigger
  • a cage of about 30 x 30 x 30 cm is big enough for 4 – 5 couples of this species (or considerably larger if the cage also contains other species !)
  • generally I advise to keep different phasmid species seperately (unfortunately, overcrowed cages are still very common ...)
  • I have never sprayed nymphs or adults (or their cage) 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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